Working out too often at the gym can be boring. Recently, I found a new place. Have you considered exercising in your local playground? I brought my niece to the playground last weekend and had so much fun joining the kids there. Children like to play games at the park. Instead of sitting on the park bench and watch them at the sideline, get up and get moving. Follow them around and join the kids. Treat it like a circuit training.
1) Before you begin, warm up your body with a slow jog and do some stretching too for your major muscle groups, especially the legs.
2) When you go down the slide, hold the child in your lap, lean back a little bit. You actually work on your abdominal muscles by doing this. Also, instead of sliding down, try climbing up like other kids. Walking up the slide will work out your legs.
3) Monkey bars or other metal bars are common at the playground. You can use them for chin up or push ups. You can even swing from rung to rung. You may be too tall, so bend you knees and lift them off the ground.
4) Remember that swing? You can challenge your body with 3 ways:
- First method is the easiest. When you are swinging forward, point your legs straight. On the way back, curl your heels towards your butt. By doing this, you actually work your legs and abs a little bit.
- Alternatively, you sit still on a swing, hold the chains, and then lean back. Extend your legs straight with toes pointed forward. Cross our left calf over your right one and contract your abdominal muscles to keep the swing as still as possible. Keep doing this until your abs are exhausted.
- Pushing the kids on the swing is a great upper body workout too. Do not just push one kid, push few kids at a time so you are constantly moving from one to another.
5) I was one side on a seesaw with 3 kids on the other side. Playing seesaw is a good workout for thighs whenever you push yourself up.
6) If the playground has tires, you can join the kids to step through them. Increase your speed if you can. The other way is to jump from tire to tire instead of stepping through them. Bend your knee before you jump.
7) In addition to swing, slide, monkey bar, seesaw or tires, you can also bring along other toys such as softball, hula hoop, Frisbee or football. Invite other kids to join in.
8) Before I go, using the park bench, I also managed to do few sets of triceps dip with my niece sitting on my lap.
Weight training at gym is good, but working out the same exercises for years may get the muscles to work well in those specific movements. So, playing with kids makes me more athletic and having so much fun. The spiritual benefit of “feeling young” is definitely there. How about you? If you have tried other ways to work your body in the playground, I would like to know from you.