So, maybe the weather is nice-ing up where you are and maybe you’re starting to think about being outside more. And maybe you’re thinking, hey, I’d like to start doing MORE with my body--not only in terms of moving more, but moving MORE of you, once you’re moving. Or maybe that’s just me.
In spring I start getting what I like to call Grand Notions about all the kick-a$$ hikes I’m going to take and muscles I’m going to build and races I’m going to win. And then I realize that while nature is busy revolutionizing itself for a few months, I still have to work and still have kids who need most of my attention, so I scale it back. But only a little.
One way I’ve managed to significantly improve my physical “shape” (put whatever you want into that box, because it’s all improved) is to make sure our family time is time also spent moving. Why? Because we don’t have a lot of extra time and in order to get 4-5 hours of movement in a day, movement can’t happen in isolation (i.e. outside of other things we need to do).
You wouldn’t think that a kid’s playground could pack an adult-size punch, but rest assured, if you stop sitting on the sidelines and get in the game, you can double not only your time spent per day, but the magnitude of the loads you are making. Meaning, you can do some serious body-weight type stuff on stuff made for children.
Swings: I have a love-hate relationship with swings. I recognize how fun they are, but I also see them as glorified stillness. Kind of like rocking chairs, rocker-bottom shoes, and skateboards. These are items that work more of you than when you’re still, but the amount of movement sensation way exceeds the input. So, this is why I do a Swing Crawl.
It’s pretty easy. Start standing on one swing and “walk” your way over to the next, then the next, etc. Then, work your way back.
Then, once you're a spring-time bad-a$$, you can work towards going across the TOP BAR on the swing set, but only if you're working toward being a year-round bad-a$$.
Last year really was the Year of the Upper Body (for me), and this year I started to do moves that create higher-than-weight loads, like jumping on to bars, etc. (Keep in mind I gave myself over a year to progress from two-arm hanging, to one arm, to swinging, to one-armed swinging, you catch my drift.)
My new “feel like a teenager again” exercise is to “jump” up to a bar that is higher than what I can reach with my legs alone, using well-timed down-ward pull on a swing chain.
Without the momentum, I can't get a good hold on the bar.
So I hold one chain in my hand,
And pull down to assist my upward motion.
Momentum is like magic! This move is like Parkour for the meek, over-38, and breastfeeding. Seriously, try it. It’s a ton of fun and you’ll end up feeling like you nailed your spring-time bad-a$$ness.
Oh, and P.S. ALWAYS hang out with someone stronger and more fearless than you. They serve to inspire. And make fun of you sometimes too, which is part of the fun.
And P.P.S. If you're wondering "where are their kids?" THIS is what we do for "date night." We go back to the kids playground, because apparently it's the only thing we can think of. This is us on a date, and we feel really good about it.