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As a daycare provider mom, I have to get creative when it comes to fitness. I have a neat workout I like to do when I take the kids to the park.  A busy mom like me needs to take advantage of any moment I can squeeze in some exercise. I usually have to push a heavy double stroller or pull a heavy wagon that can be filled with two children weighing up to 45 pounds each.

Rule #1: Pull your belly button into your back- for a good core workout while walking briskly. You have to walk fast to keep up with the running preschoolers ahead.

Rule #2: Walk fast enough to get your heart pumping for some cardiovascular work. Make sure you can talk – ok yell at the kids to stop at the corner.

When you get to the park stretch and get ready to start your workout. Of course make sure all of the children are within eye sight and playing on appropriate equipment. Do not let the other moms who are chatting with their coffee make you self conscious. Remember, you are setting up a good example of fitness for your children.  First, take a brisk walk around the perimeter of the park watching and yelling to the kids and making sure all is well with everyone. Then position yourself where you can see everyone and be able to reach a child quickly. I like to use a concrete curb that borders the entire play area.

PLAYGROUND WORKOUT:

  • Step up on the “step” right foot first and alternating your left foot, then right foot etc.  Do this for 1 minute.
  • Step up with right foot while kicking back your left leg. Do this 20 times and then switch legs.
  • Step up with right foot and kick left leg out to the side. Do this 20 times and then switch legs.
  • Step up with the right foot and bring the left knee up. Do this 20 times and then switch legs.
  • Go back to right foot, left foot alternating for another minute.
  • Walk around the play area- watching for kids and handling any issues they may have. Then continue with squats on a flat surface.  Squat 20 times.
  • Do 30 seconds of jumping jacks, 30 seconds of jump ropes and 30 seconds of jogging in place. Repeat.
  • If you have time, repeat the entire routine.

STRETCHING:

Make sure you stretch your arms, legs, and torso after a playground workout.  You will have to walk briskly back to the house. Make sure you pull in your stomach to work your core on the way back.  And, be sure not to sabotage your workout with the cheese crackers you are planning to serve at snack time!

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