Try a Playground Workout.
We have been spending a lot of time at the playground recently. The kids love to run around with their friends and it's the perfect opportunity to let them wear themselves out for an afternoon nap (a.k.a. Mommy free time!). I used to sit with the other parents, trading stories about blowout diapers, hashing over the differences in preschool curricula, catching up on the latest neighborhood gossip, and listening to everyone trying their best to outdo the other ones with their child's special talents and gifts. Then, during nap time, I would do my daily workout.
But...I have other things I *want* to do in that special afternoon time. Like read my selection for Book Club. Or catch up on DVR's. Or, maybe, just maybe, take a bath - a hot one with loads of bubbles. So, I tried to figure out a way to do my workout AND let the kids play at the same time.
Enter the Playground Workout....
1. Warm Up: Walk around the perimeter of the play area. Try some butt kicks. Do some arm circles. Just do whatever it takes to prepare your muscles for the workout.
2. Push Ups: Find a bench (preferably one that isn't occupied by the gossipers) and get into plank position, placing your hands on the seat or arm. Lift your own body weight up. Repeat.
3. Tricep Dips: Turn around and face away from the bench. Place your hands on the seat and extend your legs out. Dip your booty down. Repeat.
4. Chin Ups: Head over to the monkey bars and use them to pull your own weight up, until your chin is above the bar. These are tough so no worries if you can't get them at first. Use the ladder on either side to assist you until you can perform them on your own.
5. Squats and Lunges: Try 3 sets of 10 to start (remember to do it on each leg for the lunges) and slowly build up from there.
6. Cardio Time: You can get your heart pumping in a variety of ways. One of the best is to play tag, Hide and Seek or some other running game with the kids. You'll be amazed at how much of a workout you can get, just by "being a kid". You can also try running up and down the stairs to the slide, running in circles around the play area, doing jumping jacks, skipping rope, or doing sprints back and forth in the grass. Whatever you decide to do, just be sure to elevate your heart rate.
7. Stretch: Go back to the bench and use it to help you balance as you stretch out your entire body. Your muscles will thank you for this extra step.
Next time, you are at the playground, give it a shot. And if you see me there, don't laugh - just join in!