Parents are multitaskers by nature. You have to be, or nothing would ever get done! And when it comes to working out, sometimes you have to fit it in however you can — even if that means combining fitness with a trip to the park.
Luckily, parks and playground equipment make the perfect makeshift gym if you use your imagination just a little bit. With a little flexibility, you can give your child a fun day at the park and your body a great workout, all at the same time.
Here are six tips for how to sneak in exercise while at the park with your kids.
If your child loves nothing more than to be pushed on the swings, this is the perfect option for you. Simply lower into a deep squat in between each time you push the swing for a serious leg burner.
Speaking of leg burners, doing lunges around the perimeter of the playground allow you to both keep an eye on your child and work your quads. You can even vary this up by adding a pulsing lunge or a jumping lunge for an extra challenge.
Bench Dips and Step Ups
Chances are, there will be a bench or some form of seating nearby. Rather than sit passively and watch your child, you can do bench dips and step ups to work your triceps and get your heart pumping with some cardio.
Playgrounds are full of platforms and steps that are perfect for calf raises. As you’re following your child up to the slide, pause on a step or hanging platform and do 10 calf raises for a quick burn.
Monkey Bar Chin Ups
While even just swinging from the monkey bars can put your arm strength to the test, practicing your chin ups is a great way to get in an extra strength workout. Can’t do a full chin up? Try a reverse chin up where you lower yourself down, maintaining a slow, controlled form.
Why not get your child involved in your workout? Suggest a game of chase or tag to get your heart-rate up. Next thing you know, you’ll have burned a bunch of calories by doing nothing more than playing.
Keep It Simple
There are plenty of exercises that you can do in the open space of a park that require no equipment at all — playground or otherwise. Try jumping jacks, push-ups, leg lifts, crunches…the possibilities go on and on.
With these ideas, you can get just as good of a workout at the park as you would at the gym, without even having to spend time away from your child. Plus, you’ll be setting a great example for your son or daughter as you exercise and they play. Your playground workout will demonstrate how to continue having fun by moving their body as they grow up.
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