Join the Nanalympics! 6 Ways to Get Playful with Mindful Movement

With Nana, Mona, and Russell, moving your body is never boring. Here are some Nanalan’-inspired mindful movement ideas to help you shake up your exercise routine, keep moving throughout the day, and connect with your playful inner child.

Image credit/ Nanalan'

Exercise isn’t just about staying fit; it’s about feeling good and having fun! In the Nanalan’ episode “Nanalympics,” Nana shares how playful exercises can boost our energy and make us feel great as we explore being mindful with movement. Even simple activities can make a big difference in how we feel. Read on to find out how you can embrace the joy of movement.

Embrace the Joy of Movement with Nanalan’

1. Start with a Fun Warm-Up: Move to the Beat

Music can make any activity more enjoyable. Start your day by dancing to your favorite tunes. Moving to the rhythm not only warms up your muscles but also lifts your spirits. You can also try jogging in place, swinging your arms, and having a laugh—just like Nana and Mona did. It’s a fantastic way to get your blood flowing and put a smile on your face.

2. Get Creative with Your Exercises: Washing Machine Twists

Nana also encourages Mona and Russell to twist their bodies from side to side, like a washing machine. Place your hands on your hips and mimic this motion. This movement helps loosen your spine and strengthen your core. Plus, it’s an exercise that can bring out the giggles!

3. Make It a Game: Musical Chairs

In the episode, Nana and her grandkids turn exercise into a playful game of musical chairs. Why not relive those childhood birthday parties? Grab a few friends, walk or dance around chairs, and when the music stops, sit on the nearest chair as fast as you can. It gets your heart pumping, and lets you enjoy a little friendly competition.

3 Practices to Keep Moving and Stay Happy

While we may groan about it (especially when we’re feeling tired or too busy), exercise can be enjoyable and something to look forward to. By incorporating playful activities like those in Nanalan’, we can stay healthy, feel energized, and spend quality time with loved ones. Embrace the joy of movement every day and notice if your energy and mood shift over time.

For more tips on staying mindfully active and healthy, check out these ideas:

First, awaken your senses with mindful walking. In this guide to mindful walking, Christopher Willard explains how deliberate walking in nature boosts our well-being and refreshes our perspectives. Drawing inspiration from practices like Japanese forest bathing, this guide shares practical tips to engage all our senses and a feeling of appreciation while walking. Just like Nanalan’ invites viewers to see the world with fresh curiosity, mindful walking helps you savor each moment. 

Next, cultivate joy with laughter yoga! Enjoy Elaine Smookler’s 12-minute laughter yoga meditation. This gentle practice blends movement with a vocal exercise to boost your mood and well-being. Similar to the playful antics of Mona and Russell the dog, laughter yoga offers a fun way to lighten up and connect with joy. Laughing intentionally may feel odd at first, but as you release endorphins, you might feel the giggles take over!

Then, find peace in motion. Seated meditation isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. And that’s OK: we can embark on a journey of cultivating peace through moving with awareness. “Swimming produces a meditative state, a zone of peace,” says swim and yoga instructor Katie Allen. Swimming is one option; as Kathy Flaxman explores, finding the right kind of movement for yourself is what matters.