My newest goal in life is to include more play and pleasure into my everyday, which are equally as important as good food and exercise.
I woke up on Sunday morning to a clear, cool, and sunny day.“What a great day to go rent bikes in Central Park, ride to the Boathouse and have a drink,” I said to my husband. This was not my idea, but was a good idea given to me by friends as we walked on the High-line in Chelsea last Saturday night. I made a mental note and thought, wow, I have to do this! I don’t always have such great ideas myself, but I am good at picking them up wherever I can and putting them to good use.
So, that Sunday, I skipped my morning workout, which is usually not so much fun, or very long, and rode a bike with my husband through Central Park for a few hours. We laughed and enjoyed the beautiful park together, and I hardly realized I was riding! Okay, maybe it was the Paradise Martini at the Boathouse (which I highly recommend), but really I think it was the exhilaration of good company and plain old having fun. Here’s to exercise that doesn’t feel like work! Cheers!
We went for an early dinner. I had a tricolor salad and tuna steak with a red wine reduction, spinach and mashed potatoes. It was delicious, I might add. I ate slowly, happily and enjoyed every bite.
The result of my fun day was so amazing for my mind and body. I was relaxed, in a great mood and I slept soundly at night. I actually felt my endorphins elevated and I just felt good!! I also noticed how good my digestion was in this state. This is called the Cephalic Phase Digestive Response, which basically means that happy chemicals = good digestion.
I read a book by Norman Cousins, The Anatomy of an Illness. In it he wrote about how he cured his disease with laughter. He watched I love Lucy and other comedies and laughed so hard that it stimulated all the healing chemicals of the body. There is something to play and pleasure. If stress, as we know, is harmful, well what’s the opposite?
Beyond nutrition and physical activity, we can infuse joy into our food, and fun into our exercise. It is a mistake to assume diet is the only reason for good or bad health. Even when the intake of food is perfectly figured out, we should never forget that play and pleasure are key components of good health.
Think of play and pleasure as Vitamin P. A big dose is recommended very often!