Monkey bars, slides and swings oh my!
Trainer Tip Tuesdays have focused on more traditional exercises in the past. But … what if thoughts of going to the gym training for a 5k don’t motivate you? What if spending time doing squats and pushups in your living room are starting to bore you? Well … don’t you fret! I have an idea!
What about MONKEY BARS? Yep …. I am talking about going to the playground …. And not just to watch your kids or grandkids. I am talking about YOU playing on the equipment!
We know how important it is for kids to play — not only does it engage their imaginations – it also helps them develop dexterity and strength (both physical and mental). But why leave all of the fun for the kids?
Here are a few ideas to get you started getting fit on the playground!
That’s what I think of when I think of a playground. When was the last time your crossed a set of monkey bars? Ready to try it? You will strengthen your grip, shoulders, forearms, triceps and biceps as you try to cross the monkey bars with your legs swinging free.
And – what about using them for pullups? Or hanging leg lifts to strengthen your core? Can’t muster the strength for any of that? Just hanging and doing slight shoulder shrugs will help to strengthen your grip and your shoulders and make you feel just like a kid again!
Can you remember the last time you stepped on a line or missed a square? Can’t remember the last time you lost your balance on the hopscotch court? Well – then it is time to jump back to this popular childhood playground game.
Hopscotching is bone-strengthening exercise. As you hop along the grid, you are lifting your own body weight against gravity, and that kind of physical activity helps build and strengthen your bones. You also give your glutes, quads and your core a workout — and hopscotching is also a great way to practice balancing, which will help reduce your risk of falling as you age.
Do you remember how good it felt to play on the swings, your legs above the ground and your hair blowing in the wind? Well – I bet you’ll feel the same way now that you’re an adult, but all that fun comes with a bonus. While you feel free as a bird, you’ll also be working out your arms and abs as you glide through the air.
The swing set can also be used for more traditional strength training. Try holding on to the seat while you hold a plank, or try keeping your balance doing knee lifts while you stand on the seat to change things up.
Slides can be exercise? Absolutely. Not only is sliding down one a lot of fun – but every time you climb back up for another ride, you’re giving your calves a good workout, whether you climb the ladder or walk up the slide itself.
While you climb, be aware of your arms: For the best lower body climbing workout and balance training don’t pull yourself up by or lean on your arms as you climb — you want your leg and core muscles to do the work.
So – are you ready? I love to take clients to the playground and would love to hear about your experiences! Leave me some of your ideas in the messages!
Move your body, put good things in and ENJOY every day!