At what age did exercise become boring for you? If you are like most adults, it was probably around the time you started dating in high school, unless you were on a sports team. For the rest of us, who weren’t athletically inclined and skipped gym class more than we skipped breakfast, exercise become a torturous thing that only weirdos and those guys on the basketball team bothered with. When you come around to the idea of starting to exercise again, the idea can be daunting and the word, “fun” rarely pops into your adult brain. But it can be. Instead of killing yourself at the gym, take your fitness routine to the playground and have a good time.
Monkey Bars and Climbing Walls
Have you seen children’s playground equipment these days? Who are these kids? Between scaling rock climbing walls and monkey bars, these kids must be benching 250 easily. But seriously, these playgrounds are designed to encourage fitness that is fun. Who cares if you are 24 or 45 - fitness can be fun again if you are willing to get out there and try something different. Climb that wall and see how fun it can be.
Swings and Poles
You might think that hanging out at the playground is not going to help you change your fitness routine, but you can get a pretty good ab workout on the swingset, especially if you start playing around with some moves on those swings. What’s more, there are also climbing poles that you might find interesting, and of course, when you get to the top, you get to slide all the way down like a fireman, and what’s not to love about that?!
Steps and Bridges
A lot of today’s playground equipment is designed to encourage balance and stamina. When you are climbing stairs, you are building muscle. Crossing bridges, especially rope bridges or web-bridges, you have to use your core muscles and your leg muscles in ways that you don’t normally do and you’ll feel it tomorrow. Your kids will love that you are up there doing fun things with them and you’ll be glad for the fun fitness routine you are developing.
Ropes and Ladders
You might not realize how much energy you are burning at the playground until you try to climb a rope ladder. If you’ve ever attempted this, you know there are tons of calories to be burned and there are many ways to have fun while being active. Playing, instead of “exercising”, can really take the pressure off and help you see your healthy lifestyle as more of a balanced and fun approach to life, rather than something you need to do. Making the most of your exercise or activity time is the trick to making it stick. Do whatever you have to do to find ways to stay active and let yourself have fun with it. Climb those ladders and challenge yourself with different routes up the ladder or with different speeds - you can race the kids! Whatever you decide to do, just keep in mind that regular movement is the name of the game. Nobody said you had to do it in a gym.
Building a Healthy Lifestyle Around Exercise
When it comes to creating a healthy lifestyle, there’s no shortage of ways to achieve your goals. The trick is to just start. Many people turn to alternative health options, and of course, still dabble in recreational fun that helps them unwind – think glass bongs or alcoholic beverages - and that’s okay. The point of healthy living is to find balance in what you do and if exercise is the last thing on your to-do list, stop calling it exercise, and start calling it play time. You can’t go wrong when you play, no matter how old you get. Remember, nobody said you had to be in a gym for two hours a day to get in shape. The playground is a great place to build stamina and muscle. Give it a try and see if it makes exercise a habit you want to keep.