i’ve been keeping to the goal i set for myself over a year ago to getting to the gym at least 3 times a week. continuing to keep my body active and strong has become a big priority for me as i’ve grown older and especially as i’ve had children and realize how much i want them to stay healthy and strong throughout their own lives. one of the biggest things josh and i have observed over the last few years with all three of them watching our every move, is that they learn by example. so if i want to teach them to prioritize their health and taking care of their bodies, i have to start with myself. so sometimes when i’m not able to get to the gym, it’s fun to sneak in a few circuits at the playground in between chasing them around and playing.
before i get any further though, i want to preface this with a big disclaimer that while having kids basically means you get a cardio workout at one point or other during your day whether you asked for it or not, i must confess that there are plenty of times where i enjoy taking them to the playground just so i can sit down on the playground bench and completely vege out for a few minutes. it’s basically like being at the spa, you know? ;) but occasionally throwing in some lunges in-between catching someone going down the slide, or using the seesaw as a base for a couple of squats, makes me feel like i am freaking conquering the world!!!!!!! and that is a pretty amazing feeling.
i think everyone who reads this blog of mine is probably well aware of my love for j.crew. i shop online and in the store regularly because i love their use of bright and bold colors and how they aren’t afraid of patterns or a good stripe. their kids line is one of my favorites for both boys and girls as well. i was so excited when they asked me to showcase two looks from their newest collaboration with new balance! the active wear collaboration is so good, you guys. i don’t know about you, but sometimes fun and pretty active wear is a big motivator for me to just get moving and exercise. the newest line is full of some of the prettiest warm pink colors and you can never go wrong with a good navy stripe!
below, i’m sharing a few of the work outs i do at the playground sometimes, as well as two looks from the new balance x j.crew collaboration!
do i get extra points by doing something active with conrad on my back?? usually he has no interest in this sort of thing, but i think since papa had the camera out, he wanted in on the action and would not get off me!
i don’t know if this pertains to all children around the age of 2 or just mine, but all three of my littles have been obsessed with the seesaw and could spend a solid 20 minutes going up and down! when you get tired and try to get off, they just keep begging for more! you can absolutely sneak in leg squats while chatting and making silly faces at them and basically kill two birds with one stone.
also, throw in a couple of side lunges while you wait to catch you babies coming down the slide. ;)
grabbing one of my favorite green smoothies in the city in this second look. (i shared our favorite green smoothie recipe here if you’d like to try to make one at home!) we make a smoothie at home for everyone pretty often and i usually crave one after a solid workout.
that moment when you try to do pull ups on the monkey bars and totally can’t. also that moment when your toddler sees you struggling and runs over and is all, “mama, i help? i help?” thank you, conrad. for the record, there was a hot second last year where i was able to do these just fine at the gym, but it’s been a while and i totally failed on this day. but if you can do these, the playground has so many spots where you can find bars to use to get a few in!
i feel like the next best thing to do with benches besides sitting on them, is doing dips! conrad was so funny trying to do them along side me. it’s really motivating to see my kids watching me and know that they’re learning (some of the time!) from me about working out and taking care of your mind and body. if it’s too difficult to do dips with your legs all the way straight, then try bringing your legs half in (how i prefer to do them so i can feel my core truly activating and not strain my back.)
don’t forget some push-ups!!
you can also use any bench in the park for step up leg jumps! i try to do 20 leg jumps at a time, and repeat 3 times with rests in-between. same with variations of crunches and ab workouts like the one below. (also please raise your hand if you are still trying to find those abs after giving birth over two years prior!…ME.)
sometimes we joke that the entire city is like the kids playground. i also joke that it is my gym. between the miles we walk and the stairs we climb alone, it’s a good workout. i hope my kids always know how lucky they are to have healthy and able bodies and i hope i’m able to help them see that by setting an example with how i move mine. last fall, when i was able to go to the white house and meet with the first lady mrs. obama, i remember her sharing how important it is for us as mothers or parents or individuals to start small when it comes to trying to instill healthier habits and a love for staying active in our little ones. she said the biggest place to start is “in your own personal universe.” doing my best to do just that, even if i feel like an idiot doing some occasional squats or crunches at the playground. ;) let’s move!
thank you so much to j.crew for sponsoring this blog post.
first look: scoop neck sports bra in pink, pink long sleeve t-shirt, navy capri leggings and new balance for j.crew mesh sneakers in confetti (pink).
second look: stripe crop top, navy pullover, capri leggings in heather grey and mesh sneakers in navy.