Can You Get Fit While The Children Play?

August 26, 2022
playground equipment

Children often exercise through play, yet adults have a mindset that exercise is a trip to the gym, a run or a jog around the streets. For many, it’s a chore too far,  but have you considered exercising in the same way as children, and even alongside them? It could help boost your fitness and allow you a bit of bonding time too!

Changing those trips to the park

Taking younger children to the park generally involves parents and carers sitting on a bench, chatting with a drink in one hand, maybe a book in the other, and the occasional glance to check on your charges. Yet, with a great range of outdoor gym equipment available in parks up and down the country, why not join in and use their play time as your chance to get fitter and healthier?

The benefits of outdoor gym equipment for mental and physical health

Exercising or physical playing is great for your mental and physical health and will help you in later life to feel better and more physically able. As well as setting an excellent example to your children, exercise should be routine and continue as they age; you will benefit and feel better from it too.

Given that exercise benefits all of us,  no matter our age, the warmer and longer days and school holidays are a great time to take the kids to the park and follow their lead. If you search your local neighbourhood, you could find a wealth of outdoor gym equipment and play equipment you can use alongside the children or when they are occupied elsewhere.

Instead of sitting with a coffee and chatting, why not join with other parents and carers and use the time to sharpen your own fitness, body strength and mental health.

Bringing the playground home?

Suppose you have a garden at home that you feel could benefit from outdoor gym equipment for you and your family, or you are charged with regenerating your local play areas. In that case, you can get help from professional outdoor play equipment and outdoor gym equipment for all ages from reputable suppliers such as PlayEquip too see what could be best for the space you have.

What equipment can you use?

In terms of what’s available and how you could use it, why not take a look at our list below:

  • Monkey bars – to build core body, arm and shoulder strength. Gain better posture through the swinging motion to strengthen the abdomen, spine and legs as you move along the monkey bars.
  • Outdoor pull-up bars –improve endurance, burn fat, and build and tone muscles. Pull-up bars will also enhance your grip and help with the problem of dropping things as we age which many of us see.
  • Swings – These are fun and multi-functional piece of exercise equipment. As adults using a swing can bring back many happy childhood memories. Whether you swing yourself or push your children, it’s another excellent way to become more physically fit while you and the children are at the park.
  • Climbing ropes – rope climbing is highly effective at improving your strength and grip. Still, it is surprisingly good to stimulate and improving mental strength. Adding climbing ropes to your garden or finding a local open space or playground with ropes gives you the ideal opportunity to get fit and let the children enjoy outdoor time.
  • Balance beams – one thing that leaves many people as they age is their sense of balance, so taking every opportunity for a quick turn on the balance beams at the park will undoubtedly help you improve and protect your balance as you get older. Balance beams improve your proprioceptive ability, the bit of your brain that lets you move your body without looking at the moving bits, such as outstretching your arms as you stare intently forward to move along. Freezing and holding positions (static balance) and moving along (dynamic balance) help with everyday activities, including climbing stairs and sitting safely on chairs.

Playtime keeps you young

Exercise in adults should be about everything we encourage in our children, including aerobic, muscle-strengthening, and flexibility elements. As well as benefits to your body of being outside, you should generally feel better about life as aerobic exercise releases serotonin and endorphins. In this way, you will strengthen your heart, and improve oxygen circulation. Oxygen circulation will help to improve your endurance and make ageing a more kindly process. You will feel better physically as you age to manage household chores. You are less likely to become overweight, and you could see the benefits of lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and help reduce the chances of getting type 2 diabetes while setting a great example to your children.

So there you have it. Next time you take your children to the park, leave the book and coffee behind, take a bottle of water and join in with or alongside them as they play (exercise). Of course, it could become a fun and inexpensive way to enjoy family time, or to help your children develop their physical ability, teach them to take turns with you so everyone in the family benefits physically and mentally too.