In Hollywood, the face you are born with is only the face you start with. In functional medicine, the body or disease you are born with, is only a starting point, too. Why? The body is designed to heal. Our genes are graciously and responsively designed by Mother Nature to “morph” based on our life “choices.” How we move through our days on this planet in our body and emotional suits has a robust part in our continuing evolution. Nature created us as co-creators.

Vitamin F – Fun

But it is not just our 3 E’s: eating, exercising and earning rupees that keep us trotting younger longer.

It’s also… how we “play”.

For years, I have been referring to play as Vitamin F, Fun.

But an article came out of the New York City Department for Aging Research Unit. “It highlights the importance of play. They call play, “leisure activities”; things that make us relax, our souls to soar, and a chance to just BE. Not sitting on our duffs watching other people play or dance or talk on the TV, but moving to our own grooving. Whatever that may be.

This study investigated the relationships between leisure activities, health and well-being and how long and well we live. They looked at 259 folks from younger to older, their life habits and their wellness status.

When physical health was looked at as what we can do or not do—physical limitations—how healthy we are had a stronger relationship with how much we played, than did our age.

More fun, less aging

The more you get off your butt, the younger you are in health, no matter your years.

This screams to me that we can use Vitamin F, fun, for morphing our health. Not just diet and probiotics and meds and meditation, but FUN, Yahoo!

And whatever is fun to you is the ticket, not somebody else’s idea of fun.

These NY scientists concluded that a huge reason folk’s age is they stop having fun. Less is not more here. More fun, is less aging.

Fun, play, movement, doing what makes you smile, should be recommended by doctors, not just meds to lower blood pressure. If you are ill and healing, if you are getting older and trying to slow the Mack Truck of Time down, if you are worn out and low on hope, get up and do something fun. Or ask someone to have fun with you. Or watch comedies if you can’t get up and try to move your toes to the music on the commercials. Or ask a friend to send you jokes. One of my mentors recently had a severe health issue and his wife told me that the best thing I could do was send him jokes.

I have been through a lot of health woes in the early part of my life secondary to a drug my mother was given when pregnant with me. There were times in my life when I could not get out of bed for months on end. Once having had several organs removed over a very short period of months (before I figured out how to stop the tumor madness), I remember very well how difficult it was just to put one foot in front of the other. I remember not being able to drive or lift even a gallon of liquid.

I never ever forget.

I remember so well; I now relish and have fun just walking from a store to my car. With ear buds in, and music a hopping, you may find me bopping from the store to parking lot. Today leaving Costco I literally had enormous “fun” grooving to the music as I put my cart back into the cart line. The sun on my skin was pure “fun”.

You can make anything fun

Perception is everything. FIND YOUR FUN! Nature wants you to. She rewards you. It’s win-win.

I am also a dancer. Dancers live longer and look better. Ask any dancer, they are having fun, fun and more Vitamin F the more floor time they get to have.

I am a writer. Writing is fun. Rewriting (editing), not so much fun, but part of the deal. When I write, like this blog, my soul is having FUN.

On my new diet diary intake sheets, I have spaces for the patients to track their energy, sleep, elimination, and FUN, as well as their food.

These results highlight the importance of leisure activities—FUN—for successful aging especially for those old enough to get a discount on their movie tickets.

Gerontology. 2016 Mar 15. The Importance of Leisure Activities in the Relationship between Physical Health and Well-Being in a Life Span Sample. Paggi ME, Jopp D, Hertzog C