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Play to Get Fit

Fitness for mind and body.

Four playground favorites you can use as a personal gym!

Playground equipment

If you have little children you enjoy taking to the park, make use of that time and get in your own workout with the following moves using the playground equipment.


Pumping your legs to swing high targets your quadriceps and hamstrings (front and back of your thighs). The harder you pump, the higher you swing and the more intense your workout becomes. Hop off and push someone on the swing next. This will work your arms, or biceps.

For an extra move that targets your abdominal muscles, sit on the swing; grasp the chains with your hands overhead. Support yourself with your hands and pull your knees toward your chest. Hold for a second, and then slowly lower. This is a tough one so you may only be able to do a few repetitions. That is okay, do what you can.

The Slide

Climbing up the steps is good for your quadriceps, hamstrings and buttocks. The best part -- sliding down -- does wonders for lifting your spirits and boosting your energy. If you are stick at the bottom of the slide catching your child while she/he has all the fun, lift him overhead each time for a great upper-body workout. For an extra move, that targets your triceps, or the back of the arms, place your hands behind you on the edge of the slide. Extend your legs. Bending your elbows so they point behind you, slowly lower yourself. Hold for a second then slowly press back up. This is equivalent to a triceps dip.

Monkey Bars

Playground Swinging from bar to bar is a fabulous workout for your upper body. So is climbing up and down the bars to exercise your arms and legs at the same time. Just hanging from a bar is a great way to stretch your whole body. For an extra move, that targets your arms, back and shoulders do chin-ups. If chin-ups are too difficult, do not sweat it (no pun intended), do these variations: Using a bar that is taller than you, place your hands about shoulder-width apart with your palms facing you. Step on a nearby bar to boost yourself up so your arms are bent and your chin is above the bar you are holding. Slowly lower your body by extending your arms. When your arms fully extend, use your feet to boost yourself back up.


The up-and-down motion is sure to put a smile on your face; the impact each time you land will help keep your bones strong and pushing off to go back up works your legs and buttocks. For an extra move, that targets your chest, shoulders and arms, when it is not your turn to ride, use the main bar to do push-ups. Place your hands about shoulder-width apart and extend your legs behind you. Keeping your head back, and legs in a straight line, bend your elbows and slowly lower your chest toward the bar. Hold for a second then push back up.

There you have it -- your four moves to look and feel younger as well as enjoy some quality time with your children! Imagine how fun it will be for them to see mom enjoying the playground as well. Just think of the memories -- and the great example you are setting by encouraging activity.

Avoid Accidents

To avoid accidents, always keep an eye on your kids, of course, and stick close by them. In fact, make this entire experience more fun for all by swinging with your kids and seesawing with them. If you have more than one child, set them both on the other end of the see-saw to challenge your leg muscles while you put them up into the air. If you do have to run after your child, or children for any reason, that will burn calories as well. In addition, it will get your metabolism moving!

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Disclaimer: The material on this Web site is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or fitness professional. Please consult with your physician before beginning any fitness program or fat or weight reduction program. FitnessandFreebies.com takes no responsibility for individual results, or any claim made by a third party.