Recess for adults: How you can get in shape with kid-inspired workouts

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Gym class exercises you can do as an adult (KTRK)

Remember running around on the playground, playing dodgeball in P.E. or jumping rope with friends?

Wednesday morning on ABC13 Eyewitness News, meet a coach who's found ways to stay fit on the job and has first-time fitness tips.

There are several local leagues in the Houston area that offer recess-inspired activities for adults, even if you dread the gym. "We recently took a customer service survey of our participants and one of the most common responses was that people love playing with Sportsmonkey because it is a fun way to get in shape and feel great while also having fun," said Deirdre Buchta, who works with Sportsmonkey, a recreational sports and social club.

Gym-class inspired workouts can be done at home, too.

Here are some ways to help you get in the game!


You can grab a piece of chalk and draw a hopscotch board in your driveway or sidewalk. Another suggestion is using colored electrical tape on the floor, so you don't have to re-draw the boxes.

You can also check out some of the parks in the Houston area for hopscotch boards. There's one at the Shell Plaza and Walkways at Smither Park in the East End.

Hopscotch for an hour a day can improve balance and leg strength and burns at least 340 calories.

Hula Hooping

Health experts say 30 minutes of this activity will burn calories and fat, as well as strengthen core, back and hip muscles.

This can burn between 150-250 calories, and you don't even have to hula hoop in one 30-minute session to benefit.

The Centers for Disease Control says you can break up the exercise into three, 10-minute sessions.

Jump Rope

Jumping rope is said to be another great exercise because it's good for cardiovascular health.

It also helps build bone density and synchronizes your brain and muscles, minimizing the risk of falling or slipping as you get older.

Jumping rope can get intense depending on your pace, so it's recommended that you start off slowly and do this for about 20 minutes a day.

If you need to start in smaller increments, just jumping rope for 10 minutes can burn at least 100 calories.

Jumping Jacks

You can also get back to the basics of exercise with jumping jacks. Along with the benefits of burning fat, strengthening muscles and protecting against cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, this exercise is a stress-reliever.

For those who can't do jumping jacks an extended period of time, try alternating with marching in place.


In dodgeball, the running required to help you avoid being hit helps cardiovascular health by lowering blood pressure and improving circulation. It also improves hand-eye coordination, balance since you have to move quickly and strength in the upper body, which decreases the risk of osteoporosis.

If you want to join a team, check the National Dodgeball League website.


Kickball is said to burn 300-600 calories depending on the player's weight and intensity of the game.

The sport can also help you get back into shape without straining your body by starting at a slower pace.

There's the bonus of socializing, too. "Not only does it give adults an opportunity to get fit, but it is also a great way to have fun. Many of our participants have said it is a great networking opportunity, a great way to make new friends and meet people who are interested in the same things as them," Buchta said.

Sportsmonkey's leagues include flag football, sand volleyball, bowling and more. Leagues are offered within the loop and in suburbs including, The Woodlands, Katy and Sugar Land. Leagues range in price.

More than 1,000 adult teams are also organized through the Houston Parks and Recreation Department's Adult Sports section.

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