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Springtime playground exercises to help you and the kids get fit

By Emily Long – Contributing Writer

It’s that time of year. The sun starts peeking out from behind heavy, dark rainclouds. The puddles are starting to disappear. And suddenly we realize- oh my gosh- it’s shorts season!

One story that I’m always reminded of this time of year is when a good friend pulled out his previous years’ summer clothes, and after trying on a pair of shorts, was sure that his wife had put them on high in the dryer before packing them away. Certainly they could not be this tight!

Unfortunately for my friend, they were. Many of you may be finding yourself in the same situation.

As soon as the sun peaks out, we can’t wait to get outside and enjoy the warmth. One of my favorite things to do is head to the playground with my husband, Jason, and our 3-year-old son for a little playground strength and conditioning.

The routines are geared toward full body conditioning and strengthening. The interval style is designed to get your heart rate up to increase calorie burn and overall fat loss. There’s no use in strengthening your muscles if you aren’t losing body fat so you can see them!

This can be modified for all levels, and anyone can do it! You don’t even have to bring a child to the park with you.

PLAYGROUND WORKOUTS

Beginner instructions:

- Warm up for 5-10 minutes prior to beginning.

- Perform this workout resting 30 seconds between each exercise. Repeat each group of 2 (superset) for 3 sets. Rest 1-3 minutes between each superset.

- Be sure to cool down by walking at a slow pace to allow your heart rate to rest before sitting down.

Intermediate/Advanced Instructions:

- Warm up for 5-10 minutes prior to beginning.

- Perform this workout with NO rest between each exercise in the superset. Repeat each superset for 3 sets. Rest 1-3 minutes between supersets.

- Be sure to cool down by walking at a slower pace to allow your heart rate to return to normal before sitting down.

1. Swing rows

2. Swing jacknife

1. Slide toe taps

2. Slide pushups

1. Step single leg squats

2. Stepups

Watch a video of these workouts with descriptions by clicking here.

Emily Long is co-owner of TREO Sports & Fitness in West Seneca. Keep up with her fitness life at facebook.com/EmilyLongStrong1.

Editor’s note: Those looking for perspective on how to kids keep active this time of year can read WNY Refresh Editor Scott Scanlon’s Refresh cover story from Saturday here.

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