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Playground Exercises for Mom

Parents can get in shape while the kids are sliding and swinging at the local playground

Just like their kids, moms need that daily energy release to stay happy and healthy. The U.S. Department of Health recommends that adults spend at least 30 minutes everyday doing moderate to vigorous activity. But it's tough to find the time? It gets a whole lot easier if you combine your child's outdoor fun time with your personal fitness time.

With the help of Michigan-based personal trainer and Body Beautiful boot camp founder Jennifer Gray, we've compiled five great moves to help moms master physical fitness while the kiddies are dominating the jungle gym.

According to Gray, the key to a great workout is a fast heart rate. The interval training found on the jungle gym allows for those blasts of cardio that burn calories and keep metabolism smoldering the rest of the day.

1. Ledge Stepper

Start by finding a short ledge or step.

Leading with your right foot, step up with both feet and then down.

Repeat 20 times, then switch to lead with the left.

Remember: the faster you go, the more calories you burn!

   

2. Monkey Around

Low monkey bars for little kids are perfect for Gray's next move. Hold on to the outer edge. Keep your arms straight and your knees at a 90-degree angle with your thighs parallel to the ground. Using your arms to gently pull you up, hop up with both feet.

Twenty jumps make a rep, but in between each set, lean over a waist high deck, with hands flat with arms straight and run in place, getting your knees up as high as they'll go. Alternate the moves for a duo of strength training and calorie burning.

 

3. Swing Set Crouch

Bet you didn't think pushing the swing could be part of your daily workout!

Plop your youngster on that big plastic seat.

Once you given them a big push, crouch down and run in place.

Repeat until they're begging to come down!

 

4. Tipsy Toning

An unstable surface, like a wobbly bridge, is a great place to get muscle tone, according to Gray.

Running in place on the ever-moving platform keeps muscles unbalanced and gives them more opportunity to shape up.

Punching fists alternately into the air adds even more instability as well as cardio and fat-blasting.

  

5. Low-Impact Pushups

High decks and ledges are great for improvised, low impact push-ups.

Place your hands on the ledge or deck and just like the original style exercise, keep you feet together with your toes pointed.

Keeping your back straight and using only your arms, lower your chest to the ledge, pause and repeat.

Between reps of 20, amp up your heart beat by running in place. 

 

Gray's ideas don't stop there. The limber lady is full of suggestions for moves that can be done in open spaces around the playground too, like setting up obstacle courses with your tyke's toys or running ladders, a sprinting exercise where the distance is increased during each run.

No matter the order, duration or intensity of your playground workout, you'll see more than better muscle tone when it comes to the benefits of breaking a sweat. Once your kids see how dedicated you are to staying in shape, they'll be more likely to keep an active lifestyle too.

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