Remember when you couldn’t wait for recess to start and hated to see it end? Everydayhealth.com recommends using these ideas to put the fun back into workouts.

Remember when you couldn’t wait for recess to start and hated to see it end? Everydayhealth.com  recommends using these ideas to put the fun back into workouts.

 

Head for the Playground

 

You’ll burn lots of calories swinging on the swings, especially if you pump your legs to go higher and higher, and doing pull-ups on the monkey bars. Climb the ladder to reach the top of the slide a dozen times or more. Many playground activities exercise more than one muscle group at a time. A half-hour at the playground is as good as a half-hour workout at the gym.

 

Go for a Bike Ride

 

How many calories you burn biking depends on your weight and the intensity of the exercise, such as whether you’re going up and down hills. But as a general rule, a 150-pound person will burn nearly 450 calories biking at 12 to 14 miles an hour for 45 minutes. Biking is a great aerobic exercise that will help you get in shape - it gets your heart rate up - and it can be as much fun as it was when you were a kid. Just be sure to wear a helmet during this outdoor activity.

 

Bring Out the Hula Hoop

 

Hula hoop intently for an hour and you will burn as many calories as you would running on a treadmill for that long. Since hooping has become a popular exercise again, you can easily buy adult-size hoops online or at fitness stores. Try different moves so that it doesn’t become routine.

 

Pretend You’re at Recess

 

Rediscover the games you and your friends used to play at recess, such as tag, capture the flag, relays, and obstacle courses. Call your buddies and tell them to meet you at the park for kid-inspired workouts. Since they all involve running and jumping, they’re great ways to get in shape.

 

Play Ping Pong

 

You’ll burn calories because you have to keep moving in order to paddle the small hollow ball back and forth over the net. Ping pong is a good activity to build upper body strength, which many people unintentionally neglect because they choose activities that involve mostly walking or running to get in shape.

 

Jump on a Trampoline

 

Jumping on a trampoline or rebounding is another great workout that will make you feel like a kid again as you bounce up and down. You can buy a mini trampoline and exercise indoors to some inspiring music, or a larger one to keep in the backyard for an outdoor activity.

 

Jump Rope

 

Don’t have a trampoline? You can get similar workout benefits from an inexpensive jump rope. You will burn the same number of calories jumping rope for 10 minutes as you would jogging for 30 minutes (about 120 calories, depending on your size and the intensity of your workout). Jumping rope is a great exercise if you’re short on time. When you’re traveling, you can pack a jump rope in your suitcase - it won’t take up much room or weigh you down.

 

Go for a Swim

 

Swimming is a terrific aerobic exercise and calorie burner. A 145-pound person will burn about 200 calories in 30 minutes of moderate swimming. You can do the breast stroke, crawl, or backstroke, or gather your friends and play some water games like Marco Polo that don’t even feel like exercise.

 

Play a Round of Dodgeball

 

You might also try Frisbee or kickball. Kid games can bring out the competitor in you, so set the rules and make sure everyone knows them. Also, remember this is a workout, so you should warm up sufficiently, wear proper clothing, stay hydrated, and stretch when you’re done.

 

Take a Hike

 

Hiking burns about 300 calories if you do it for 45 minutes and you weigh about 150 pounds. You can make the hike more challenging (and more fat-burning) if you include hills and rougher terrain. Hiking provides a great cardiovascular workout and builds strength and endurance.