7 Kid-Inspired Activities That Are Legit Workouts

by Macaela Mackenzie
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7 Kid-Inspired Activities That Are Legit Workouts

Somewhere along the way, being active became a chore. What was once a count-down-the-moments-until-recess attitude became an I-would-rather-hit-the-snooze button obligation. Turns out, the kiddos are onto something — adding your favorite childhood activities to your workout routine can help you lose weight while having a lot of fun along the way. To shake things up, channel your inner kid and have some fun while you burn a few calories.


Of all the activities you loved as a kid, nothing quite compared to the ecstasy you got from jumping on the trampoline. As it turns out, there’s good reason to rekindle that love as an adult. Earlier this year, a study from the American Council on Exercise found that mini trampoline workouts are actually even more effective than your go-to time on the treadmill — and infinitely more fun.  


You may not have the same double Dutch skills you possessed as a kid, but jumping rope is still a lot more fun — and likely more intense — than your standard cardio routine. Getting back in the swing of things for 30 minutes will torch about 300 calories.


Just because you pay taxes doesn’t mean you’re too old to play a pickup game like you used to. Shooting hoops after work will torch almost as many calories as spending that time on the treadmill.


If you do it right, spending 30 minutes playing at a local playground burns as many calories as spending 30 minutes at the gym. The bonus is that it’s way more fun. Work your hamstrings by pumping your legs to reach new heights on the swings, get in some cardio by racing up the ladder to the slide and score a serious upper-body workout on the monkey bars.


Even the most hopping spin classes don’t hold a candle to the rush you got as a little kid racing around on your bike. Shake up your normal Spinning routine by actually riding a bike outside. To ensure maximum burn, challenge yourself to the same types of hills and sprints you tackle in class.  


When you were a kid, opening day at the pool was almost as highly anticipated as Christmas. Recapture some of that excitement with a water workout. Rather than sticking to standard laps, switch things up by alternating strokes every time you reach the end of your lane, practicing tricks like handstands and somersaults or challenging the clock to a race.


Grab some friends for Frisbee, dodgeball or even tag. Half the fun of playing as a kid is doing it with your friends, so instead of your normal weekend brunch or happy hour with the crew, hit up the local park and run around. Playing for 30 minutes can torch around 200 calories.

About the Author

Macaela Mackenzie

Macaela is a writer based in New York City with a passion for all things active. When she’s not writing about the weirdest fitness trends or nutrition news, you can find her conquering her fear of heights at the rock climbing gym, hitting the pavement in Central Park or trying to become a yogi. To see Macaela’s latest work, visit macaelamackenzie.com.


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