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Playground Workout

Women in a park exercising

Easy as "child's play"

If you are a parent of young ones, chances are that you spend a considerable amount of time at the playground. Rather than spending the time just snapping pics with your phone or chatting with other parents, why not get moving with your kiddos? After all, playgrounds aren’t just fun for children. 

Whether you’re swinging with your little one at the park or walking your school aged children to class, it is easy to get in a quick workout on the playground. Here are some things to try that will rev your heart rate and build muscle and flexibility while you play. 

  • Slide pushups: Use the equipment at the park to support your strength. Doing pushups at different angles will target different muscles in your chest and shoulders. Modify a traditional pushup by grasping the side of the slide. Keep legs straight, elbows close to your sides, and arms shoulder width apart on the slide. You can also do these using the back of a park bench. 

  • Monkey madness: Develop upper body strength by playing on the monkey bars. As children, we likely scampered across the bars without much effort. As an adult, it may be more difficult to get the moves down. Start slow by just hanging on the bars and supporting your weight. Work up to moving across the rungs one at a time. Over time, you may be able to build up to doing pull ups too. 

  • Super stretches: Using a balance beam or other equipment on the playground to support you as you stretch. Prop one leg on the balance beam and touch your toes or lower calf, then change legs to stretch on the other side. Use the equipment to help you keep your balance. As you become more flexible, you can find higher levels on the playset to support your stretching. 

Want even more movement? Identify a series of obstacles on the playground to make a course that you and your children can navigate. Take turns timing your runs through the obstacles to see who can do it fastest or who can improve their time. 

Don’t forget to check with your doctor before you begin an exercise regime and drink lots of water to stay hydrated while you play.

Read on for additional ways to sneak a workout into your day.