“How do you find the time to work out?!”
Exercise is an important part of my lifestyle, but I’ll admit that it can be difficult to make time for fitness with two kids and a website to run!
Some days I’ll practice yoga during nap time or after the girls are asleep. However, I also want the girls to see me being active so that they’ll learn positive habits. So on other days we’ll make exercise a family activity, like with this mom and me playground workout.
Essentials to bring for your playground workout
I like to travel light when we go to the park, but there are certain things that I always make sure to have in my bag:
- Water for everyone – It’s SO important to stay hydrated, especially in the hot summer months.
- 5-hour ENERGY® Protein – This is mom’s “secret weapon!” It also has 21 grams of protein, which is essential to help your body rebuild after a workout.
- Bug spray – Don’t let mosquitoes and other pests ruin the fun!
- Towel – Breaking a sweat is the goal of our playground workout! However, safety is a priority too, so be sure to wipe down your hands and equipment as necessary.
Mom & Me Playground Workout
There is a park two blocks from our house, and the girls ask almost every day to go. Playgrounds are an excellent way for kids to burn energy and exercise, but did you know that playground equipment provides tons of opportunities to work on your own fitness?
These are some of my favorite pieces of playground equipment for exercise and what parts of the body they work. Choose at least one exercise from each group, but feel free to try them all!
Fixed Bar (Arms, Abs)
- Pull-ups or chin-ups – These body-weight exercises are pretty much the ultimate upper body strengtheners!
- Assisted pull-ups or chin-ups – If you’re not quite ready for a full pull-up, look for a bar that is over a platform or a ladder (like the start of a set of monkey bars). Place one foot on the platform or ladder below to help lift your chin to the bar. Use as much assistance as it takes to do 10 repetitions, switching feet halfway through. As you grow stronger, rest less and less of your body weight on the platform/bar below.
- Fixed Arm Hang – This is another alternative to a full pull-up. Bring your body to the top of a pull-up position, with your chin above the bar. (If needed, you can use a platform to help reach this starting position). Hang while keeping your chin over the bar for as long as possible, before lowering yourself. With practice, you should be able to extend the length of your hang!
- Hanging Knee-lifts – Hang from the bar with arms extended and legs straight down. Without moving your arms or upper body, bend your legs and pull your knees to your chest.
Stairs (Legs, Glutes)
- Box Jumps – (pictured) Start standing still, then jump to the bottom stair or first platform (depending on your ability). Repeat 10 times.
- Step-ups – Start in the same position as your box jump. Step onto the platform with your right leg, followed by your left. Step back down one foot at a time. Do this ten times, then repeat with the other leg leading.
- Stair climbing – Walk or jog up and down the stairs ten times.
Platforms (Abs, Arms)
- Crunches – It’s hard to beat the basic crunch for effectiveness! Tuck your toes under a bar (pictured above) to help maintain your position.
- Push-ups – Another classic exercise that will give awesome results! This push-up tutorial will show you step-by-step how to work up to the real thing.
Balance Beam (Core, Balance)
Even if your playground doesn’t have a designated “balance beam,” a ledge or divider, like the one pictured above, will do just fine! Walk back and forth the length of the beam (or about 10 feet) five times.
See-Saw (Arms, Legs, Core)
- Push-downs – Stand on the opposite site of the see-saw from your child. Instead of sitting on the see-saw, stand behind it and push down on the seat. (In the picture above, I’m standing behind our daughter because my husband is sitting on the other side).
- Sitting squats – Sitting on the see-saw is a major thigh-burner, and it also works your core!
Freestyle (Total body)
Once you start looking, you’ll see lots of fun ways to get active and work up a sweat at the playground! Ladders and unstable bridges are some of our favorite things to explore. Sometimes, just chasing the kids really IS a workout!
But what if I’m too tired to workout?
Of course, the number one way to feel rested is to sleep more, but let’s face it, we don’t always get our full eight hours. Other things that might be causing you to feel sluggish are dehydration or going too long without eating.
Even still, sometimes you might just need a boost! 5-hour ENERGY® Protein contains only 100 calories, but provides 21 grams of protein to fuel your workout or get you through a busy day. It comes in two strengths: regular and extra, depending on just how much of a boost you need.
The best part is that 5-hour ENERGY® Protein is available at your local Walmart, and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg! You get the benefits of both an energy drink and a protein shake without paying for two. For a limited time, get an Ibotta rebate on your purchase of 5-Hour ENERGY® Protein!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of 5-hour Energy. The opinions and text are all mine.