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Fall fitness: Exercise at the park

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

Hit the park to get fit

The sweltering days of summer have gone and the crisp, cool climate of autumn is in the air. Though fall means back to school, chauffeuring kids to and from, and a jam-packed family schedule, fall also lends itself to outdoor activities and opportunities for busy moms to fit fitness into their day. Instead of fretting over a childcare opening at the gym, take your kids to the nearest park and tackle the following outdoor workout while your kids romp around the playground.

Exercises to do at the park

The following four exercises are a few of Florez's favorite park fitness moves. They provide multi-muscle benefit and are also time efficient. To warm up and add a cardio element to your workout, take a few laps around the park before you begin as well as in between your exercises. Be sure to use proper park etiquette and wait for your turn if there are kids or other adults joining in the outdoor fun.

1. Supported Pole Squats

Squats, an exercise you can do in just about any setting, target your lower body and core muscles. The pole simply gives you a change from the usual weighted gym squats, allowing you to improve your functional fitness as you use your body weight for resistance.

Start position: Find a flag pole or any other vertical pole at the park or playground. Stand approximately 2 to 3 feet away from the pole with your spine straight and feet shoulder-width apart. Reach around the pole and clasp your hands. Your arms should be nearly straight and about shoulder height.

Movement: Keeping your back straight, bend your knees and lower your body down until your legs are parallel to the ground. Your torso should stay upright as you bend at the hips moving your rear back. Keep your knees above your ankles instead of allowing them to move forward. Hold for a second then return to start position.

Start with 12 to 15 repetitions and 2 sets, gradually increasing your repetitions and/or sets as you become stronger.

Three more exercises for gloriously toned glutes

Next page: Park Bench Lunges with Rotation

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