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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!
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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.
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!
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!
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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