Between juggling a busy career and parenthood, most parent's daily fitness requirements usually take a back seat to work and their children.
However, if you've ever heard the expression, "killing two birds with one stone", you know it is possible to multi-task — especially if you're still taking your kids to the playground!
While most parents take the time to chat on their cell phones or talk to other adults on a park bench nearby, playgrounds are perfect places to get a good workout in!
Although your jungle gym workout sesh may raise some eyebrows from grown up spectators, celebrity trainer Marco Borges asserts "your actions might inspire a lifetime of health and fitness in your children or others."
Try chin-ups: Hang with your hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart with your palms facing toward your body. Pull your body up until your head is above the bar, then slowly lower to the starting position, said exercise physiologist Tom Holland, author of “Beat the Gym.”
What it works: An upper-body resistance workout, chin-ups target several major muscle groups in the back, shoulders and arms. They also work core muscles.
Kick it up a notch: Try a pull-up by changing your hand position and grabbing the bar with your palms facing away from you. Add a weighted backpack or attach a small child to your back.
Make it easier: Rest your feet on the ground if the bar is low enough. Or simply hold your chin over the bar as long as you can, a strength test called the “flexed arm hang.”
Bench, steps or low platform:
Try the bench step-up: Place your right foot on a bench about knee height. Step up and tap your left foot on the bench while fully extending your right leg. Slowly step back down with the left leg, then immediately repeat, said Holland.
What it works: The legs — hamstrings and glutes — and core muscles.
Kick it up a notch: Find a higher step. Or, place your hands behind your head and jump with both feet on to the bench or platform. Hop back off the step, landing on both feet.
Make it easier: Find a lower step.
Try the ab walkout: Hold the swing with your hands and keep your feet on one spot, said Borges. Using your abs, stretch your body into an elongated position. Return to the start position.
What it works: Abdominal muscles
Kick it up a notch: Balance on one leg.
Make it easier: Work this move on your knees. Or, if you fit, swing yourself. Swinging works the legs, quads, core and improves balance, range of motion and coordination.
[Image via AP Images.]