Fitness Friday: Power-Ups

My family had a membership to the local YMCA when I was a kid. I did gymnastics for a while and both my brother and I took swimming lessons.

I remember that, in the front of the building, there was a game room. There was an air hockey table and several arcade games. My brother and I would save quarters to spend in the machines after lessons. That’s where I learned to play Pac-Man. I never earned the highest score only managing through a few levels before the ghosts became too fast for me to avoid.

My one hope of advancing to a new level was to gobble up Power Pellets. These objects allowed one to stop avoiding the ghosts and, instead, pursue these enemies and swallow them up.

In the SuperBetter game, these kinds of energizers are called Power-Ups. Power-Ups are anything that boost one of the four resiliencies: emotional, mental, social, or physical.

The creator of SuperBetter, Jane McGonigal, recommends that players activate at least three Power-Ups per day. Some examples include to chug a glass of water, Human Tag (have a positive interaction with someone else), hug yourself, and engage in a hobby. While these Power-Ups are included as part of the website, players are encouraged to design their own, too. I’ve created such Power-Ups as walk the dog (for physical resilience); eat lunch with others (for social resilience); and complete a crossword puzzle (for mental resilience).

Anything that makes feel happier or stronger can become a Power-Up. Blowing bubbles makes me smile, so I added that to my list. Eating fresh fruit or steam veggies are healthy choices, so those got added, too.

You don’t have to be playing SuperBetter to play along at home. Everyone can use a pick-me-up at some point in the day. I challenge you to select your own Power-Up to do every day this week. Tell us what it is in the comments.

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