Fun and Exercise

The nice thing about parks and playground is that they are free and accessible for everyone in the community. There are no more excuses for getting fit and you get to have some fun while doing it. And, if you have young kids, it's a great way to spend some time with your family – you were probably going to take them to the park anyway?Ten Playground Exercises:

  1. Weights: You can work your body using bodyweight or by safely lifting some of the equipment found in the park (if not secured). Pick up a picnic table or bench. Bring along a kettle bell with you and do several arm workouts.
  2. Step Ups: While your kids might be playing at the park, find a step that you can perform step ups on. Alternate between 1 minute of medium paced step ups and 30 seconds of fast paced step ups.
  3. Move Through the Equipment: By actually trying to walk through the playground equipment, the rings, slides, swings and ladders you'll find it is quite a workout to squeeze in and out of the kid sized equipment set up. Doing this will help to improve your flexibility and mobility.
  4. Chin Ups: This is a more advanced exercise so don't worry if you can't perform them just yet. Start with a jumping chin up and get the help from your legs.
  5. Jogging/Walking: Take a jog around the park. Or, if jogging is too much to start, take a fast paced walk with bursts of jogging, slowing extending the length of the jogging portion. Another twist on a walk in the park is adding lunges. Try some walking lunges as you travel through the park – a great leg exercise.
  6. See-Saw: Actually play on the see-saw. This is a great thigh and butt workout.
  7. Kids Games: Hop-scotch and skipping – these are great games that burn calories and get that heart rate up.
  8. Swing: Sit on the swing, hold the chains securely, and lean back. Lift both legs in front of your body to hip height then bring your knees into your chest, sit up to allow your chest and knees to meet. Continue this for several repetitions. You'll feel this in your abdominal and hip flexor muscles.
  9. Supported Squat: Using the swing for support, place the swing seat on your upper back. Slowly lean back so that you are standing at a 45 degree angle and being supported by the swing. Bend your knees and lower your buttocks towards the ground. Do not bend your knees more than a 90 degree angle. Then straighten your legs back up to the 45 degree angle position. Continue this for a number of repetitions. You should feel this exercise in your hamstrings, quads, and even your buttocks.
  10. Push Ups: Try doing push up with your hands grabbing the swing seat.

Pick a combination of the workouts above. Mix and match them changing the combinations weekly to keep it fresh. Not only are you getting some fresh air and keeping fit with a healthy active lifestyle, you're also teaching your kids how to stay fit and showing them how important it is to include and make time for regular exercise in our busy lives.

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