Author: Denise Smith, RiseVT Program Manager, Franklin & Grand Isle Counties
For the past 6 months, RiseVT in Franklin and Grand Isle Counties has been on the campaign trail to encourage more play in our communities. Our campaign launched in an effort to increase activity during leisure time and to offer opportunities for everyone a chance to move more. The data from our pre-survey clearly showed that we are not “playing” because we do not have enough time or energy. Research about lifestyle changes, is suggesting that just even increasing physical activity by 15 minutes per day can help lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, improve your mood and brain development, and create connections to each other and our environment. This indicates that even a short stroll in the middle of your work day can improve your health and reduce your health risks.

Thinking about physical activity as less of a chore and more of something we do for enjoyment and recreation can help us rethink how we are participating in our own health and wellbeing in a more whimsical way that makes it more pleasant.

When we think about playing, we often associate activities or sports with children and immediately pull ourselves, the adults, out of the equation. It is difficult to think of activities we enjoy as play, but RiseVT wants to challenge that. RiseVT believes that if we can all embrace our inner child and re-learn how to play (even for 15 minutes a day) we can improve both the mental and physical health and wellbeing of our community.

When we began this campaign, we asked people “What’s Your Play?” We asked this question, because we wanted each person to define what play means to them. To some it means gardening, or going for a walk after dinner, or playing with their grand-children; to others it means going to their favorite yoga or spin class, or playing Frisbee. The idea is that everyone has some physical activity they do for enjoyment or recreation that makes them feel better and that is “Your Play”. We hope that you will consider “Playing Your Part” and join RiseVT for 15 minutes of play every day!

#GetOutThere #CaughtYouPlaying #RiseVT