What Will be Your Play-Span?

by Kerry Taylor

Recently, I was able to get away and pow wow, relax, and spend time with other fitness business owners from across the country. One of the people I was able to speak with was Neal Spruce. Neal is a business leader in the fitness industry whose mission is to impact the world through exercise and nutrition. 

We had the opportunity to hear him speak on the concept of, "Lifespan vs. Health-span vs. Play-span". I hope this topic gets you to think in ways you haven't before. If it does, please share the concept with someone so they can "play" with you down the road.

Lifespan: How long you will live

Health-span: How long you're healthy, functional and disease-free

Play-span: How long you're able to mentally and physically do the things you like to do in life

He used multiple examples to get his point across about what Play-span is and why it's an important concept that people overlook. Losing 20 pounds is great and all, but being able to still do the things I enjoy trumps that for sure. At the twilight of your life, what do you want to be doing? One example he used was comparing being pushed in a wheelchair by someone because your body just doesn't have the strength to be able to walk compared to going for a long bike ride on a beautiful day, step off your bike and fall over dead at the ripe old age of 95 or older. How would you want to go out?

Talk about making an impact, this talk truly hit home because of my sports background and the activites I love to do. I still play football, even though it's semi-pro or flag, I can sometimes be found on a basketball court or doing something to keep myself active when time allows it and I will continue to do so until my body tells me I can't. How long can you play flag football for? Hmmm...

One of the goals we should all have is to be able to continue to do the things we want to do as long as we live. In order to do so, we must never stop our relentless pursuit to exercise, stay strong and keep our bodies filled with great nutrition. Is your goal to "play" as long as possible, whatever "play" may mean to you, is that a goal of yours? It could mean running around in the backyard with your grandkids, riding a bike with that special someone while on vacation, hitting 18 on the golf course, or something as simple as walking your dogs on a pristine day. It's whatever  you want it to be. 

Medicine, exercise, and healthy eating practices have allowed us to now live longer as the years continue to go on. Living to your 90's was unheard of, but there are a lot of people that get there and even some that get to 100. But what good is living until we are 90 if for the 20 years leading up to it, other people have to take care of us and we can no longer do the things we want to do.

To those of you reading, if you do not have exercise and proper eating habits in your life, guess what, it's never too late to start. The longer you wait though, the harder it will be, the sooner you start, the brighter your future to "play" until the game of life is over. If you work at this daily already, keep it up and extend your Play-span.

Until next time, continue to live a life 1 degree above the rest.