Friday, June 8, 2012

Total Body Playground Workout


Here is one of my own playground workouts. It is a total body workout focusing on the larger muscle groups first. It also incorporates the principle of active rest with a series of strength training movements. All you need is playground equipment and a jump rope.


*When jump roping always stay facing children and never jump rope too close to them. Move quickly from one movement to the next in order to keep the heart rate elevated. With each exercise you will repeat a high intensity, active rest movement with a strength training movement. Repeat one after the other to complete one set.

Warm up 
  • Break a sweat by walking around the playground. Move the arms as you walk so that blood is pumping through the lower body and upper body for 3-5 minutes. 
  • Once you are warmed up and breaking a sweat you can move to the next phase of the workout.
Muscle group-legs/movement-squat
  • jump rope 50 times
  • 12 deep squats (knees behind the toes all the weight is on the heels as if sitting in a chair)
  • repeat both movements 3 sets total
Muscle group-legs/movement-lunge
  • jump rope 50 times
  • walking lunges 6 on each side
  • repeat 3 sets total
Muscle group-back/movement-pull ups
  • jump rope 50 times
  • pull ups to fatigue, hands wide palms away from face gripping the monkey bar (not a chin up) most women can only do one, give it a good try. Use legs if needed to push off the ground with a controlled raise.
  • repeat 3 sets total
Muscle group-chest/movement-push ups
  • jump rope 100 times
  • 12 push ups on flat surface (knees ok if needed)
  • repeat 3 sets total
Muscle group-shoulders and back/movement-reverse lateral raise
  • jump rope 100 times
  • Reverse lateral raise - stand to the side of a piece of sturdy equipment that is about hip height. Put your arm out to the side and rest your hand on the equipment. Feet are shoulder width apart ready to do a squat. Slowly and carefully lower your body in squatting position and use your shoulder to slow the squat down so that resistance is added to the shoulder. Then slowly push the body back to a standing position with the back/lats. Have your shoulder do as much of the work as possible. 12 on each side.
  • jump rope 25 times in between sides
  • repeat 3 sets total (you will be doing each side 6 times)
Muscle group-biceps/movement-pull up
  • 50 jumping jacks
  • bicep pull up/chin up- hands on monkey bar palms facing your face. Grip the monkey bar. If your feet touch use the ground the least amount possible. Using biceps to raise and lower body. Do as many as you can.
  • repeat 3 sets total
Muscle group-triceps/movement-tricep dip
  • 50 jumping jacks
  • Triceps dips on steps of playground stairs. Place hands on step finger tips are toward your back elbows are pointing away from the body. Feet are on the ground. Slowly lower the body down to the ground then raise it up again. 12-15 repetitions.
  • repeat 3 sets
Muscle group-abdominals/movement-hanging abs
  • 50 jumping jacks
  • Hanging from a monkey bar pull your knees in to your chest and lower slowly 6-8 times
  • repeat 3 sets
Cool Down
Take a moment to walk around and let everything return to normal after the workout. Stretch all the muscles that have been incorporated. Most of all enjoy those kids and keep and eye on them. They grow too fast!



Here are some links to other sites and playground workouts

http://paulsfitnessblog.blogspot.com/2011/08/playground-conditioning.html

http://www.parents.com/parenting/moms/healthy-mom/get-fit-at-the-playground/

http://www.parents.com/baby/health/lose-baby-weight/full-body-playground-workout/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAusT54ygpE

http://www.weightwatchers.com/util/art/index_art.aspx?tabnum=1&art_id=204441&sc=3047


Happy Healthy Eating!

- Susan

I am guessing you're a busy mom like me so please take advantage of my free meal plans and save yourself time and money.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Mommy Moment



I had a mommy moment yesterday.

As a mom of 4 boys under 7 I felt overwhelmed, inadequate, and a little robbed of humanity. I  had a pity party. I had to rush out of the house leaving my husband in charge of the little boys so that I could fix something that only I could do. I was frustrated that things don't seem to work out as planned. The house is rarely clean or in order these days. It is difficult with four little boys to keep things tidy and when things are tidy I find that I am a bit of a grouch. I cringe and growl whenever anyone begins to make a mess which is instantly and constantly.

I was at a stop light and I am sure that my face was in a complete grimace as I contemplated my state of being when a small miracle happened. I am sure that some would not consider it that but it was a moment that will forever change me.

As I sat waiting at a stop light another mom in a minivan crossed the intersection in front of me. In the brief seconds that she was in my view I noticed a few things about her. First she was a girl that I recognized. She used to come to my aerobics classes and I would sometimes see her out and about with her little ones in tow. I had 4 children under 6 at the time and she had 5 under 7 and was pregnant! She was one of the few people that I knew had it harder than me. I was never sure how she did what she did. She volunteered in the kids class room as I did. I barely managed and brought my little ones with me. She did the same.

As she passed by in a mini van yesterday I also noticed that she had one hand on the steering wheel with her head back. She looked relaxed and easy going which was in much contrast to my death grip on the steering wheel and the frown that I had dug into my skull.

The last and most important thing that I noticed is that she had on a den mother uniform for cub scouts with the little flag on the sleeve indicating that she was on her way to some function that she probably didn't have time for but organized her life in a way so that she could serve either her son that age or other kids in the community.

So three things, I knew she was a busy mom, even busier than I am, she was driving around relaxed and unfrazzled and she had on a den leader's boy scout shirt.

For some reason the image of her driving so perfectly while serving and busy did not make me feel bad or jealous or more inadequate It just made me feel inspired. We are probably under the same or near same amount of stress but her attitude was completely different than mine in that moment. She was sucking it in and enjoying life while I was pondering my imperfections. Although we have the same amount of craziness in our lives, because of our difference in attitude we were having different mommy moments. I approached the rest of my day differently. I was determined to be more graceful as a mother. I wanted to stop worrying about all the details but start drinking in the moments. I had a light go on in my head about who I wanted to be and would choose to be no matter what the circumstance.

It does go to show that you can change someone without knowing it and without doing anything special but just by driving in your car. One day maybe I will tell her about my experience :0) 

Happy Healthy Eating!

- Susan

If you like my blog and my posts I would like to ask a personal favor.  Would you please sign up for my free meal plan?  There is no obligation attached to my offer and you will get it today!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Ways to trick your self into exercising


I will admit there are times when I don't want to exercise especially since I wake up several hours before the sun rises. Although it is habit now and I feel a little lost if I don't do it there are times when the alarms goes off and I want to roll over and go back to bed instead of go workout.

I have learned how to "trick my self into exercising" over the years. (Thanks Jackie for keying this phrase)



Get dressed-When your alarm goes off or when you are getting ready to go, get dressed all the way down to your shoes. Also don't forget to brush your teeth. I tell myself some mornings that if I still feel like a zombie after that process then I will lay back down and sleep for a few minutes. I never do.


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