Michael O’Shea, Parade Fitness Editor, on Play

‘Basketball’ courtesy of Hakan Dahlstrom on Flickr

‘Basketball’ courtesy of Hakan Dahlstrom on Flickr

“For years when I got in an exercise rut and got bored or tired of my workouts I would always take time off from my normal workouts and play basketball. I would get a ball and go shoot like when I was a kid. I would find myself playing, sweating, and not counting the minutes.”

Those are the words of Michael O’Shea, Ph.D., Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (FACSM). Mike is Fitness Editor for Parade Magazine, and author of the magazine’s extremely popular Get Fit Now column.

Mike is a tireless advocate for physical activity for individuals of all ages and stages, and he recently interviewed me about the importance of play. We had a great chat and he shared his memories of play, as well as his current play activities.

“I play with my two youngest, ages five and seven. We go to the pool, go on long walks, climb trees, and go to the playground. My 5-year-old daughter and I take her rabbit for walks. She even has a leash for her rabbit, and my job is to look out for big dogs that might hurt LuLu.”

In his column on play, Make Fitness Fun, Mike reminds us, “Don’t let kids have all the fun this summer. Getting in shape doesn’t always have to feel like work. If you’re doing something you enjoy, you’ll feel more energized and engaged.”  Great words from someone who leads by example.

To get ideas on play programs, activities, events, and resources, see 100+ Top Play Resources.