The nation’s attention has turned to creating healthy habits for our children - including the key tenets of eating right and daily exercise. But kids don’t have to head to the gym to get into shape – and neither do parents! Turns out those afternoons spent playing tag and swinging high on the swing set are great for overall fitness.
Here’s a brief guide to how classic childhood activities can tighten and tone.
When done for extended periods of time, working that classic hoop can increase balance and coordination as well as help whittle the waist by working core muscles in the abdomen and lower back. And adults don’t have to skip the fun. Fitness experts suggest parents use a larger hoop, as they are easier to keep in motion, to gain the same waist whittling effects. Moreover, hula hooping can improve posture in young ones and decrease lower back pain for the older set.
Boxers and other elite athletes have used jump roping to get their bodies in peak shape for years. Jump roping is an intense cardio exercise that not only strengthens your heart, but burns fat and helps improve your overall fitness level. Even better, it works every major muscle group in your body. It can be grueling, for sure, but it works. Parents should also engage a friend or jump along with their kids -- and the repetitions will go skipping by.
Kids can scramble and climb. Adults can also get health benefits, as anything you can do on a pull up bar, you can do on a jungle gym. For example, grasp a jungle-gym bar that's 3 to 4 feet high with an overhand or underhand grip. Keep your hands shoulder-width apart and extend your legs in front of you until your chest is under the bar; place your feet hip-width apart. Pull your chest close to the bar by drawing your elbows alongside your ribs. Straighten arms and repeat.
For a great full body playground workout, go to Parents.com
You run, you rest, you run you rest – think of it as burst training. The treadmill can get old after time; so parents can jump into the competition to mix up their cardio routine for summer fun.
Have more ideas on how to play your way into great shape? Let us know in the comments section! And look for the second blog entry – to include four square and hop scotch!