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Getting fit is child's play; It's time to get your game face on, and get in shape by returning to the much loved playground activities of your childhood.

REMEMBER how much fun you had playing chase as a youngster, or mastering those skipping rope routines during school lunch breaks? As well as being enjoyable, these childhood activities were a great way of getting our blood pumping and stretching the limbs too - so why not revisit them as an adult? EMEMBER how much fun you had playing chase as a youngster, or mastering those skipping rope routines during school lunch breaks? As well as being enjoyable, these childhood activities were a great way of getting our blood pumping and stretching the limbs too - so why not revisit them as an adult? MONKEYING AROUND AS a youngster, being able to swing along all the monkey bars in the park was cause for celebration. Recapture the joy of the monkey gym as a grown-up and gain improved strength in the process.

MONKEYING AROUND AS a youngster, being able to swing along all the monkey bars in the park was cause for celebration. Recapture the joy of the monkey gym as a grown-up and gain improved strength in the process.

If you don't have access to suitable bars, check out classes offering a similar workout like Virgin Active's Queen-Ax Fast Class. The 20-minute sessions, centred around equipment reminiscent of playground climbing frames, incorporate suspension training, oscillation and support training, as well as stretching and joint mobility exercises.

If you don't have access to suitable bars, check out classes offering a similar workout like Virgin Active's Queen-Ax Fast Class. The 20-minute sessions, centred around equipment reminiscent of playground climbing frames, incorporate suspension training, oscillation and support training, as well as stretching and joint mobility exercises.

"The monkey bars on the Queen-Ax frame are an excellent way to improve overall functional fitness, upper body strength, "The monkey bars on the Queen-Ax frame are an excellent way to improve overall functional fitness, upper body strength, flexibility, core stability, motor skills and all round coordination," says Alan Holl, product innovation manager at Virgin Active.

Alan Holl, product innovation manager at Virgin Active.

"People might think that 'monkey bars' simply work out the shoulders, but in fact you can work numerous muscle groups. Chin-ups are great for working the biceps and strengthening the posterior. Dips focus on the triceps, while swings are excellent for building core strength, improving stability and toning forearms and pectorals."

"People might think that 'monkey bars' simply work out the shoulders, but in fact you can work numerous muscle groups. Chin-ups are great for working the biceps and strengthening the posterior. Dips focus on the triceps, while swings are excellent for building core strength, improving stability and toning forearms and pectorals."

If you want to go full-on monkey and swing from the trees (well, an outdoor gym at a local park), Alan suggests: "To see significant improvements, aim to do four to six solid reps before resting. If you're aiming to build lean muscle, do eight to 12 reps before resting."

If you want to go full-on monkey and swing from the trees (well, an outdoor gym at a local park), Alan suggests: "To see significant improvements, aim to do four to six solid reps before resting. If you're aiming to build lean muscle, do eight to 12 reps before resting."

CHASING TARGETS WHETHER it was 'kiss chase' or good old-fashioned tag, dashing around CHASING TARGETS WHETHER it was 'kiss chase' or good old-fashioned tag, dashing around outdoors meant that as kids we were often getting our hearts pumping without even realising.

outdoors meant that as kids we were often getting our hearts pumping without even realising.

"We all used to chase each other as children, but who knew how beneficial this stop-start type of activity actually is?" says Chris Ward of Fitness First (fitnessfirst.co.uk). A great adult equivalent is interval training - incorporating speedy bursts into your run.

"We all used to chase each other as children, but who knew how beneficial this stop-start type of activity actually is?" says Chris Ward of Fitness First (fitnessfirst.co.uk). A great adult equivalent is interval training - incorporating speedy bursts into your run.

Sprinting is a form of anaerobic exercise, Chris explains - the body can't take in and use oxygen quickly enough to meet the intense demands of the activity, which triggers lactic acid formation, which ultimately leads to having to slow down or stop.

Sprinting is a form of anaerobic exercise, Chris explains - the body can't take in and use oxygen quickly enough to meet the intense demands of the activity, which triggers lactic acid formation, which ultimately leads to having to slow down or stop.

Including sprints in Including sprints in your workout can help push up your 'lactate threshold', meaning you'll be able to "run faster, for longer, before you feel that burn", adds Chris.

your workout can help push up your 'lactate threshold', meaning you'll be able to "run faster, for longer, before you feel that burn", adds Chris.

A thorough warm-up is essential, and watch that technique: "Sprinting isn't about either having a longer stride or a higher leg turnover - it's a combination of both, so stay tall, use the upper body and try to drive quickly through each stride, and land with the ball of your foot (not your heel!), just underneath your body so as not to 'reach' too far."

body and try to drive quickly through each stride, and land with the ball of your foot (not your heel!), just underneath your body so as not to 'reach' too far."

SCOOT-A-HOOT SCOOTERS are all the craze on the school run - and if you can't beat them, join them. Adult scooters, like the Floral Adult Micro Scooter, from PS159.95 (micro-scooters.co.uk), are a nippy way to get about and if you're looking to boost SCOOT-A-HOOT SCOOTERS are all the craze on the school run - and if you can't beat them, join them. Adult scooters, like the Floral Adult Micro Scooter, from PS159.95 (micro-scooters.co.uk), are a nippy way to get about and if you're looking to boost your activity levels, you'll struggle to find a way that's more fun - though it's harder work than it looks!

your activity levels, you'll struggle to find a way that's more fun - though it's harder work than it looks!

"I use my scooter when I pick up my little girl from school," says mum and journalist, Claire Spreadbury. "It makes me feel like a child again! You have to suppress the urge to giggle when you're whizzing down hills. My daughter, Rosie, absolutely loves it, and it's brilliant for both our fitness levels."

"I use my scooter when I pick up my little girl from school," says mum and journalist, Claire Spreadbury. "It makes me feel like a child again! You have to suppress the urge to giggle when you're whizzing down hills. My daughter, Rosie, absolutely loves it, and it's brilliant for both our fitness levels."

Personal trainer Laura " Personal trainer Laur Williams (laurawilliamsonline .co.uk) is also a scooter fan.

Williams (laurawilliamsonline .co.uk) is also a scooter fan.

"Scooting's a great way to get more exercise into a busy daily routine - gym visits aren't always possible but a scoot home from school or work usually is.

"Scooting's a great way to get more exercise into a busy daily routine - gym visits aren't always possible but a scoot home from school or work usually is.

"Because it's more fun for children than walking, it's a fitness activity that you'll probably have more luck getting the whole family involved with too. Not only is scooting quicker than walking, it burns a few more calories too (around 350 an hour). It's also a great way to work leg muscles, as well as your bottom and core."

"Because it's more fun for children than walking, it's a fitness activity that you'll probably have more luck getting the whole family involved with too. Not only is scooting quicker than walking, it burns a few more calories too (around 350 an hour). It's also a great way to work leg muscles, as well as your bottom and core."

BE HOOPFUL TOP marks if you actually managed to BE HOOPFUL TOP marks if you actually managed to master the hula hoop, but even if you didn't, chances are you still had fun trying.

master the hula hoop, but even if you didn't, chances are you still had fun trying.

Try it again now and not only will you revisit having a good giggle, you"ll also get a toned core and bum.

Try it again now and not only will you revisit having a good giggle, you"ll also get a toned core and bum.

"Hula hooping gets your midsection working to the max. Weighted hoops are also available these days, to challenge you even more," says personal trainer and health coach Mollie Millington (ptmollie.com).

"Hula hooping gets your midsection working to the max. Weighted hoops are also available these days, to challenge you even more," says personal trainer and health coach Mollie Millington (ptmollie.com).

"Treat hooping as you would any other session; warming up is key," she adds.

"Treat hooping as you would any other session; warming up is key," she adds.

"Hooping will strengthen the muscles on your stomach and lower back. Hooping also works your hips and bum to give you a "Hooping will strengthen the muscles on your stomach and lower back. Hooping also works your hips and bum to give you a firm appearance from behind. It's a fantastic low-impact workout that will also help improve your posture and flexibility."

firm appearance from behind. It's a fantastic low-impact workout that will also help improve your posture and flexibility."

Hooping for 10-15 minutes, four or five times a week, is a good start. "Once you're more confident with the movements, try adding on an additional five minutes each week," suggests Mollie. "Your goal should be 30-45 minutes three times per week."

Hooping for 10-15 minutes, four or five times a week, is a good start. "Once you're more confident with the movements, try adding on an additional five minutes each week," suggests Mollie. "Your goal should be 30-45 minutes three times per week."

SKIP TO IT THE humble skipping rope - a simple invention but one that certainly kept us entertained for hours as schoolgirls. A favourite with boxers, rope-skipping builds up fitness and stamina fast.

SKIP TO IT THE humble skipping rope - a simple invention but one that certainly kept us entertained for hours as schoolgirls. A favourite with boxers, rope-skipping builds up fitness and stamina fast.

"Skipping ropes will quickly raise your pulse," says Mollie, "and work on your motor skills and coordination.

"Skipping ropes will quickly raise your pulse," says Mollie, "and work on your motor skills and coordination.

"You can also build up muscles in your legs by trying to jump higher on each skip."

"You can also build up muscles in your legs by trying to jump higher on each skip."

However, if you're a beginner, go easy to start with.

However, if you're a beginner, go easy to start with.

"If you're quite unfit, definitely build up to it," says Mollie.

"If you're quite unfit, definitely build up to it," says Mollie.

"Start by setting a timer for five minutes and see how many times you can skip without having to start over, or try out a few different methods - with a hop, without a "Start by setting a timer for five minutes and see how many times you can skip without having to start over, or try out a few different methods - with a hop, without a hop, skipping forward, on one foot, bringing the rope around twice on a single skip. See how you feel when the timer goes off. If you are smiley (and a bit sweaty) go for another five minutes.

hop, skipping forward, on one foot, bringing the rope around twice on a single skip. See how you feel when the timer goes off. If you are smiley (and a bit sweaty) go for another five minutes.

"Keeping in mind that the more intense the workout the more calories you will burn, a woman who weighs 60kg will burn between 120-200 calories just by rope-skipping for 15 minutes."

"Keeping in mind that the more intense the workout the more calories you will burn, a woman who weighs 60kg will burn between 120-200 calories just by rope-skipping for 15 minutes."

CAPTION(S):

| Chase, skipping and scooter riding all have great benefits for adults says Alan Holl of Virgin Active | Chase, skipping and scooter riding all have great benefits for adults says Alan Holl of Virgin Active

Scooting | A fun calorie burning exercise Scooting | A fun calorie burning exercise

Chase | The short sprints it requires mirrors circuit training Chase | The short sprints it requires mirrors circuit training

Skipping | Quickly raises your heart rate Skipping | Quickly raises your heart rate
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:May 28, 2014
Words:2153
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