Following the recent post about playground workouts, it is worth noting that playgrounds are intended for children. While it is certainly fun to exercise at the playground, your workout should never come at the expense of a child. Personally, if I am exercising at the playground, I do so because I am playing with my kids. I’m fortunate to live within walking distance to their school so we regularly visit the playground.
My children enjoy seeing me perform various exercises from the bars and naturally do their best to follow along. If it was up to them, we’d stay at the playground until the sun went down. They can’t get enough of it. And their eagerness to play on the bars seems to be quite common amongst children their age.
As parents, it is important that we provide an avenue for children to pursue physically demanding interests. For example, my kids don’t know anything about video games. They haven’t been exposed to them. They’ll take playing on the playground over sitting in front of the television every time. And while that may sound unusual, I believe it would be the norm if more kids had more opportunities to get outside and play.
As for potential, the sky truly is the limit. Take a look at the young girl below for a prime example (see link). Her abilities are quite impressive but wouldn’t be as uncommon if more kids spent more time outside on the bars. When a child is challenged with an activity that he or she enjoys, it is only a matter of time before they improve. Playing on the playground is a perfect example of a potentially challenging activity that is also enjoyable.
As parents, we should not only foster such activities, but also learn from them. Your own workout will often be much more effective when you perform activities that are fun. Yes, it is important to work hard, but also attempt some challenging movements that you enjoy. You’ll be much more eager to progress with activities that are fun to perform. Using myself as an example, I work as hard as anyone in the gym, but I also consider myself a big kid. I am always looking for ways to add some excitement and enjoyment to the daily grind.
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” – George Bernard Shaw