5 Exercises for my Inner Child
Remember way back when working out wasn’t something you did for fitness? A few of my childhood nicknames include energizer bunny, ninja, Tasmanian devil, and f5 (as in tornado… Lol). Needless to say as a kid I was pretty high energy. Children run and exercise and play because it is fun and it gets out our energy. You ran because you were being chased. You road your bike and roller bladed on the weekends and did flips off the jungle gym at recess. Exercise is a natural inclination, just go to the zoo and watch the other primates!
In all honesty, I regularly do the following childish activities that are amazingly challenging, fun, and beneficial. Sometimes I get strange looks from people at the park or patrons at the gym, but usually the strange look is followed by a friendly smile.
1. Jump Rope
I’ve already written a blog post about jump roping. I’d like to expand and say how jump roping is the greatest ice breaker ever. Strangers will regularly ask if they can borrow my rope for a few seconds and give it a whirl, I’m not even kidding. I even inspired a group of guys who I regularly see at the park workout station to bring their own ropes. One Saturday I arrived and they all eagerly showed me they brought their ropes (the guys pictured in the main collage). It was adorable and I was totally moved.
2. Hand Stands
This is a newer one for me, I’ve only been doing hand stands for about a month. There are many benefits to the good ol’ hand stand, a few of which are upper body and core strength, better circulation, and stronger bones. I am not yet practiced enough to do a full-on hand stand so I do a modified version using a wall. I stand about a foot away from the wall, facing the other way. Then I bend over, set my hands, then slide my legs up against the wall. I began doing this in 3 sets for 30 seconds. In just a month I’ve worked my way up to 3 sets of a minute-long stand. I recommend doing this directly after cardio… You will sweat! Towards the end of the hand stand I alternate taking one leg off the wall for 5-10 seconds. My goal in doing this is working my way up to eventually not needing the wall modification.
3. Monkey bars
This one is self explanatory I think. I will say it is much harder than it looks and much harder than you remember from doing it as a kid. But it is such a great feeling to challenge yourself and when you make it all the way across it is instant gratification 🙂 tips: bring chalk, sports tape, or even those fingerless gloves. I was unaware I needed these things and after a day or two I learned the hard way (pictured in the collage, kinda gross I know but kids get scraped up all the time).
4. Hula Hooping
I was at Target and saw this 2 1/2 lb weighted fitness hoop and I couldn’t resist. I hadn’t hooped since college and I have no idea why I stopped, other than the fact I didn’t want to schlep my hoop to San Diego. Anyways, I took the weighted hoop home, moved my ottoman to make space in the living room, and put on a recorded DVR of an hour-long episode of Nashville. There I stood for an entire hour, hula hooping. It was so fun and didn’t even fill strenuous or tiring until the last 15 minutes or so, but I stuck with it. The next day my abs were completely sore in a great way. This is a killer core work out and more fun than sitting on the couch if you have energy. Watching trash television has never been more productive!
Not for those of you who easily feel sick. Great for anyone who loves heights, fast motion, and feeling the wind whip through your hair. I fricken love swinging. To make it actually a challenge, I don’t pump my legs until I’m high up in the air. This forces you to use every muscle in your arm and also your core and back muscles. I have always loved swinging, it’s the closest thing to flying and that free feeling at the very top when you are suspended in gravity is so awesome. Give it a try next time you pass a swing set, I betcha won’t regret it!
Do you have any inner child habits or practices? Please share in the comment section below!