Play as Exercise

Updated: Apr 2, 2019

“It is a happy talent to know how to play.”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Exercise often feels like something we SHOULD do, or HAVE to do. At BC, most people are healthy and in "good shape," and still the Plex is full at almost all hours of the day.

Exercise is great for you, as we know, but there are more ways to move your body than simply running on the treadmill or lifting weights.

The problem with exercise is that it can become future–focused, instead of present–focused. As in, "I have to kill myself with workouts now so that I look good in a bathing suit later." Goal setting is good, but postponing happiness until you are "in better shape" is not.

What BC students are missing most is not exercise, but rather play.

Play makes you present. It says, "I am having fun right here, in this moment, and nothing else matters." It often involves other people, and can significantly reduce feelings of anxiety and overwhelm.

What you do does not matter as much as doing something social and fun.

To get you thinking, here are some fun ways to Play at BC:

1. Dance

Take a dance class at the Plex: The Plex offers beginner classes in Salsa. I took one my freshman year with a few friends. You learn the moves quickly and I haven't forgotten them. And you don't have to be a good dancer to do it! I barely have enough rhythm to clap along to a song, but I still picked up these moves

Cost: $24 for 2 months of once a week lessons

Invite Friends over for a Dance Party: If you or a friend has a speaker that gets nice and loud, blast it and move your body! "Alexa! Play Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO!"

Swing Dancing Lessons: BC's Swing Dancing Team, Full Swing, holds lessons on Monday and Tuesday nights from 7 - 8 pm in Carney 206. No experience necessary, and you can learn some impressive moves very quickly.

2. Sports

Intramurals: At BC, I often get busy, and end up not spending as much time as I would like with the people who mean the most to me. To make sure I spent time with my friend David every week, I joined an intramural team with him. That way, no matter what we spend one hour together playing basketball. You can sign up for intramurals here.

Play Catch: Instead of meeting for lunch or coffee, inviting a friend to go play catch on the quad can be a more enjoyable way to "catch up" (haha).

3. Try a Something New

The Boston Calendar is a website that posts fun things to do around Boston. These may include free or discounted yoga classes, fitness classes, massages or meditations. If you want to do something active, you can filter for "Sports & Active Life."

The Plex has more fitness classes than I originally realized, including stand up paddle board yoga and swimming lessons. You can browse through them here.

Just climbing around

Moving your body should feel good. It should help you to forget about everything else and just have fun; here, now, with the people you are with. Exercise might do that for you, but if it doesn't, get some friends together and try playing instead.

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