In the world of fitness, it's easy to get lost in the routine of treadmills and dumbbells. But what if we told you that you could achieve a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout while having a blast? Here are four activities that might feel like play but will give you an incredible workout.
Remember the days when skipping was just a playground pastime? Well, it's time to revisit this childhood favourite with a fitness twist.
Skipping is an excellent way to boost cardiovascular fitness and because this type of activity works multiple muscles (it’s a full body workout, after all!),it also revs up your heart rate. A big plus for your overall heart health.
The key is to start slow, gradually building your pace. Try skipping for a minute, then take a minute's rest. Repeat this cycle five times, and you'll be amazed at how quickly your heart rate climbs.
Skipfluencer (yep, that’s a thing) Lauren Flymen, known as Lauren.Jumps on TikTok, has a stack of free tutorials on YouTube to help you get off to a flying start and avoid unnecessary injury.
2. Playground Equipment
Swings and slides aren't just for kids anymore. Sure, the last time you made a trip to your local playground, you were probably in pigtails but hear us out. The height of a slide actually makes it a perfect prop to perform side lunges on, which work your inner and outer thighs (it’s also super sturdy so you won’t lose your footing).
Utilise the swing set to perform a round (or 3) of push ups, a bodyweight exercise that works your chest, shoulders, biceps, back and core. Simply place your feet in the seat of the swing and your hands on the ground, and voila! You’re in the prime position.
Meanwhile monkey bars are great for chin ups and pull ups, while a park bench can double as a support for tricep dips. These types of exercises provide an effective full-body workout that will leave you feeling strong and super invigorated.
3. Hula Hoop
Hula hooping is not only a fun pastime but also a fantastic workout for your core. One study even found that a 30 minute hula hoop workout has similar benefits to kickboxing or dance cardio.
And because your brain has to sync up with your hips to keep that hoop spinning, it will improve your coordination too.
If you haven’t had a hula hoop in your home since primary school, we’re big fans of this weighted hoop. It’s made from recycled plastic, coils down for travel and come with three video tutorials to get you moving.
Hula pro? Challenge yourself by switching directions every few minutes or try walking while hooping to intensify the workout and feel the burn.
4. Shuttle Runs:
“Shuttle runs” may conjure up memories of year 8 Phys Ed, but they are excellent for improving your cardiovascular health, lung capacity and agility (and way more fun without your high school PE teacher’s whistle piercing your eardrums).
A traditional shuttle run involves setting up three construction cones 10, 20 and 30 metres apart, but if you don’t have witches hats on deck, any marker will work (a stool, chair, even a piece of paper will do the trick or you can pick up these Terrasphere Cones from Rebel for less than $15!.
Once you’re set up, sprint to the 10m marker, then run back to the starting line. Repeat the same action to the 20m and 30m markers and then perform the whole sequence five to six times (or more if you want to channel your inner athlete).
This blood pumping drill will build lower body muscle, torch calories and improve your speed.
Ready to rediscover the joy of these classic activities while boosting your fitness levels at the same time?
Whether you're looking to prep for summer or simply want to add some fun to your fitness routine, these throwback exercises have got you covered.
Grab a buddy, and let the fitness playtime begin!
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