There are a reason so many bootcamps and new mom stroller fitness classes meet in local parks. With a little planing and creativity, parks are great places to get a full body workout. Don’t worry, if being yelled at in a group setting is not your thing and you can’t force your 8 year old in a stroller anymore, you can still get a great work-out in the park while your kiddos play.
My role as a micro manager of my children’s park activities has lightened up over time. With an 8 and a 6 year old I need to be nearby of course, but I don’t have to intervene much during playtime. I’m not comfortable enough to get lost in a book while they play, but I can certainly fit in a few sets of exercises and still keep a watchful eye on their activities. Chances are, it won’t take long before they find my activities more interesting than the playground equipment anyway. Fitting in exercise at the park is yet another way to lead by example.
The beauty of exercising in the park is you can get a full body work-out using just the playground equipment and the benches. If you would like to step it up a notch you can always bring a mat for abdominal work. Make sure, you also pack water, a towel, and hand sanitizer.
Full Body Workout in the Park
Warm-Up. Depending on the age of your kids, a game of tag usually makes for a decent warm-up. After 5-10 minutes you can send them to the equipment and you can get started.
To really crank up your work-out and maintain an elevated heart rate, do step up on a bench for 60 seconds between each strength set.
Pull-ups or Monkey Bar Hang. You can use the monkey bars for a mean set of pull- ups if you are able or you can can position your chin above the bar and hold your body weight just like in gym class as long as you’re able. Repeat.
Modified Push-ups. Use a bench or picnic table for modified push-up. Try 2 sets of 8-12.
Walking lunges around the park perimeter. 2 sets of 15 on each side.
Tricep Dips on a Bench or Low Curb. 2 sets of 10-12.
Cool down with some light stretching and perhaps another pick up game of tag.
Exercise doesn’t have to be complicated or involve an expensive gym membership. You can get a great work-out while your kids play with just your body weight and your imagination.