6 Playground Moves That Make Exercise Fun Again
Be a Kid Again
Remember when exercise meant taking your two-wheeler out for a glory ride, playing kickball in the cul-de-sac, and chasing fireflies? As a kid, you didn't head out to the jungle gym looking for a workout, but you sure were getting one.
Growing up can take its toll on the fun quotient of exercise—and moving your physical activity from the playground to the gym probably didn’t help. Forty percent of women recently surveyed by the American Cancer Society reported that they would be more active if exercises were more fun. While it’s no secret that exercise is beneficial for your body and mind, you might not know the half of it.
Exercise can directly and indirectly reduce your risk of developing cancer, says Colleen Doyle, M.S., R.D., director of nutrition and physical activity for the American Cancer Society and coauthor of ACS's Nutrition and Physical Activity Guidelines. Physical activity can directly reduce your cancer risk by decreasing the levels of circulating hormones associated with cell and tumor growth. Exercise also has an impact on weight control, and since people who are overweight tend to have higher levels of these same hormones, losing weight helps to reduce those levels, thus indirectly reducing the risk of developing cancer. (Related: 7 Reasons to Take Your Workout Outside)
You don’t have to run a marathon to see the real benefits of exercise. (Related: Marathon Running for Beginners) The American Cancer Society recommends that people get at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week (e.g., walking a 15-minute mile) or 75 minutes of vigorous activity. While this can be broken down into spurts of just 10 minutes at a time, only about 50 percent of us meet the recommendation, says Doyle. So how do we get there? “Find something you like to do,” she says, "and you’ll keep doing it."
If the last workout you enjoyed took place during recess, you’re bound to like this one: We turned to certified strength and conditioning specialist and metabolic training expert BJ Gaddour, CEO of StreamFIT.com, to create a workout that gets you out of the gym and onto the playground. Perform these six moves one at a time in any order to work your arms and abs and also give your metabolism a boost. Perform the routine up to twice a week as part of your total-body fitness plan.