Playgrounds aren’t just for kids. They make ideal workout centers for adults as well as children. If you don’t have the money to invest in a gym membership, take heart. All you need to do is find a nearby playground as it works as a good gym substitute. That’s what many mothers of small children, as well as childless adults are doing to stay fit. What’s more, a popular DVD, “Playground Workout” helps to outline how to use a playground as a gym for a full bodied workout.
Bench Stretches and Push-ups
Stretching – Before you start any exercise routine, you need to first do stretching exercises. You don’t have to look far, as playground benches are ideal for doing stretches. Besides stretching your legs, there are other good stretching exercises you can do from a playground bench including stretches that focus on legs, calves, hamstrings, and thighs.
Push-ups – Find a low-lying bench. With each palm planted on a bench seat, pull yourself up and do as many push-ups as you’re able to do. Challenge yourself by doing more each time .
Jungle Gym Chin-ups and Squats
Chin-ups – Also known as money bars, jungle gyms are excellent for doing chin-ups. Find a bar that’s low enough, yet just high enough to pull yourself up. Jump up and grab a bar. Then pull your chin up as far as you can go, repeating the process.
Pole squats – Jungle gyms also work well for pole squats. Grab a pole and squat down, pulling yourself up.
Slides for Stair Walking
Stair workout – It’s better to use the slide for a stair workout when the playground isn’t filled with children, as you don’t want to get in their way. Run and down the stairs of the slide, just as you would climb any set of stairs. Some daring gymnasts even run up the slide and back, but that doesn’t set a good example if a child may be watching.
See-saws and Swings
See-saw weight lifts– Have someone else (about your size or larger) sit on one side of a see-saw. Then place your hands firmly down on the other side of the see-saw, pushing down as you try to lift the other person in the air as high as you can.
Swing push-ups – Push-ups can also be done with swings. Find side-by-side swings used by toddlers (that are lower to the ground than the ones used by older kids). Place a hand in each swing and do push-ups. You can also use a playground bench for push-ups. Again, make sure you’re not hogging swings from small children .
Picnic Table Push-ups
Get in a face down position with your chest on a picnic table. While still supported by the table, place your hip bones at the edge. Then lift your legs up straight, keeping them parallel to the ground. Repeat the push-ups at least ten times (or more if you’re able.)
Don’t go alone. Have a friend (or several buddies) join you. It’s a good idea not only for safety reasons, but you can encourage one another, as well as have fun together.
Bring music. Working out is always more fun when done to music, so bring along a CD player or boom box.
Finally, keep a journal of your workout routines. Challenge yourself by gradually increasing the exercises you do. After a few months you’ll be surprised at your progress, as well as how much money you‘ve saved by not joining a gym.