The Importance of Play

Chloe Murdock PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS

We’re two weeks into January, and gyms are bursting with people eager to keep their New Year’s resolutions. But how many of these people will be so zealously hammering away on the Stair Master in July? Becoming and staying active is very hard in our sedentary society, often because it becomes just another task on our “To Do” list. Adding one hour of exercise per day can cut into our social lives and time with our families, and often requires setting the alarm an hour earlier. But what if our workouts were social? What if family time was active?

Over ten years ago, the Canadian Sport for Life movement began out of a recognized need to more comprehensively integrate physical activity into Canadian society. Not only were Canadian children fatter than the generation before them, but national participation across sports was declining. In cycling alone, participation dropped by 51,000 people between 1998 and 2005. These trends would result in a greater strain on the Canadian healthcare system, and on the other end of the athletic spectrum, declining success of professional and amateur athletes in international competitions. To address these problems, the Sport for Life Society developed the Long Term Athletic Development (LTAD) model to provide a guide for children participating in sports that minimizes the risk of burnout and encourages lifelong physical activity. Research has shown that if children specialize in one sport too early or compete too frequently before they reach the appropriate developmental age they have a higher risk of burnout, increasing the likelihood they will quit their sport entirely. In the early and late stages of LTAD, there is a strong emphasis on playing sports rather than training, and making sure the activity is fun.

The stages of LTAD can be seen here: http://sportforlife.ca/qualitysport/long-term-athlete-development/

Chloe and Vanessa mountain biking in Switzerland

At some point during our adult lives, many of us became robotic gym rats, doing the same mundane workouts on the same equipment day after day. Compliance to exercise programs such as this is poor, leaving us frustrated and inactive. Instead, I urge you to find an activity that makes you happy and allows you to excel. Do you love being outdoors but need extra motivation to run in darkness after work? The Milltown Arms Tavern in my neighborhood hosts a run/walk every Thursday night with the promise of a cold beer at the finish. Has the recent cold weather ruined your exercise streak? Energy Lab cycling studio offers multiple indoor cycling classes per day, with the option of riding a spin bike or bringing your own to set up on a trainer. Are you single and hate all exercise? Join a kickball team and meet new people! Do you hurt yourself every time you try a new activity? Try an introductory series in Pilates with one of our highly trained Pilates instructors, who are skilled in working with injured or previously injured clients.

Chloe with one of her first mountain bikes

My personal experience with burnout involves running. I grew up the child of outdoorsy parents who dragged me on frequent hikes throughout the cold Upstate New York winters. My dad is an avid cyclist, and cycling was a mode of transportation, exercise, and freedom. I also grew up cycling, although at the time there were no opportunities to train and compete in the sport as a teenage girl in Ithaca, NY. I gravitated to running, and excelled as a competitive runner throughout high school and college. But the grind of weekly competitions and grueling training regimens throughout college beat down my love for running, and I was happy to leave the sport when I graduated from Penn State. But my bike was there waiting for me. I am now part of a cycling team, and have a social life that is very much intertwined with cycling. My teammates make fun of me for not riding with a computer or tracking my power data, but at the end of the day I can assure you I always have the most fun!

Chloe and her Sorella Cycling teammates Brittany and Cambree after the GA State Cyclocross Championships giving big thanks to their sponsor, Eventide Brewing

 

Chloe Murdock is a Board Certified Orthopaedic Physical Therapist and trained pelvic health physical therapist, treating patients at One on One Physical Therapy. She is also a Slowtwitch (FIST) certified bike fitter, and works at Podium Multisport in Atlanta. She participates in all cycling disciplines, and can be found cyclocross racing around Georgia in the fall. Chloe offers free consultations at both One on One Physical Therapy and Podium Multisport, and can be reached at chloe@onetherapy.com

 

 

 

Links:

Milltown Arms Tavern: http://www.milltownarmstavern.com

Energy Lab: http://energylabatl.com

kickball team: http://www.gokickball.com/atlanta/

Pilates: https://onetherapy.com/techniques/pilates/

Pilates instructors: https://onetherapy.com/team/pilates/

 

2018-01-18T10:43:59+00:00 January 18th, 2018|