I Just Wanna have FUN…Don’t You? By Bev Filer

Happy peoplehealthy family

Brunswick Plantation And Golf Resort is a place for  Fun. That is one reason folks move here…Fun with Friends! I’ve always had the idea that FUN was good for you! Now medical research backs up the idea of “Playing for your Health”! According to research at Penn State University, “When women get out and play, the benefits are amazing.” This is a quote from Careen Yarnal, PhD, an associate professor of recreation, park, and tourist management at Penn State. Dr. Yarnal also states, “Women cope better with stress, which sets up protective mechanisms that contribute to health and well-being. And if they play with others, it creates bonding and they get the benefit of social support.” She also notes that “When it comes to stress prevention, play is like wearing a suit of armor.” So, it is good so say, “I just wanna have Fun, Don’t You?”

Recent Japanese research found that spending as little as 2 hours a month laughing or listening to your favorite music has as big an impact on blood pressure as eliminating salty foods or even losing 1o pounds!  Sounds like a Fun way to be healthier to me…Music to my ears! How right Cyndi Lauper was when she sang “Girls just want to have Fun!” Boys do ,too!  We know these benefits are good for men’s health, well as the health of women. Sounds like a fun Good Team Health Plan to me…More FUN for Everyone!

Prevention magazine, the source of this information, recommends 12 ways to have fun and improve your health!

Add Little Jolts of Joy

Suggestions by Dr. Biali, MD, the author of Live a Life You Love:7 Steps to a Healthier , Happier, More Passionate You include adding Fun to things you do Everyday:

  • Crank up the funk on Pandora while you are cooking
  • Make phone calls outside while simultaneously Nature Watching
  • Cuddle your cat while reading your e-mail

Go With Your Flow

Psychologists define Flow as the feeling of being so engrossed in something enjoyable that you lose track of time. It can be anything that absorbs you and is different for each person. Some examples can be knitting, biking, reading a Stephen King Thriller…What ever Floats Your Boat! These engrossing leisure pursuits are the secret to aging well.  This is born out by medical research.  A recent study of more than 3,500 older Japanese people found that those who had hobbies were significantly less frail.  Another study found that people with hobbies had less cognitive decline than those without hobbies. So, find what Floats your Boat and FLOW!

Swear Off  Dusting

Darby Saxbe,PhD, a psychology professor at the University of Southern California has studied what people do when they get home from work. Cortisol levels are a marker of stress. He measured the cortisol levels during a variety of activities. She concludes: Housework is bad for your health. The more time women spent doing chores, the less the recovery in their cortisol levels. Unless housework lights you up in some way, take a break and to activities that personally reduce your stress and relax you.  Again, whatever Floats your Boat!

Find Your Inner Finger Painter

Anything that connects us to our childhood energy and joy counts as Fun! Find your personal favorite creative endeavor – whether painting, writing, or photography; crafts, cooking, or gardening. Get back your childhood energy and sense of wonder! It was reported by researchers at the University of Glasgow in the UK, that the quilters they studied, in addition to the sense of well-being from the sense of flow of their craft, also received mood boosts from the colors of fabrics used. Our own Brunswick Beach Border Quilters may have such experiences they can relate to us!

Play With Your Pals

Play may include online games and social networks like Facebook. More than half of those playing online are women! It is a good way to stay in touch with old friends! Games like Farmville, Bejeweled, or Words with Friends are among the reported favorites. A survey from Harris Interactive found that: Women who play games are more likely to be happy in their relationships, socialize offline on a daily basis, and have sex at least once a week. (36% of gamers versus 34% of nonplayers.) Log On and Have Fun!

Crack Some Jokes

How do funny people fare  in the happiness scenario? Melissa Wanzer,EdD, a communications professor at Canisus College found that this trait she termed Humor Orientation or HO had their personal perks. She stated, People who use more humor perceive themselves as more effective at coping with stress, more competent communicators, and less lonely. They get more social support, too. People want to be around funny people. Dr. Wanzer also says that humor is teachable. You can learn to tell a joke or repeat a funny story. So, try to lighten up and switch from humor absorber to humor producer.

Turn Up The Music

Music is one of the fastest way to switch from serious to playful! We respond to music physically. You can bring it everywhere – in the car, on your iPod, or as a ringtone! One suggestion is to create theme songs for people you know and hum the tune whenever you think of them.  Could be Fun!

Game Your Sweetie

Penn State researchers have shown that when dating, adults rank playfulness and humor on their lists of desired qualities. Video games like Wii Tennis and Guitar Hero are both highly rated for couples. You could also leave a deck of cards or you old favorite board game on the coffee table and see what happens. It’s All in the Game!

Be A Kid Again

Jennifer Rheuban launched a business called Adult Color Wars. The events gather dozens of adults to paint their faces and go after each other: Tug of War…Steal the Bacon..Capture the FlagWater Balloon Fights, etc. They do not know each other and say they just laugh harder than anyone could ever believe. This business also raises money for charity, but it’s just pure fun, childlike fun! Experiencing playful moments honors your need for unfetterd Joy!

Just Say “AWW”

People have always loved reading the funny papers or listening to recorded comedy. The internet has just made it so much more accessible. The suggestion is to try can’t-resist-’em sites: Cute Overload, AwwPix, or Daily Puppy.  Post the ones you like via Face-book, Twitter or Pinterest. Dr. Rutledge PhD, director of the Media Psychology Research Center, says sharing what made you smile intensifies the benefits. You can do that  without the Internet, too! People who Play Together, Stay Together!

Create a Family Adventure

Try a an old-fashioned treasure-hunt game. Want to get the kids involved…go to Letterboxing, an online game where you can solve puzzles together and get a physical rubber stamp as a reward. You may have good ideas of your own. The whole family can participate and share ideas! What Fun!

Take The Work Out of Your Workout

New York City recently built an adult playground….Complete with monkey bars & balance beams. There is also a resurgence of dodge ball and kickball leagues for adults. Tennis, Anyone? Why shouldn’t you take your exercise routine back to grade school too? How about hula-hooping? It beats working out on the elliptical for 30minutes! All of these activities burn calories! Find what works for you and find your inner child!

Have Fun!  It’s Good For Your Health!
Brunswick Plantation and Golf Resort is all about being healthy and having Fun with Friends and Neighbors! We’d love to hear any ideas you have to spread the wealth of “Finding the playfulness of your inner child!”

Information for this article is taken from  Put Some Fun in Your Summer by Sarah Mahoney in the June edition of Prevention magazine.








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