Bring the fun back to your workouts by reintroducing these seven playground exercises into your routine
The way to make a routine sustainable is by learning to enjoy the process. However, even the things you enjoy can lose their charm if they’re done too often and for too long. That’s why mixing it up is a tried and true method to livening up your day-to-day. While the kinds of workouts you can do are near-endless—from bungee fitness to the 12-3-30 workout—why not try reintroducing games into your routine?
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Take advantage of your local parks and even obstacle courses by performing these playground exercises.
From climbing on top of structures to running, it’s undeniable that we got plenty of cardio done on playgrounds when we were kids. One way you can incorporate such activities into your adult life is by doing step-ups. These are simple exercises that target the lower body, and all you’ll need to do them are a step stool, a bench, or any similar platform where you can step on and off repeatedly. Research agrees that bench-stepping routines can even improve your mood.
You can even level this up with step aerobics to add more structure. Do it right and you’ll reap the benefits of a high-intensity cardio workout, like burning fat and building strength.
Climbing is another simple yet effective way to exercise. Ladder climbing is a total-body workout where you can likewise burn calories and build muscle. You can also take it to the next level by signing up for vertical climbing cardio classes, but if you’re strapped for cash and time, take advantage of your local playground instead.
Monkey bar swinging
On the other hand, using monkey bars to workout will target the muscles in your shoulders, back, arms, and core. Learning to do this is a fun and effective way to improve your cardiovascular health, agility, coordination, and your overall upper body strength.
While not a fixture in playgrounds, jump ropes are often a common ground in Filipinos’ childhoods so you won’t stick out if you decide to bring one outdoors. Not just a tool for games, jumping rope can be a staple in one’s total-body workout routines as it overall improves one’s cardiorespiratory fitness, which explains why runners like Bretman Rock love doing it. By doing this every day, you can also boost heart health, build and maintain stronger bones and muscles, and improve your hand-eye-foot coordination.
Similarly, hula hoops are tools you’ll have to bring with you, but it’s definitely worth it, especially weighted ones. It may surprise you, but regular hula-hooping is proven to help reduce waist and hip girth and redistribute body mass. It’s also said to strengthen your core muscles and improve your joint mobility as a cardio workout.
Another common childhood game is leapfrog, where you leap over your friend’s body on the ground. Leap frog jumps are a common exercise in workout routines. However, like with step-ups, you can take advantage of your playground’s structures by leaping over benches and platforms. Challenging yourself in this way can help you build up your strength and range of motion throughout your whole body.
Last but not least, if you’ve got access to a trampoline in your community, try jumping around on it to pump up your heart. Similar to how other jumping-related exercises can help strengthen your cardiovascular system, trampolining can help build up your core muscles and work your lower body as it’s also considered a moderate-to-high-intensity aerobic workout.
Featured Image: MANILA PADEL PLAYGROUND (via Instagram)