I admit it: I don’t like to exercise. I get bored. And so I avoid it.
But that doesn’t mean that I don’t understand the benefits of exercise. So increasingly, I find myself looking for ways to “trick” myself into getting the body moving and the heart pumping.
To borrow a relatively new term, I’m always on the lookout for “lifehacks.”
According to Wikipedia, Lifehacking refers to “any trick, shortcut, skill, or novelty method that increases productivity and efficiency, in all walks of life. The term is primarily used by computer experts who suffer from information overload or those with a playful curiosity in the ways they can accelerate their workflow in ways other than programming.”
In the context of my own life, it would mean a clever way of fooling myself into sweating a little.
Once you realize the true value of a good lifehack, you find yourself looking for others. Lately, I’ve even been able to build a lifehack into my Dad’s life. As traditional physical therapy hasn’t yielded the results we’d like to see in his recovery from a recent stroke, I’ve lined up a personal trainer for him. This will give him fun “outings” to look forward to (AKA, the gym) and fun “activities” to do (AKA, balloon toss game). He will look forward to both, in spite of the fact that they are really exercises to help him stretch, build muscle tone, and strengthen the affected side of his body.
Basically, it’s Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy disguised as fun. (You should see his juices start flowing as he gets more and more intent on hitting that balloon hard!)
Come to think of it, we’ve built some pretty clever lifehacks into daily life at The Ivey, too. One that immediately comes to mind: Cornhole. Our members love to play this game every week. It always sparks a playful, competitive and supportive spirit among the membership, with hoots and hollers all afternoon!
But really? It’s a wonderful example of how we cleverly build Occupational Therapy into our daytime Life Enrichment programming at The Ivey. Cornhole provides great movement for the upper body, warding off muscle atrophy, promoting balance, and even slowing down the progression of dementias. Yup, it’s a workout dressed up as play, leveraging the proven benefits of exercise in fighting off their disease.
In fact, Cornhole has become such a part of our culture at The Ivey that we’re even having a Cornhole Social next week, in which eight members of The Ivey will be paired up with eight staff members for what’s sure to be an exciting tournament. Families of The Ivey’s members will be on hand to watch this no-holds-barred bean bag brouhaha and enjoy some snacks and conversation with each other.
Which means Cornhole is also an effective lifehack for socialization. SCORE!!!
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