So what happened? Why can we swing off, up and over monkey bars for an entire playtime at lunch and not bat an eyelid but now, try to get across and be barely able to hold our own body weight?
I think we forgot how to play, being so in a rush to 'grow up'.
Now I'm all for not growing up ( thank God I work in a kindergarten, growing up isn't in the job description) but for some reason we've equated growing up with not moving. Growing up means we don't hang around at one of the greatest free gyms of all, the playground.
Let's look at a playground.
Swings (not pictured): ooo...do an ab class then get on the swings, those suckers work the abs too! Not to mention the push/pull motion of the legs as you try and get the swing to go ALLLL the way over.....remember doing the jump off at the peak? Good squat jump landing there. ;)
Monkey bars: What a no brainer! Good for chinups, pull ups, my daughter does a 'Mr Whippy' which is holding on to the bar and swinging your bottom half around as fast as it can go...oooo there's those abs again. Pull yourself up and hang upside down then get up again....still can't do it myself....
Climbing net: gets your quads, calves, biceps, triceps, abs...it's a full body workout climbing these things! And kids race each other up them!
Slides: What goes up must come down. For that 5 second thrill ride of flying down the slide, kids will run around and climb the ladder 5000 times. So there you have cardio, all the climbing net muscle groups and a mini rest on the way down!
Let's not forget running, impromptu gymnastics, balancing, bicycling/scootering, rolling down the hill, rock and tree climbing, kicking the footy or playing beach cricket....
Next time my kids go to the park, I'm taking my heart rate monitor....I reckon an hour at the playground with the kids would be at least 300-500 calorie burn!!!!