All work and no play makes Jack dumb!

  • I have been thinking a lot lately about the need of playing as well as working, and how critical it is that we not only enjoy our workouts but that we also insert some play into them somehow.  I found a book that supports what I have been trying to say, which is that play is good for the heart, the mind and the soul and the spirit.  It is called simply, "Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul" and it is written by a doctor of medicine. I heard a podcast the other day featuring him and his impressions concerning the brain. You can begin your search for it at this website:

    Dr. Brown, and other researchers, now believe that the once popular theory that the brain was incapable of regeneration is not accurate. They think that a process goes on in the brain that they call neuroplasticity, the process of the brain molding itself through neurons connecting and routing around aging areas of the brain. This process acts virtually like regeneration of brain cells and seems to take place best in the presence of exercise, both physical and mental. The mental aspects are using the brain in learning exercises that really stretch how it is used. Learning a language, or to play an instrument, or doing puzzles, things like that are what help the cognitive skills. The physical exercise doesn't need to be long,  but it should be relatively intense. Then there is the role of play and how it affects the brain. It seems to meet both of the exercise criteria I just mentioned, physical exercise, and focusing the brain on something that forces it to concentrate and be used in novel ways.

    Brain food certainly helps as well.  For my money, fish oil capsules are clearly the things that brains are fueled by. 

    Much of this is just me, but Dr. Brown's book at least backs up what I've been trying to get at.  Next time I'll blog a bit about how to work play into your workouts!

  • I would add that laughter is the best medicine of all! :0)

    Keep the faith!

    Faithful Renee :0)

  • What a great idea, a book that show us the importance of playing for all ages! I love it! I am a kid at heart anyway so this should fit in well for me!

    I think this would also help my son who has some minor brain damage from the bad accident he was in 2006.

    I am going to order a copy from I can't wait to read it!

    Thanks Mike!


    Sylvia Bortman

    2006 BFL Grand Champion Women's 50+

  • Mike-The Physical Education world has been preaching forever that exercise helps build brain cells, but with the "No Child Left Behind" act, that started making districts cut their recess time and PE time to get more academics squeezed in.

    I have attended a few workshops dealing with exercise and the brain and I would like the government to pass a law called, "No Child Left on Their Behind"!

    Several years ago I started a before school walking program at my school and although I don't have statistical data to support it, I know it helps the kids...

    Thanks for sharing! :)

    DebMO :0)           Blessed to be a Blessing...

  • Love this!  Thanks Mike.