Playground Cardio for the Homebody

by Angela Yorke | April 26th, 2012 | Cardio

Let’s say you’re going through one of those periods where you only go out when absolutely necessary, such as to replenish the pantry or to show up for work. The rest of the time though, all you want to do is stay home. It might be because of the weather, or maybe you just want to stay in. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t have to come at the cost of aerobic fitness.

Like push ups, jumping jacks are a basic form of exercise. They’re easy to do, and they don’t require equipment or much space, but for some reason, you tend not to hear a lot about their usefulness as a cardio exercise outside of school. As far as an aerobic workout goes, 1 jumping jack (or 10) is no problem. The trick is maintaining correct form and keeping your spine straight while doing up to 30 of them in one set.

Continuing with activities more frequently seen in the playground, a jump rope is a good piece of equipment to have for days you don’t want to go out. Boxers certainly make it look easy, but it can be extremely challenging to jump the rope 30 times or for 10 minutes. Newcomers to the activity are advised to start out by jumping the rope with both feet, while those who have built up the coordination and stamina for it can attempt jumping with alternate feet, and/or crossing their arms while jumping the rope.

Remember when kids used to play hopscotch? Me neither. Even so, the hopscotch action is actually a good way to work up a sweat. Rather than hopping the length of a room or for 1 minute on one foot (and back) though, you hop forward with both feet shoulder-width apart and land on one leg, then take another hop forward, but land on both feet. From this position, you hop forward to land with the second leg, taking another forward hop to land on both feet.

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.