You're never too old to swing. Swinging on a swing is fun — and it is good exercise. Swinging is different than most workout programs, as it can make you feel like a kid again. You can get fit and spend time outdoors.
Not only is swinging an enjoyable activity, but it can also burn calories and strengthen your legs and core.
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Try This New Trend
Swing set fitness is an old trend from back when kids had recess and playground equipment like swings. Using a swing is an effective way to lose weight, tone up and gain strength. Swinging for fitness is making a come back — for adults.
Fitness gyms are starting to offer swing set fitness indoors. Combining traditional exercises with a swing can make workouts more engaging, so you will stick to it. It is an activity that the whole family can do.
If you are taking your kids to the park to play, join them. A variety of strengthening exercises, such as pistol squats, planks and bridging can be performed with a swing, as demonstrated by Stone Athletic Medicine.
Swinging on a Swing
There are several exercises you can do on a swing.
Move 1: Sit on the swing seat. Instead of pushing off with your legs, bend your knees and draw them into your chest. A few repetitions and you will start to feel your abdominal muscles working.
Move 2: Holding onto the chains, lean back and put your legs straight out in front of you. Now lift your legs and your upper body at the same time, trying to get your knees as close to your nose as possible.
Move 3: Lean back in the swing at a 45-degree angle. Your back is supported by the swing, your feet are on the ground, legs straight. Bend your knees and then straighten again. The muscles in the back of your calves and thighs will get a good workout with this one.
Do a more advanced version of move 3 by holding onto the chains but not using the swing seat itself.
You can also sit on the swing and do scissors with your legs, use the chains to do pull-ups, even put your feet on the swing with your hands on the ground and do push-ups. Of course, you can also simply swing.
Enjoy the Benefits
Swing fitness can condition the joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments — basically, most of the body. It can be adjusted to fit your fitness level or lack thereof. Swinging can blur the line between workouts and recreation.
You can complete an entire body workout in a short amount of time. And, if you are swinging, your children will want to as well, and you will be teaching them good fitness habits.
However, as Harvard Health Publishing points out, exercising also helps improve your memory and can boost your mood. Particularly if you participate in an activity you enjoy, such as swinging.
Prioritize Your Safety
The swing set you use should be secure, stable and in good working condition, following recommendations made by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. Do not swing or bump into anyone, which could cause them to fall.
Hold onto the chains or ropes of the swing tightly; you do not want to lose your balance and fall, particularly from a great height. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two-thirds of playground-related traumatic brain injuries often involve monkey bars, climbing equipment and swings.
Wash your hands after swinging. After all, people are not the only ones who use swings, squirrels love them too. If you are using swings at the playground, bacteria will most likely be lurking on the chains.
Wear sunscreen if you are going to be swinging for an extended period of time. It does not pay to get fit only to get skin cancer.