Today I am going to be talking all about the health benefits of a game of ball toss. Now, this might sound a little strange, but I’ve been talking about mobility and movement and how important it is to the body, as well as the importance of blood flow and fluid movement. Once we get the muscles and joints moving, we need to do something with them. This is where a simple game of ball toss comes in. Nothing beats running around and good old fashioned kid play. When was the last time you got outside to throw a ball back and forth with somebody? For those of you with kids, it might not have been that long ago but for many it’s been long enough that your muscles might be rusty at throwing a ball.
A game of ball has health benefits, such as:
-It helps with your arm and shoulder mobility. 2-3% of women 40-60 can develop frozen shoulder in their lifetime – keeping the shoulder mobile prevents this!
– It can drop stress levels immediately because you’re channeling your inner child with the concept of playing and having fun.
– It gives your brain something new to think about and can be therapeutic.
– Exercise! Seeing how far you can throw the ball or coming up with different rules and games will get you running around and get your heart rate going.
A game of ball toss is about more than just throwing the ball. You can get the creative juices flowing by creating your own games and competitions, it encourages healthy interaction with friends and family, and it is just so great for your body and mental health.
When is the last time you hula hooped? I got a hold of a hula hoop on a vacation and had a fabulous time with it. These are the types of things that we use as kids and then forget about. Hula hooping gets us to use our hips. A lot of us are so tight in the hips. Listen to my previous episode about how our tight butts cause a lot of problems with our backs. Hula hoops release pelvic tension and butt tension. Hooping is something to consider when you’re thinking about increasing your mobility. Check out how to choose a hula hoop here. If you have chronic back pain, this could be a great activity to help you out with that.
A Bosu ball is like an exercise ball on the bottom and the top of it has a flat platform that is meant to be used for balance. One of the things that I absolutely love to do with the Bosu ball is throw a ball back and forth while standing on a Bosu ball. It becomes a game of balance. This adds another element of difficulty and fun! It also helps to engage your core as well as promote mobility.
You are never too old to jump rope! A lot of us have forgotten about the fun that you can have with jump ropes, not to mention the great cardiovascular workout that comes with it. One or two minutes of jump roping is incredible for your heart plus you’re also going to get your calves, glutes, and hamstrings working. It is a great lower body workout and it helps with maintaining your mobility.
My husband and I have a guilty pleasure of going to the park in the evening and playing around on the jungle gym, swings, and playing hopscotch. It turns into a little exercise circuit. It is so much fun, I’ve never laughed that much in my life! Channeling your inner kid really helps you to let go and relax. You never see a kid walking around complaining about how their back or knees hurt. They’re having fun and they’re not stressed out. One of the best stress relieving techniques is having fun and laughing. I guarantee if you try to play hopscotch, you’ll get a little smile on your face. Maybe the first time you will feel a little awkward, but by the third time you will be having fun, especially if you get someone else involved.
When you are on a swing set you’re using your biceps, triceps, and your core, hamstrings, and quads to get yourself swinging. It’s a great cardio workout and it’s a great mobility workout. I highly recommend getting on the swing and swinging back and forth for 10 minutes, then rotate that with hopscotch and then go play on the jungle gym. Try to see if you can do a pull up on the monkey bars. If you can find a park near your house and give this a try 2-3 times a week, you won’t regret it.
Get in On Some Good Old Fashioned Fun!
For longevity and for happiness, fun is essential. Adulting is hard work and not that much fun if you don’t let your inner kiddo come out to play once in a while. If you’re looking for stress reduction, increased mobility and physical fitness, go hang out in the park or grab a ball and make a game of it. If you don’t have access to a park, one of the other ways is to work on mobility and channeling your inner kiddo is by playing in your basement or even in your living room. You can free dance, and by that I mean turn on the music and jump around your house or toss or tap around a ball (you don’t have to use a soccer ball) like a soccer player doing ball drills. In no time you’ll be working up a sweat and smiling.
Unfortunately, a lot of us adults have forgotten how to be kids. That’s one of the reasons why we’re stressed. We forgot how to play and how to move without inhibition. I challenge you to go out right now and toss or tap a ball around in your living room, basement, yard or park or invite a friend join you for a game of ball toss. If tossing a ball doesn’t strike your fancy go get your dance on or if you have a Bosu ball or jump rope grab them and get going. I’m guaranteeing that if you play for at least 5 minutes your stress will start to melt away and you’ll find yourself having fun. You’re going to move your joints and muscles and feel so much better when you’re done. Try it, then leave me a comment below and let me know what your reaction was and how you felt!
If you enjoyed this blog post – guess what? I have a podcast dedicated to the same topic. Click HERE to listen to the podcast.