The perfect playground workout for moms

Aug 18, 2014 at 5:06 p.m. ET

Recently, I took my daughter to the gym with me, only to discover the kids club was closed for the day. Instead of canceling my workout, I took my daughter to the park and let her run around and play while I worked up a sweat on the play equipment right along with her.

At first, negative thoughts ran through my head. What will the other moms think? Do I look foolish? Then I forced myself to get out of my own head and realized the honest truth. I'm setting an example for my 2-year-old daughter. I had the choice to skip my workout or use this as a teaching moment. Fitness doesn't only happen in a gym. Health is a lifestyle. Most importantly, kids learn by watching.

So, I began my first workout in the park. By the end of it, my daughter was doing her version of lunges and pull-ups right beside me. Here's the perfect workout for your next trip to the park.

  • Lunges: Use sidewalks or grass paths to do walking lunges around the play equipment.
  • Tricep dips: Use a park bench or a step on the play equipment for tricep dips. Do 10 of these.
  • Incline push-ups: Use that same bench for incline push-ups. Facing the bench, place your hands shoulder width apart on the bench, step your feet back into push-up position. Slowly lower your chest to the bench and push-up. Do 10 of these.
  • Box jumps or step-ups onto the play equipment: Do 10 jumps or 20 step-ups.
  • Pull-ups onto the monkey bars: The most difficult part of this is you are probably just as tall as the monkey bars. You'll have to place your hands onto the bars, then slowly lower, bending your legs back so they are off of the ground. Do as many as you can.
  • Crunches: If grass or a cushioned surface is available, lay down for some crunches.

Repeat this circuit 3 times.

You will most likely be interrupted by your child several times during your workout. This is OK. There's nothing wrong with catching your breath while you push your little one on the swings or watch them go down the big slide. Let your kids see you having fun while working out.

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