Exercise is a vital component of every adult’s health plan. As adults, we usually approach our work out regimen with strict guidelines, quantifiable goals and a business-like mindset. All of these things are good, positive ways to better our health and increase our quality of life. However, they do obscure the one truth that kids know so well but many adults have forgotten: exercise can be fun!

To help you recapture that fun and exercise like a kid again, here is a list of four childhood activities that are great workouts for adults.

Hula hooping

You probably remember hula hooping endlessly as a child but did you know that hula hooping is a fantastic fat burner? Waist hooping strengthens your core, improves coordination and flexibility, and burns fat.

Hoop dancing incorporates arms and legs movement as well as waist and hips to really maximize the toning, strengthening, calorie-burning, rhythmic fun. Hula hooping burns 300-400 calories per hour; as much as weight training, and is usually a lot more fun.

Jumping rope

Jumping rope is a fantastic cardiovascular workout. It can strengthen bones, improve coordination and breathing efficiency, and burn up to 1300 calories per hour. Jumping rope for ten minutes gives you the same workout as running an eight-minute mile, and you never have to leave your yard!

Jumping rope also protects your feet and ankles by training you to bounce on the balls of your feet, and flex your ankles to land softly. This training stays with you when you run, jump, and play in your day-to-day life. On top of all of the physical benefits, jumping rope also has some mental and emotional benefits: professional boxers claim that jumping rope enables them to stay calm in the ring.

Trampolining

Just like jumping rope, trampolining is a great cardiovascular workout. It is also low-impact, which protects your hips, knees, and ankles. Trampolining is approximately 68% more effective than jogging. The rebound from the springs makes your muscles work more energetically.

Trampolining increases coordination, develops balance, and improves body-awareness. It takes skill to bounce and land where you want to, and the longer you bounce, the more you improve these skills.

Play Tag

One thing that kids do better than adults is sprint. Kids can run all day long, especially if they are playing a game. Now, as an adult, you might not be able to instigate a game of tag whenever you need to, but there are two easy ways to get the same workout and have fun.

Laser tag Running, hiding, and squatting are only a few of the benefits of playing games like tag. A huge health benefit is actually the fear of getting caught. It boosts adrenaline which increases your heart rate, and stimulates your spatial awareness.

Zig-zag sprints When kids play tag, they don’t run in one direction. They zig-zag and dodge, increasing their power, speed, and body control. Mimic this by creating a sort of pinball court: draw chalk marks or set objects across a hard platform, then sprint from one to another, tagging the marks as you go.

All these activities boost your cardiovascular health, body control, and spatial awareness while simultaneously toning muscle, building strength, and burning calories.

The best part of these exercises is that they are family-friendly. Take on your kids in a hula hoop challenge. Have them teach you the new jump rope chants and rhymes, and see if you can remember the ones from your childhood. Play tag with your family, and bond while you work out. The bottom line for good health is this: get outside and play!

Sources:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/expert-answers/weighted-hula-hoops/faq-20058073

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/exercise/art-20050999?pg=2

http://jap.physiology.org/content/49/5/881

http://www.trampolinepundit.com/nasa-scientists-agree-trampoline-is-more-beneficial-than-jogging/

http://pitjournal.unc.edu/article/animal-instincts-human-body-psychological-and-skeletal-muscular-analysis-adrenaline-human

http://www.humankinetics.com/excerpts/excerpts/zigzag-run-test-for-power-speed-quickness-and-body-control