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8 Great Schoolyard Style Ways to Get Fit

Believe it or not, childhood schoolyard activities make excellent sculpting workout routines.

Ever wonder where kids get (and burn off) all their energy? The schoolyard is packed with places to get fit, from monkey bars to team sports games. So if you’re tired of the same old workout day after day, consider schoolyard approved ways to get fit and get the results you’ve dreamed of.

Rope Jumping

Believe it or not, rope jumping is a high calorie-burning schoolyard activity that’s used in many organized workout routines. In fact, a 155-pound person burns about 372 calories in just 30 minutes while rope jumping, says Harvard Health Publications. Try combining a variety of different jumps, like regular rope jumping, jumping one leg at a time, high-knee jumps, scissor jumps, speed jumping, and jumping-jack jumps to tighten and tone your legs and butt (and even your arms and abs).

Team Sports (Soccer, Basketball, Tennis, and Football)

Playing team sports is one of the best cardiovascular workouts you can participate in and is way more exciting than monotonous treadmill workouts or grueling high-intensity interval training. A 155-pound person burns a whopping 298 calories (in 30 minutes) playing basketball or touch football, and 260 calories playing soccer or tennis. Try joining a local sports league, or simply get a group of friends together for pickup games at a park.

Monkey Bar Pull-ups, Pushups, Sit-ups, Squats, and Lunges

The playground offers a variety of opportunities to tone up your entire body. Are there monkey bars at your local schoolyard or playground? If so, try monkey-bar pull-ups to tighten and tone your arms, back and abs. Find a flat open area to do squats, lunges, pushups, and sit-ups to complete your outdoor body-sculpting workout.

Rollerblading or Skating

Is roller skating a favorite childhood past time of yours? You’re never too old to roller skate with your kids or rollerblade through the park. In fact, this fun activity is an excellent calorie-burning exercise, and a great way to tighten and tone your lower body. A 155-pound person expends about 260 calories in 30 minutes rollerblading or skating.

Running Outdoors

Remember running a mile around the schoolyard as part of your school’s physical fitness test? Running outside is an excellent form of cardiovascular exercise, and one of the highest calorie-burning workouts. Treadmill workouts are great too, but nothing beats running outside to enjoy nature at its best on a sunny day. Running or jogging at a pace of 6 miles per hour (a 10-minute mile) means you’ll burn about 372 calories in 30 minutes (if you weigh 155 pounds).


Did you bike just about everywhere you went as a kid (especially to and from the playground)? Getting out your bike as part of a favorite childhood past time is one of the best ways to tighten and tone your thighs, calves, and butt. You’ll burn about 260 calories in 30 minutes (if you weigh 155 pounds) biking at a moderate pace.


Remember doing cartwheels, summersaults, handstands, backbends, and handsprings on the playground when you were young? Gymnastics stunts can help you tighten and sculpt your entire body in no time. Find an open grassy area and re-create some of your favorite childhood gymnastics moves. You’ll burn about 149 calories in 30 minutes doing so. Just be careful to avoid injuries if you’re not as agile as you used to be.

Stadium Workouts

Grab a friend and head over to your school's football stadium for some high-intensity bleacher climbs and sprints. Your lower body will thank you for doing so when it's tight and toned up for summer. You'll burn about 223 calories in 30 minutes climbing stairs (bleacher climbs), says Harvard Health Publications. While you're at the stadium, try football-field sprints, or jog around the school track.

Why Choose Schoolyard Workouts?

The main reason to choose schoolyard approved ways to get fit is because childhood playground activities help get you into shape quickly, tighten and tone problem areas, and burn a ton of calories. And the best part about exercising like a kid? Schoolyard workouts are fun!

[Image via Shutterstock]

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