Don’t just sit around the playground.
When my kids are at the playground, I’m usually the only parent making a spectacle of herself. I do push-ups and lunges. I hang from the monkey bars and try to pull myself up. Or I repeatedly squat down, lower my butt until it hits the bench and then stand up.
Yes, playground workouts can be embarrassing, especially when other moms and dads are relaxing or chatting on cellphones. But if you’re strapped for time, playgrounds are ideal workout spots, and not just because they’re free. You’re stuck there anyway, they’ve got all the equipment you need, and research shows even tiny bouts of exercise are associated with increased fitness.
And while a public workout takes some courage, “your actions might inspire a lifetime of health and fitness in your children or others,” said celebrity fitness trainer Marco Borges.
For some people, playground equipment may even be better than regular-size workout structures, said Borges. Monkey bars, for example, are built for kids so they’re shorter than regular pull-up bars. “That means you can start from a standing position and use your legs for added help,” said Borges, who runs a playground fitness boot camp.