how to exercise at the local park feature

How To Exercise At A Local Park

Just because you are taking your kids to the local park doesn’t mean you can’t use it to exercise!

It’s important to mix things up a bit and use what you have in front of you because when exercising outdoors you can easily get bored of the same walking routine through the park. Your local park has other opportunities for fitness, especially since you can bring your family (and dogs) along, while also having an energised workout.

Use those hills!

An easy way to add variety to your workout is to find an area with steep grassy hills. Most parks have at least one area that would work for this. Do them on your own while your children are playing nearby or bring them with you! Go up and down a few times to boost your stamina and try to sprint up and then walk/jog down. 

Create a fitness routine for the park

Upgrade your workout with a simple fitness routine that you can do at the park. For example, run 100 yards, complete a 60 second plank, do 15 burpees, and finish with 10 jumping jacks.  HIIT training is great for burning those calories so try intervals of your favourite exercises. 

Do pull ups in the playground

Use those jungle gym monkey bars to your advantage. They’re not just for children! Find a bar that is high enough so that you can stand and try pull ups. There there are lower bars, grab them and perform leg lifts.

playground jungle gym - exercise at local park

Build endurance with tree planks

Instead of a regular plank, find a tree at a park and use it for your planks. Stand in front of the tree with your back on the trunk. Next, get down on your hands and knees. Make sure your heels are as close to the tree as possible. Balance on your hands while moving your legs up the tree trunk until your body is aligned into the plank position. You could also make it harder by performing inverted push-ups too!

tree planks - exercise at a local park

Use gravity straps (resistance bands)

These straps usually are installed over a door in your home, and they provide a simple workout based on resistance. However, there are attachments available that allow you to use them on a tree or another sturdy item! OR you can buy free held straps that come in loops to use your own body as the anchor. 

Try Couch to 5K

Use a running trail at your local park to complete a couch to 5K program. You can install an app such as strava or Runkeeper on your phone to help you increase your running endurance. It will give you a training regime that guides you when to run, walk, jog until you can effortlessly run a 5K without any assistance!  

Jump over swings

How strong ARE you? One exercise that went viral recently was pushing a swing and jumping over it then quickly laying on the ground as the swing swung back over you. You can modify this workout idea to just jumping over a swing that is not in motion, just be careful not to injure yourself!

swings - exercise at a local park

Take the stairs

Many playgrounds have stairs that lead to slides or simply stairs to climb a tower. Use the stairs to do leg lifts or high knees. You can also go up and down several times for a workout too (if there aren’t many kids waiting in line!).

Exercising outdoors can be fun when you spice it up a bit with these inspirational action tips for fitness at your local park. Don’t forget a good pair of running shoes and stretch before you work out! Be sure to cool down after attempting these suggestions, and bring along cold water.

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Just because you are taking your kids to the local park doesn't mean you can't use it to exercise! Here's the best ways to use the local park to exercise.

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Written by Charlotte

Founder at The Mummy Toolbox

29 Comments

  • Misty Nelson Dawn (#)
    June 9th, 2017

    Such a great tips and I need this I love to have an exercise with my kids and bringing them to the park was a neat idea.

  • Kathleen - Bloggers Lifestyle (#)
    June 4th, 2017

    You came up with some very creative ways to exercise in the park. Many of our parks also have exercise equipment out in the open with instruction ideas how to use the different pieces of equipment. LOL it is so amazing watching others, it is usually the super in shape people who use these open places.
    Kathleen

  • Sue (#)
    June 2nd, 2017

    Great ideas Charlotte. I love working out in the park and you have given some great examples of what parks have to offer, even when taking the children.

  • HilLesha O'Nan (#)
    June 2nd, 2017

    Local parks are a great way to get plenty of exercise, plus it doesn’t cost a thing! That’s one of the reasons why my family and I go to the park quite often.

  • Krystle Cook (#)
    June 2nd, 2017

    I take the kids to the park almost every other day in the summer. These would be great to be able to do while I watched them.

  • Amber Nelson (#)
    June 2nd, 2017

    I love getting outside in the summer time. I try to get as much exercise as I can when I am even out with the kids.

  • CourtneyLynne (#)
    June 2nd, 2017

    Ooooo so many great suggestions here!!! I do pull-ups once in while. That is until people start starting at me lol

  • Jean (#)
    June 2nd, 2017

    This is something I would never have thought of, but it’s such a good idea! You might aswel use something that’s free to you and can also be done as a family.

  • Brittany (#)
    June 1st, 2017

    I love this! I tend to get my workout gear on when we go to the park so I can workout while we’re there. it’s multitasking at it’s finest!

  • Glenda (#)
    June 1st, 2017

    These are some great tips. My favorite is doing pull ups in the playground but I wouldn’t feel comfortable jumping over the swing for safety reasons.

  • Heather (#)
    June 1st, 2017

    Great tips to get some exercise in while the kiddos play! My daughters love the park and I should take more advantage of our time there.

  • katriza (#)
    June 1st, 2017

    I love have tons of local parks have since put in exercise areas! Its such a great way to everyone to stay fit! Theres are some really great suggestions for parks without those exercise areas!

  • Kristin (#)
    June 1st, 2017

    This would be great for me and the hubs while the kiddos are playing on the playground. Thanks for sharing!

  • Jennifer Pilgrim (#)
    May 31st, 2017

    People don’t realize what just making conscious health decisions can do. Choosing to park farther away and take the stairs is good.

  • Cindy Ingalls (#)
    May 31st, 2017

    These are such smart tips. I usually workout indoors in the summer because it is so hot, but I would love to be able to get outdoors and get my sweat on without needing weights.

  • Elizabeth O. (#)
    May 31st, 2017

    Awesome suggestions. It’s nice to be able to take advantage of the time that you have at the park and do some much needed exercise routines.

  • Dawn McAlexander (#)
    May 31st, 2017

    There is a way to exercise everywhere you go if you just look around. You found some inventive ways to get a workout in on the playground here. Luckily, our local playground also has a walking/running trail attached to it, which helps a lot.

  • Rhian Westbury (#)
    May 31st, 2017

    I’d never have thought about things like jumping over the swings. It shows you don’t need a fancy gym membership you can just use the outdoors x

  • reesa (#)
    May 31st, 2017

    These are great ideas! love going to the park to exercise. Usually I go with friends and sometimes even take the kids and we all get active together!

  • Heather (#)
    May 31st, 2017

    Pullups – yes that would be a perfect park exercise. Unfortunately, I can’t for the life of me do even one, so I am not sure how great it would be. However, I could definitely pull myself across the bars on the jungle gym 🙂

  • Marcie (#)
    May 31st, 2017

    That jumping over swings sounds intense! I hadn’t heard of that before! What an incredible workout and I bet the kids would find it entertaining!

  • Karen | GlamKaren.com (#)
    May 30th, 2017

    I would probably trip if I tried to jump over swings, but I am all about climbing hills! And, the pull-ups on the playground is so easy to increase your upper body strength!

  • Angela Tolsma (#)
    May 30th, 2017

    I would be terrified of jumping over a swing! One of the playgrounds I use to take my nephew too had a outdoor workout area right next to it. I absolutely loved it!

  • Cassie (#)
    May 30th, 2017

    These are some great ideas! We have a few parks around us that actually have some gym like equipment which is cool and great for a workout!

  • Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh (#)
    May 30th, 2017

    These are great tips! There is a playground near here with a half mile walking track around the park, so you can walk/jog/run while the kids are playing. But I love your ideas for when that isn’t an option.

  • Jeanine (#)
    May 30th, 2017

    We live near a park I run the trails on… I would love to do a little more but I think its a great idea to go do some exercises while the kids play!

  • Terri Steffes (#)
    May 30th, 2017

    Whoa! That swing exercise sounds awesome but I know I couldn’t do it. I like the calmer idea of running around the playground!

  • Theresa (#)
    May 30th, 2017

    I should really get out an exercise more now that the weather is nice. Thanks for the reminder!

  • robin rue (#)
    May 30th, 2017

    Our park has a walking track around the perimeter, so parents can walk while the kids play. I love that they built it in there for us 🙂

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