Stephen Jepson’s Mission Statement

 Hello Everyone,

My latest Speaking Engagements Highlights Can Be Seen By Clicking Here

and:

I have revised my mission statement, and wanted to share it with you:

My Never Leave The Playground© is a program of activities that stimulates the growth of the brain and body by specific training of the hands and feet. My method has two main goals: to promote good health and to have fun.

People believe exercise is strenuous but my method is neither arduous nor boring. Instead, I focus on movements and games, many similar to those children play on the playground. I begin with simple movements, which progress to more complex challenges for the brain and body. For example, I train left and right, hands and feet, to manipulate large and small objects with increasing precision. The movements I teach promote balance and dexterity which prevent falls and increase eye- hand coordination. The activities in the method develop the large and small muscle groups and foster stability and physical coordination.

Every cell in the body is affected by movement. The brain improves as we use our muscles, which, in turn grow, with use. Scientific studies show that physical movement is the single most important thing to do to be physically healthier and smarter, regardless of age. Movement training can prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia.  Neural pathways open and increase throughout our lives as we learn new activities.

I am available to share with your organization or group the Never Leave The Playground© program. The program is for all ages, from 6 to 106. We are more playful, creative, healthier and mentally sharper if we never leave the playground.

Warmly Stephen Jepson

By: Stephen Jepson

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http://neverleavetheplayground.com

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Waterman Village in Mount Dora, Florida Video

 

Hello There!

On May 15 at Waterman Village in Mount Dora, Florida I had the wonderful experience of sharing my thoughts and ideas about health and well-being with a warm and receptive audience.

It was a packed house and there was lots of laughter.

Please view the video, and if you like it, please share.  Click here to see the video.

Warmly,

Stephen Jepson

http://neverleavetheplayground.com

 

Sedentary behavior–inactive lifestyle has great potential for creating a long, slow, sick, slide to early death.

Where is Stephen Jepson juggling?

Stephen_Jepson_on_the_road

Sedentary behavior–inactive lifestyle has great potential for creating a long, slow, sick, slide to early death.

Who wants that?

When I was a kid in grade school in the 1940s and early 50s I do not remember any fat kids; I do recollect one boy my age who was chubby as a child, he did however lose his baby fat and became quite muscular in the late 1950s. All through grade school each one of us spent time on the playground before school if we arrived early, had a midmorning recess break, then an hour for lunch (I lived four blocks about 400 yards) from my grade school. Because of PE, gym class, and the playground many of us knew what it meant to be “in shape “. An afternoon recess and then it was home and off with the school clothes and on with the play clothes. I have photos of me with the knees of my jeans completely gone – huge holes. The part of my pants covering my ass – like brand-new. I guess that part was not used very much. I had a paper route and began delivering news  papers when I was eight years old. Began working like a man when I was 13. I have stood up most of my adult life; today I have a standup desk. Now soon to have my 73rd birthday I think about all the folks my age who had similar physical experiences to me growing up. How are folks age 69 to 76 fairing  today? How many are still alive? And of those alive what is their overall health? What are their health concerns? What medications do they take? What surgical procedures have they had to date? How is their balance, stability, and coordination and are they – we concerned about falling and being injured? If you want the exact numbers you can get them from the CDC, Council On Aging, etc.

 

Now let’s look at young folks – six years to 16. What kind of activities are they experiencing? How many of them are fat or obese? I fear a tiny percentage of them will ever know what it means to be in shape. So when their health begins to take a downturn early in years because of a sedentary lifestyle and a knowledgeable health professional recommends getting back in shape, their response will be “what do you mean back in shape?”. The consequences of what is being created here are beyond comprehension.

Why is Stephen Jepson playing this way?

Why is Stephen Jepson playing this way?

Stephen_jepson_playing

What in the world is going on?

When I was growing up in the 40s and 50s in Sioux City, Iowa I played outside whenever I was not in school. On beautiful summer days and during raging blizzards in the winter time – every day was an adventure as I explored new places. I wandered far and wide in my Northside neighborhood. Sometimes I was by myself and other times with neighbor kids playing games and riding our bicycles. We roller skated in the summer (we had skates that would fasten to the bottom of our shoes) and ice skated and went sledding on our Flexible Flyers when there was adequate snow in the winter. With March came the beginning of spring and constant winds to fly my kites. The winds blew with such regularity and force I was able to stake my kite string to the ground letting the kite fly while I went home to lunch.

As a child I was constantly on the move – out side.

It seems to me that children today are missing out. They are living lives that lack adventure and lack enough physical movement and activity. This does not seem like a good thing to me. Why are mothers across our country not saying to their children: “go outside and play!”. What will come of our nation with millions of children no longer playing outside, roaming the neighborhoods and countryside? This is not a matter of little importance; children playing outside is extremely important.

Cognitive reserve – a fun, fast, and easy way

Stephen Jepson fresh off the playground:

Stephen_Jepson_fresh_off_the_playground 
Cognitive reserve – a fun, fast, and easy way.

Daniel Wolpert, a neuroscientist and engineer studies how the brain controls the body. He says: “I believe that to understand movement is to understand the whole brain. And therefore it is important to remember when you are studying memory, cognition, sensory processing, they are there for a reason and the reason is action.”

He asks the question what is the brain for? Why did we evolve a brain? He says “we have a brain for one reason and one reason only and that is to control our movement”. If we were sessile we would not need a brain.

This is something I have understood for the last several years because of my reading , and then reflecting on my life and how physically active I have been since childhood – and how physically active I remain to this day. Knowing that one has to remain active I continue to train my motor skills. On a regular basis I teach my right and left feet and right and left hands to do novel unique movements. Last year I spent months learning to juggle three clubs. I know how to learn to do difficult physical things; I have been doing it all my life. Learned to unicycle at 30, juggle three balls about 48, tight rope walk early 50s, walk on a loose rope late 50s, snowboard at 60, and three clubs at 72. This year (I will be 73) I am learning to juggle four balls, hit a speed bag, and balance on a Slack Bow. These are the kind of things that cause the biggest, fastest change in the brain. It is the easiest way for anyone to create cognitive reserve. Train your body to move in novel ways; it is a fun, fast, and easy way to achieve quite wonderful results.

What in the world is going on?

What in the world is going on?

Stephen_jepson_playing

Why is Stephen Jepson playing this way?

When I was growing up in the 40s and 50s in Sioux City, Iowa I played outside whenever I was not in school. On beautiful summer days and during raging blizzards in the winter time – every day was an adventure as I explored new places. I wandered far and wide in my Northside neighborhood. Sometimes I was by myself and other times with neighbor kids playing games and riding our bicycles. We roller skated in the summer (we had skates that would fasten to the bottom of our shoes) and ice skated and went sledding on our Flexible Flyers when there was adequate snow in the winter. With March came the beginning of spring and constant winds to fly my kites. The winds blew with such regularity and force I was able to stake my kite string to the ground letting the kite fly while I went home to lunch.

As a child I was constantly on the move – out side.

It seems to me that children today are missing out. They are living lives that lack adventure and lack enough physical movement and activity. This does not seem like a good thing to me. Why are mothers across our country not saying to their children: “go outside and play!”. What will come of our nation with millions of children no longer playing outside, roaming the neighborhoods and countryside? This is not a matter of little importance; children playing outside is extremely important.

Be Happier What can I do to be happier?

Be Happier

What can I do to be happier?

boating

One thing you can do is to constantly be on the lookout for things you enjoy.

Be bold when it comes to trying new things – read a book, take a course, study and learn about what you enjoy.

I have spent a lot of time playing because in 1965 I discovered something that was to be my life’s work for the next 49 years; it has been quite a magnificent journey.

One does not have to always be questing; sometimes reveling in your triumphs can be a source of joy – sitting in the backyard with a delicious cup of coffee, your face being warmed by the early morning sun.

Perhaps being happy is a choice or a cultivated and honed skill – two more things to be happy about because we have a choice about these. Smile.

Warmly,

Stephen

By: Stephen Jepson

Where is Stephen Jepson juggling?

Where is Stephen Jepson juggling?
Where is Stephen Jepson juggling?

Where is Stephen Jepson juggling?

At my studio I have a series of small boulders  that I walk on. In some cases they are close together and others are far enough apart that I have to jump between them. This serves to keep my feet relatively quick and accurate in their placement. Sometimes I do this barefooted and other times wearing sandals or sneakers. I also have places in rooms at my studio that are extremely complicated with stuff piled around that I have to step over and walk around. Frequently I am barefooted when I do this and I have to pay close attention to where I place my feet so that I do not stub my toe or catch my foot on something. This also serves to keep my feet quite well trained for accurate placement. I do not have the surfaces that I step on  slippery in any way; this is something I guard against slippery surfaces are a no-no and to be avoided. However complicated things to step around and step over are a definite yes-yes. Once again all of this is done to train my feet to be quick and accurate in their placement. It helps to keep me from falling in almost any circumstance.

Never Leave The Playground

A cure for many things: neverleavetheplayground.com

 

Stephen at the 20th International Designcamp Kolding Design School in Kolding Denmark November 2013

Lego_Toys_Stephen_Jepson_Denmark

Author: Stephen Jepson
Location: Kolding Denmark Designcamp Kolding Design School
Date: November 2013

Stephen Jepson is here at Billund, Kolding Denmark international headquarters of Lego Toys with a group from the 20th International Designcamp –Kolding Design School where he is a guest teacher and official Play Inspirator for the event. He is having a wonderful time at this prestigious event. He seems to always have his juggling clubs with him these days. November 2013.

Lego_Toys_neverleavetheplayground

I am sharing with the audience my method for motor skill training which includes training the right and left hands and right and left feet. My games and playings contribute to the brain growing new cells which offsets the normal deterioration of aging. The response to my presentation was extremely positive. I received two standing ovations while presenting the ideas. Never Leave The Playground’s games and playings are a cure for many things.

Lego_Toys_Stephen_Jepson_Kolding_Denmark

Here I am at the entrance to the Kolding School Of Design in Kolding, Denmark. Last Monday, November 4th,2013 I presented to the conference here at the school and the response was so positive that they are having me do a repeat performance for the entire school. There are not enough seats in the auditorium for everyone! Two days ago I spoke and I received two standing ovations! The attendees loved it. It was extremely gratifying to me to have people respond so positively. Over and over people have come to me and said my presentation was the finest here at this International Design Camp 2013.

Kolding_School_of_Design_Neverleavetheplaygound_Kolding_Denmark

 

Kolding_School_of_Design_Stephen_Jepson_Kolding_Denmark

Author: Stephen Jepson
Location: Kolding Denmark Design camp Kolding Design School
Date: November 2013 Kolding Denmark Designcamp