Stephen Jepson brings ‘Never Leave the Playground’ presentation to City

Jepson will be bringing an exciting presentation to Burman University next month to help share unique ways to stay fit in mind and body.

INNOVATIVE – Stephen Jepson has developed a unique fitness concept called ‘ Never Leave the Playground’ where he incorporates activities like balancing and juggling to maintain a healthy mind and body. He will bring his presentation to Lacombe on June 3rd.

Stephen Jepson will be bringing an exciting presentation to Burman University next month to help share unique ways to stay fit in mind and body.

His philosophy is called ‘Never Leave the Playground’ and it focuses on maintaining balance, coordination and stability as a person grows older by using fun methods like games. Jepson will present a free public discussion on his ideas at 7 p.m. in the Burman University PE Centre.

Although Jepson’s presentations are aimed at seniors, the concepts are applicable to all ages due to the fun nature and accessibility of the activities. Ron Schafer, athletic director at Burman, said he is looking forward to bringing in Jepson because his ideas present a unique perspective into the concept of fitness.

“When you just go for a run or a walk, you exercise cardiovascular fitness.  When you come to the weight room, you develop your strength. However, you’re doing nothing for agility, balance, reaction time or coordination. There’s a long list that make up the big picture of physical fitness,” Schafer said.

“This program deals with some of the fitness components that are usually left out. When you see some of the balancing things he can do at 70 – I’m sure most of the 20-year-olds in town couldn’t do it – it’s quite impressive. He emphasizes that there is more to physical fitness than people know.”

Jepson focuses on using activities such as unicycling, juggling and balancing on ropes but also explains simpler movements that are accessible for everyday use. His presentations aim to engage people to actively develop their motor and mental capacity.

Schafer said he has been aware of the need for a bigger look at physical fitness for a while, and that Jepson’s presentation and concept would compliment the Gwen Bader Fitness Centre very well. He hopes to engage the students and community in Lacombe enough to eventually incorporate new kinds of activities into the facility with public support.

“Physical fitness activities that are used in games and sports are called psychomotor skills. Psych being mind and motor being body, everything we do has a mental and physical component to it,” Schafer said.

“We don’t always think about it that way – the more sophisticated the movements are, the more the mind is involved.  The more intricate movements you have, the more the brain is involved and the more the brain stays fit as well.”

Although Jepson is more known for stunts, he also shares ideas such as moving one’s hands and feet in small motions each day to develop coordination and body awareness. These smaller, fun, more accessible exercises are what Schafer wants to instil in the Burman fitness facility.

“I’m hoping that he will motivate that part of the physical fitness picture. I’m committed to putting things in our Gwen Bader Fitness Centre that will be unique and get people engaged.

“We’ve added 1,100 square feet, and I’d like to dedicate some of that space just to these kinds of activities. I’ve been aware of the need for this bigger physical fitness picture for years. This guy will help to illustrate that. In wanting to do more than be a traditional fitness centre, bringing in Stephen was a great fit.”

kmendonsa@lacombeexpress.com