by Cerin Rees, Fitness Guru
I get bored easily. It’s one of my failings. I can really enjoy something for a while but the novelty soon wears off and I find myself struggling to stay interested – before I know it, I’m onto the next new and shiny thing in my life! But that’s okay because I know we can all be a bit like this – especially when it comes to exercise.
Take the gym, for instance: can you remember how many people you spoke to in January who said they were joining one? Do you know how many of them are still at it now? Not a lot, I bet.
So, when it comes to staying active how do we keep boredom at bay? Well, I manage it by always being on the lookout for different ways I can stay active, and one of my favourite places to play is, well, the playground! Next time you pass one, instead of letting junior play while you sit on your bum and get bored, why not join in?
Below are five simple exercises you can try, and because you can combine them into a little workout routine you should never find yourself losing interest.
Good for: Strengthening legs and bums and keeping knees strong.
How to do it: Stand in front of something low and stable, then sit back and down, before standing back up again. Simple… but not easy!
Good for: Strengthening shoulders and triceps (say goodbye to your bingo wings!).
How to do them: Sit on a solid, stable bench or ledge, with your hands either side of your hips. Take your weight on your hands then slide your bum off the front. Bend your elbows, lowering your bum towards the floor, then push yourself back up again.
Bend your knees to make it easier, straighten them to make it harder.
Good for: Fitness and stamina – they’ll leave you out of breath!
How to do them: Find a low, stable and solid railing, fence or beam. Standing on one side of it, take your weight on your hands and either step or jump from side to side over the obstacle. Stepping is easier, jumping is harder, while jumping fast is harder still.
Good for: Stomach muscles!
How to do them: First, make sure the slide is empty! Then sit on the top of and facing away from the slide. Hook your legs over the top and lay all the way back before sitting all the way back up again. These are harder than normal sit-ups on the floor, so you’ll soon be feeling the burn!
Good for: Even more stomach muscles!
How to do it: Find an empty swing and grab the seat tightly. Make sure your feet are firmly gripping the floor so you don’t slip. Then, keeping your belly up and your bum tight, slowly reach forwards so you look like you’re flying like Superman. The further you reach the harder it gets, so take it slowly.
NOTE – These are harder than the previous sit-ups.
And there we have it, a quick quintet of playground exercises to help keep us fit and strong. Try doing each of them for 20, 40 or 60 seconds and see how you do. And if you’re a little unsure from the explanations above you can see all five exercises performed on this YouTube video.
There are loads of other ways to turn the outside into your own personal gym, and we always try to incorporate as much variety as possible when we go training out and about.
Do you have any weird and wonderful ways to stay active? Let us know in the comments below!
Until next time, be healthy.