It’s hard for most people to get motivated to stay physically fit and it’s even easier to make excuses for why we aren’t giving our bodies the daily exercises it needs. However, if exercise were more fun, maybe more of us wouldn’t mind a workout now and then. Well, now you can have fun and get in shape, too! Check out the following ways you can incorporate a good workout without even trying.
The next time you’ve got some time to kill with your children or are stuck babysitting – whether it’s your own little brothers and sisters or someone else’s kids – instead of staying indoors and being couch potatoes or zombies to video games, take them outdoors. For a change of location, skip the backyard or front lawn and head to the nearest park. If there is a park located close by, opt for walking, jogging or riding your bikes there instead of getting in the car. Not only will everyone be getting exercise – including you – you’ll also be saving gas. If you don’t have a bike of your own, then tag along behind the pack and get some brisk walking done.
If the park has the following: monkey bars, slide, and swings, then you’re in business! When you get to the monkey bars, fit in a few arm exercises by lifting the smaller children up to the bars. For a more intense workout, use your arms to hold up each child as they work their way across. This exercise is ideal for working your deltoids. While the kids are playing on the monkey bars, challenge yourself to a few bicep curls or pull-ups for strengthening your upper body. This small activity will keep you fit and allow you to keep an eye on the little ones, instead of sitting on your butt and watching all the fun.
When the kids make their way towards the slide, you can create your own mini workout as you wait for each child to climb up and slide down. You can hold onto the edges of the slide and work your chest muscles by doing incline pushups or do a set of jumping jacks from the time the child climbs up until they slide down to you.
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The swings can give you a great workout without much effort. Depending on how many children you are looking after, you can give your entire body a real exercise boost by running in place after each time you push your child forward on the swings. This works best if you only have one child to look after. But if you have more than one, you can give yourself another playground challenge by pushing each child and working your way down the line so that everyone is swinging at the same time. Walking back and forth combined with your arm movements from pushing will give you a complete workout.
If the playground you go to doesn’t have all or any of this equipment, feel free to bring along a small bag of goodies like a baseball, basketball, football, etc. and engage the kids in a couple of rounds of catch, kickball or flag football. When all else fails, you can always turn to a game of good old-fashioned tag. No one likes to be “it” so everyone, including you, will get plenty of exercise running around. Remember to also bring healthy snacks like apple slices and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, as well as bottles of water to keep everyone properly hydrated.