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Playground fitness

It can be hard for busy moms to slot in workout routines. When you’re strapped for time, but desperately want the health benefits and feel-good endorphins that exercise brings, try getting some action at the playground or park. You’re there with your toddler anyway, so add some fun… and feel the burn!

WARM-UP If you walked or biked to the playground, you’re ready to exercise, but if you drove, take care—warm-up with a brisk 5 to 10 minute walk and some gentle stretches.

CARDIO SUGGESTIONS Strengthen your heart and lungs while burning calories* with 30 minutes of these aerobic activities that don’t require any special gear.

  • Follow your toddler through the park, either walking (150 calories) or jogging (225 calories)
  • Frisbee (112 calories)
  • Hop-scotch, vigorous games like tag (185 calories)
  • Jump rope (375 calories)

* Average calories burned are calculated per 30-minute session for a 155-lb person.

STRENGTH TRAINING Tone-up and develop lean muscle with these multi-tasking moves that target two or more muscle groups. (Start with five repetitions and build up as your strength increases).

  • Planks: They work your core (abdominals, back and pelvis) and can be done on the grass or a picnic blanket.
  • Pushups: They work your pectoral muscles at the front of your chest, plus your triceps (at the back of your upper arms), and core.
  • Squats: They strengthen your quadriceps and hamstring muscles (in the front and back of your thighs, respectively). You’ll also feel them working your glutes.

COOL DOWN End with a few minutes of gentle stretches.

TIP: Embarrassed? Bring a playground buddy—another mom who’ll work up a sweat with you. Just don’t be surprised if others ask to join in!