Your ears are hearing, “Mommy, we want to go to the park!” But your body is saying, “We need to work out!” What’s a time starved, exhausted momma to do? Let’s do both my friend! Not only will your kids be happy but so will you with these 4 powerful exercises that will give you more energy to press through the remainder of your day.
Some of the easiest, most effective exercises can actually be fun while performing at a children’s park that has a variety of playground equipment. Here I have put together a workout that could potentially last about 10 minutes or even a bit longer if you would really like to kick the fat to the curb! Before we get started, allow me to share a few secrets. This may appear to be a simple solution to all of those mothers looking for the perfect moment to exercise but as we all know, our lives as mothers are always changing and things are always being tossed our way. For instance, on one recent day, I had told my two children we would be heading to the park so they could play and I could grab a quick workout. Just before heading out the door, I not only received a text from hubby that there were computer issues here at home that needed to be addressed for his client, I also had realized that the chicken was not taken out of the freezer for dinner that evening. Thinking I may be able to help him quickly with the computer issue and then make a quick trip to the grocery store after the park, my son informs me that its time to hit the bathroom-not just any trip to the bathroom but one that will keep us here at home for awhile. Ugh!
Let’s face it moms, not everyday is going to be a picture perfect day. We need to anticipate our obstacles and make the effort to plan ahead, especially when it comes to a workout. I always pencil into my own schedule a workout for everyday. Why everyday you may ask? I have found that when I anticipate it everyday, the odds of fitting in my workouts always increases. Ready to get to work?
The warm-up: Grab your kiddos and run around the perimeter of the park for at least 2 minutes. This is short enough to keep your kids at your side yet long enough to get your heart pumping and muscles warmed. Next, head straight to a step of any kind –bench, steps up to a slide, planks of wood outlining the playground equipment and get ready to step.
The 1st exercise: Step ups! Standing at the edge of the step, step up with your right foot, as the foot is secure on the step, kick your left leg back and squeeze your glutes. Step back down with the left leg, then the right, ending with both feet on the ground. Repeat 15 times with the right leg leading. Switch and repeat with the left leg leading.
Modifier: If you find yourself stepping too high and feel pain, you may need to start on a lower step. In addition, to make this a bit more challenging, and your child is small enough, hold onto your child while you are performing this move. Please be sure to follow all safety precautions while doing this and keep yourself and your child safe.
The 2nd exercise: Push ups! Using the same step, place your hands shoulder width apart, arms straight. Lowering down to form a right degree angle with your elbows, pause for a beat, and push back up. Repeat as many times as you can for up to 15 repetitions.
Modifier: If this angle of push up is too difficult for you, look for a bar or bench that may be higher up off of the ground, forcing your body to fall at a larger degree off of the ground.
The 3rd exercise: Abdominal V-ups! Again, using that step, sit on it, place your hands at your sides, and a bit behind your back (just get to where you feel balanced, basically). Your legs are up, knees bent, and toes out. Reach your feet outwards and straighten your legs, bring them back inwards towards your chest forming a “V” with your knees. Repeat again straightening your legs and bringing back towards your chest. Complete 15 repetitions. Watch your form, keep your back straight by keeping your chest and head up.
Modifier: You can make it a little easier by coming off the step and keeping one foot planted on the ground. Or, you can make it more difficult by putting your arms out in front of you, reaching forward while you bring your legs back inwards towards your chest, and as your legs push outwards away from your chest, your hands come back towards your chest. –think of a pumping motion as you do while swinging.
The 4th exercise: Tricep dips! Interested in getting rid of the ‘waving arms?’ This is amazing for it and can be done anywhere! Ok, we are going to use that step again. Begin by grasping the step, butt off the edge, feet in front of you with knees slightly bent. Keeping your abdominals engaged, head and chest up, lower your bottom towards the ground, bending at your elbows. Hold for a few beats and press back up. Repeat for 12-15 repetitions.
Modifications: The closer you place your knees towards a right degree angle, the easier the exercise becomes. You can challenge yourself by straightening your legs or maybe even having a smaller child sit on your lap while facing towards your body and hanging on tightly around your waist – use caution here so as to not topple over your little one.
And there you have it! These are my 4 powerful exercises to give you more energy in order to push through the rest of your day. Please comment below if you have any questions about these and any other exercise you find on the site. Remember to be consistent and do something you enjoy. That is truly the key to a happy, healthy life.