Fitness Articles

Embrace Your Inner Child to Get in Shape

8 Recess-Inspired Activities that are More than Kid's Play


5. Dodgeball. Dodgeball is back—in a big way. Adult dodgeball leagues are popping up in workplaces and health clubs across the country, because this childhood game is a dynamic, interval-type activity that requires running, ducking, jumping, throwing and catching. Talk about functional and competitive! If you loved dodgeball in school, you're guaranteed to love it just as much now, especially because you can burn about 340 calories an hour by going after your friends (all in good fun, of course).

Try-It Tip: Find a local National Amateur Dodgeball Association member in your area and start playing! Or start up your own league with co-workers, friends and family members.

6. Simon Says. You remember how Simon Says works, right? If "Simon Says" then you can do something. If not, you can't—or aren't supposed to. This game is a perfect way to focus your mind on something other than working out because you're so focused on what Simon is saying. Organize a game of Simon Says where you stand on one leg, do lunges, jumping jacks, high knees, push-ups and any other fun exercise. If Simon picks a lot of high-energy moves, a 30-minute session of Simon Says can easily burn 300 calories.

Try-It Tip: Get a few friends together and take turns being "Simon." The sillier that Simon can be with his/her instructions, the more fun you’ll all have! You can even have those who do something that Simon didn't say do extra laps or push-ups!

7. Red Light, Green Light. This commonly played game is a fun way to get you moving. Gather a workout buddy or two and designate one person as "the light." Then have that person tell you "green light" to fast walk and "red light" to slow your pace down. Voila! It's a fun interval workout that can burn up to 300 calories an hour!

Try-It Tip: If you're a runner, you can still play Red Light, Green Light! Just make the Red Light be slow jogging, and the Green Light fast running or sprinting. You'll up your calorie burn to about a 100 per mile you cover!

8. Tag. If you remember playing tag as a kid, you probably remember being exhausted after a good game, especially if you were "It." Tag is basically an interval workout with lots of sprinting, running and recovery. The only equipment you need is some friends (or kids!) and a big backyard. If you keep moving the whole game, 20 minutes can easily burn 150 calories or more.
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About The Author

Jennipher Walters Jennipher Walters
Jenn is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites, and A certified personal trainer, health coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and is the author of The Fit Bottomed Girls Anti-Diet book (Random House, 2014).

See all of Jenn's articles.

Member Comments

  • great article - 7/28/2013 1:16:10 PM
  • I agree with TWOOFTHREE. BUT it's a great article. - 7/25/2013 9:56:10 AM
    Another FUN way to release your inner child and get exercise is to participate in mud runs! My favorite is www.thebattlegrou - 11/21/2012 11:30:55 AM
  • Wow, great article that really brought back the memories. I think I will go out a look for a hula hoop tomorrow. - 10/24/2011 9:35:18 PM
  • Good article too bad some of us weren't always allowed to play when we were kids. I can recall playing Doctor, doctor on a few occaisions (as a break from the routine) in karate class. - 1/19/2011 7:58:20 PM
  • Hadn't thought about all the games I played when I was a kid. It was a walk down memory lane for me. Thanks! - 12/23/2010 7:16:37 AM
  • Hopscotch definitely needs to be added to this list. - 11/20/2010 2:04:08 PM
  • Add to this list, FOLLOW THE LEADER. I used to do this for PE hour when I worked on a ranch for troubled teens. Doing this outdoors on uneven ground can work up a sweat! - 8/31/2010 10:21:52 AM
  • Great memories! Man, I loooved jumprope! But...'Chinese jumprope' was the best, though... that elasticized band around your knees, and two people had to be "ends', unless you could loop one end around an object? All that jumping, walking, running, twirling...I wish I knew some people that were into this, LOL! - 8/9/2010 7:44:19 PM
    Hopscotch would be a fun one too. - 7/27/2010 4:32:03 PM
  • Love this article! I'm a bit limited to the games I can play due to my blindness, but I can play tag in my pool without worrying about obstacles and I can find the people by their movement in the water. My nephew and I do play "Marco Polo" in the pool and not only am I getting my fitness in, he's learning what it is like for me not to be able to see! I've been wanting a hula hoop and will need to get one! I'm going to talk my husband into an obstacle course with me too! Thanks! - 7/27/2010 3:14:10 PM
  • These are really fun ideas....and it brings back a lot of memories from games I remember as a kid! - 7/27/2010 9:49:19 AM

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