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Exercise Like A Kid


At one point exercise was simple -- our only mode of transportation was a bicycle, a skate board or roller skates, and our social time was spent playing physically demanding activities like tag and kickball. Even in middle and high school, organized extracurricular sports complemented our scholarly aspirations.

But we all know exercise doesn't fit so seamlessly into our schedules anymore. For some of us, playtime with children gives us time to exercise like a kid -- and our bodies thank us for it. But for the most part, hectic schedules and stressful career obligations keep us off the streets and out of the yards.

While working out at a gym provides benefits, sometimes you just need to change things up and keep life interesting. Check out some of our ideas for exercising like a kid again -- these workouts will challenge your muscles in familiarly fun ways, and will help keep your wellness regimen on track.

Get Back on the Bike

You never forget how to ride a bike. So assuming you've lost the training wheels at some point, bicycling is a great way to exercise on your own or with family and friends. It's easy on the joints and it's great for enjoying and exploring the sights. Keep in mind, bicycling doubles as a healthy, green-friendly transportation option that can burn up to 563 calories*, so it's also great for people with places to go and people to see.

Brush off your Dancing Shoes

There's no question that dancing is hot right now, so it's not too hard to find dancing classes that fit your interests. From Salsa to ballet, the options are endless. And while some may be more comfortable bringing a dance partner, most dance institutes offer classes for singles and will match you up with a dancing friend. Generally, dancing can burn up to 350 calories*, although that can vary with different dance styles.

Revisit Tree Climbing. The Adult Way

Do you miss the challenge of reaching new heights? Try rock climbing. Instruction is available for indoor and outdoor rock climbing, and it provides an excellent all-over workout that can burn up to 774 calories*. Plus, with the equipment you'll use, it's a bit safer than climbing your parents' old oak tree.

Stretch it Out

Were you a former gymnast or cheerleader? Get acrobatic again with trapeze classes and burn up to 300 calories*. If airborne challenges aren't really your bag, try out for an adult all-star cheerleading squad. These teams consist of former cheerleaders who want to keep the spirit alive -- and can burn up to 255 calories* while doing it.

Tag Along

Recreate the fun of a wild game of tag by joining a flag football team (burns up to 563 calories*). Or try a jogging club that pushes you to catch the other members for up to 493 calories*. If you don't want to commit to an entire season, you can simply gather the gang in the front yard for a game and reap some health benefits.   

Play Ball

If your fondest childhood memories involve ball games like handball or four square, give tennis or racquetball a try and burn up to 493 calories*.

Jump In

Were your first steps toward the water? Consider joining an adult swim league. If you prefer staying a little drier, try kayaking or rowing instead. Either way, you'll burn those calories: up to 500 calories burned* in both sports.

To put all those numbers in perspective, check out the number of calories in some of the foods below.


Type of Food

Typical Calories **

Plain Hamburger (3 ounces)


Honey Roasted Peanuts (Two Tbsp.)


Medium Serving of Spaghetti (One Cup) with Marinara Sauce (Half a Cup)


One Packet of Plain Instant Oatmeal


Pretzels (One Ounce)


One Medium Apple


One Slice of Cheese Pizza


One Cup of Low-Fat Vanilla Yogurt


One Small Baked Sweet Potato, Without Butter


One Scoop of Light Vanilla Ice Cream (Half a Cup)


Source: (http://www.caloriecontrol.org/calcalcs.html)

Keep in mind that physical activity doesn't offset a poor diet. To manage weight loss, make sure you're expending more calories than you're consuming. Also remember that when you're exercising regularly, it's even more important to eat foods that have a high nutritional value (i.e., nutrient-dense, while low in fat and sugar) to help propel you through tough workouts.

Here's to feeling like a kid again!

* Calories burned based on a 150 pound woman performing the activity for one hour.

** Typical calories based on average estimates. Actual calories can vary by brand, serving size and toppings.

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