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Five reasons you *need* to hopscotch.

Wed, Dec 15, 2010

Exercise, Sears Fit Club

I know.

Im gonna stop a moment & gaze lovingly at the photo above as well she types pridefully pretending the whole ‘net cares as much about her life minutia as does she.

More than mama-love the photo symbolizes to me the lost art of exercise as FUN.

Necklace in hand.

Hair flying.

Chortles of joy you’ll just have to imagine.

The photo for me captures precisely why, as often as I can, I make my workouts into PLAYouts with my daughter.

That said, Im a selfish misfit (**cue gasps of surprise**).

It can’t always be about the Child and much of my motivation to exercise in general is to keep my body fit & strong so Im around to see her grow-up.

Yes we play.

Yes it’s vigorous & sweat-inducing.

And YES there are always myriad benefits for the Mama in these laughing, afternoon-killing, play’ventures.

I give you Five reasons -mama or not-you should incorporate hopscotch into your workout routine.

  • It is an amazing over-all workout you can do in your street clothes. Legend has it hopscotch was invented as a training exercise for Roman soldiers. The course used was 100+ feet long and the soldiers were compelled to ‘play’ in full armor.  True? Who knows.  You can, however, be clad in jeans & a winter jacket and still improve your fitness, endurance, & footwork.
  • It’s indoor/outdoor fun! This time of year in Texas we grab our chalk & head outdoors.  Live in a colder climate? Use our *summer* approach: grab some masking tape & make a hopscotch grid on the carpet.
  • It can count as cardio! Studies show hopscotch improves running economy & distance running performance. Does this misfit care? Not really.  All I know is when we play rounds of Quick! Go as fast as you can!!! I grow winded and am confident Im burning calories/working my heart.
  • It works on balance, stability, core & reaction time. Not only are these four areas we all need to focus upon for over-all health—they are areas (especially the last one) we can easily neglect when in a workout-rut.  My hopsotch-playouts are more comprehensive in these areas than my ‘traditional’ gym workouts ever were.
  • It targets our gross/fine motor skills and coordination. Sure this may seem more beneficial for the little ones in our lives, but the older we get (*raises hand*) the more we need to make time to KEEP the coordination & motor skills we’ve acquired along the living-way.

That’s it, People.

All you need to know & nary a word more so you’ve time leftover to get to the ‘scotching.

(forgotten how to play? remind yourself here.)


With kids?



No matter—just get to hopping.

This post is brought to you by the fit-minded Peeps at Sears Fit Club who, if rumors are correct, favor the indoor, masking-tape on carpet variety of hopscotch.

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45 Responses to “Five reasons you *need* to hopscotch.”

  1. Ang says:

    I remember teaching my bugaboo how to do this..and how much I fell because of lack of balance. How much she laughed as she learned her numbers and got better than her mommy.

    Maybe after my foot/ankle heals I’ll make up a masking tape game for a couple of rounds.

    Hop Hop Hopscotch Away

  2. Lea says:

    Love the indoor idea, Miz.
    It’s cold here!!

  3. Tammy says:

    I need lots of help with my balance, too.

    Have you used the BOSU before?

  4. Helen says:

    Did someone say running economy?! LOL

  5. Reen says:

    Great idea, Miz! Masking tape would work great indoors!

    P.S. Got my hoops out last night. With the rush of the holidays and work, haven’t been moving the hips much. Felt great to get them “swinging” again!

  6. Cammy@TippyToeDiet says:

    One of my walking venues is part of an elementary school campus Along one section of path is a fancy-schmancy permanent hopscotch grid. It’s a nice little diversion from walking and hardly anyone even looks at me funny anymore.

    Maybe I can talk the guys at 24hr fitness into putting one in on their little walking circle. If not, I can hop down my hallway. I don’t even need any tape. :)

  7. Erica says:

    So cute :) I think the idea of making a hopscotch grid on the carpet is so much fun!

  8. Bea says:

    It’s frigid here Miz.
    I am going to try this indoors with the twins today.

    I hadn’t thought about the tape.

    I hope I have tape. :)

  9. Holly says:

    Love this MizFit.

    It’s amazing weather is Houston too!

  10. Karen says:

    Wow, this takes me back. Reminds me how much play I did as a kid that counted as exercise. All that swinging on jungle gyms and kick ball. I like the snail hopscotch.

  11. Kerri O says:

    Our front sidewalk is perfect for hopscotch! I think it’s time my boys learned…when I was little it was always a ‘girls’ game…roman soldiers, so there. ;)

  12. angela says:

    Both hopscotch and jump rope completely exhaust me now. As a kid, that’s how I spent 90% of my day. ;)

  13. Jody - Fit at 53 says:

    Cutie pie, that Tornado!!! I so did hopscotch as a kid all the time. I think I must get back into that!!! Miz, you always take us back to basics & that is a good ting! HUGS!

  14. Karen says:

    This is why I love you. Simple. No frills. Done.

  15. Joyce Cherrier says:

    I adore the picture!! :) Unfortunately, my kids are now too old to want to play hopscotch, but I was so excited when my 11 year old asked for a jump rope to learn double dutch! I was so stoked — for me! I spent many a summer learning to jump double dutch & so excited to teach my girls! Thanks for a reminder to play everyday!

  16. Susan says:

    I have three boys who I can not for the life of me induce to play hopscotch, jump rope, or any of the clapping games I loved as a child. It’s mostly Nerf gun wars and digging in the dirt at my house! Last summer, though, I babysat a 6 year old girl three days a week and I taught her the finer arts of jump roping rhymes and hopscotch. Great fun and a great workout!

  17. Jim says:

    We grown-ups make it far too complicated!

  18. Kelly Happy Texan says:

    hmmmmm….rummaging to find sidewalk chalk. Ok, this is sad, but I guess I need to look up the rules of the game.

  19. Sagan says:

    I’m looking forward to teaching my little nieces how to hopscoth when they’re old enough :)

  20. debby says:

    One of the classes my trainer did incorporated a lot of hopping in it. It wasn’t my favorite thing to do.

    Okay, I’ll try again. She told me it was good for me too.

  21. Shelley B says:

    I hopscotched a little at the park on Saturday after my run - was embarrassed a bit. Next week, I shall do it with more glee and proclaim all the benefits that you just wrote about…who knows - maybe my running club will become running with hopscotch? :)

  22. Lori says:

    I will try this today. Will you call 911 or me if I fall and I can’t get back up?? :)

  23. Peggy says:

    I taught my little one to hopscotch last summer and he loved it. I think more for the stone tossing than the hopping; bean bags would work great for indoor play. Good reminder for indoor active play.

  24. Tamera says:

    I hadn’t thought about the indoor option!!!
    I need all the core work I can get.

  25. JourneyBeyondSurvival says:

    I love this idea! IT’s such a great one for those mom’s ‘trapped’ at home by finances (no gym) young kidlets (klingons) or other problems (imaginative response here). I think it would also help my kids be active, which is something I worry about.

    A lot.

    Thanks Miz!

  26. Jill says:

    We have a Disney princess hop scotch thingy that connects together like puzzle (sort of) so you can make any kind of hopscotch pattern you like. My girls use it a lot, now mama is thinking she might like to use it too!! :)

  27. elaine! says:

    Ooh, this reminds me, one of my favorite series of exercises in gym bootcamp was a hopscotch-like obstacle course, except with a rope ladder instead of chalk squares. You would run through, hop through, jump sideways, or even do pushups from one end to the last. It was fun… probably because I was pretty fast thanks to all the Dance Dance Revolution I played in college. ;)

  28. Erin of Fit Mama Training says:

    I actually do hopscotch with my wee one! One of the things I offer clients is a “Mom and me” fitness session where I bring my kid and do a workout playdate. I bring a light medicine ball for Moms and a bouncy ball for the little ones. We hop scotch, jump rope (or skip it!), use the kids as weights, chase eachother and just generally work up a sweat with no iron required. It’s so much fun! Lolas favorite game is “workout!” So awesome. Quite and example you are setting! Love it!

  29. Pubsgal says:

    I’m like a ‘Toon not being able to resist knocking twice after hearing “knock knock knock-knock knock” when it comes to a hopscotch grid! Sadly, my kids haven’t drawn any hopscotch grids lately…we’ll have to dig out the sidewalk chalk. (I never thought to use tape indoors, though - that’s brilliant!)

  30. juliejulie says:

    Hey Miz and friends, I forgot to tell you that I actually started The International Society of Hopscotch about a year ago. I’m not kidding! You might get a kick out of it…or…er…a hop! http://juliehopscotch.wordpress.com/2009/12/04/welcome-to-the-international-society-of-hopscotch/


  31. juliejulie says:

    Oh, hi. Me again. My last comment about the International Society of Hopscotch had some complications. This link will work better! It seems like a good excuse to drink Scotch.


  32. FatFighterTV says:

    I miss hopscotch! I must say, I was quite good at it as a kid. I wonder how I’d do now…

  33. Diane Fit to the Finish says:

    We’ve used tape inside too, after we found that string moved around too much! Anything to get my kids to stop running in the house. Totally impossible with five boys as you can imagine! Darling pic of your daughter!

  34. Dynamics says:

    Picture this…an older woman walking down the street. A beautiful chalked hopscotch on the sidewalk. What does older woman do? Of course, she hopscotches her way past. The result. Lots of horns honking. She goes back and does it again and waves to the passing cars. So wish I had a video tape of that. You never forget how to hopscotch.

  35. deb roby says:

    I love hopscotching my way through a workout for all the reasons you suggested.

    One experiment to try- most women “hop” on the same foot all the time. For a challenge (really) start hopping on the OTHER (usually non-dominant) foot. Talk about a coordination and balance challenge.

  36. Joanna Sutter says:

    I skip from time to time…and it leaves me breathless and smiling all at the same time!

  37. charlotte says:

    I love PLAYouts! Yesterday I discovered how very challenging Twister can be - have you played it recently? All that waiting for your Tornado to spin the wheel will have your quads burning:) And since hopscotch is part of Rachel Cosgrove’s warmup (not one that made the vid today, sadly) I get to do that too on a regular basis!

    PS> Tornado is SOOOO adorable in that pic!

  38. Jean-Luc Boissonneault says:

    Great idea. Balance, endurance, coordination all in one.

  39. Darlene says:

    I have so many memories with the hopscotch in my neighborhood. There used to be a lot of kids my age and we played this game, but the hopscotch was drawn with chalk on the asphalt, tape would have been too much :)

  40. FitMom says:

    So funny. As a PE teacher, this is a skill for young ones and even for the old ones to take it a step further in creating their own hopscotch game!

  41. Simply Life says:

    Oh that picture is adorable!


  1. Tweets that mention Why hopscotch is a great workout. | MizFitOnline -- Topsy.com - December 15, 2010

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by carla birnberg, FitnessDoc and Gretchen Glasscock, Gretchen Glasscock. Gretchen Glasscock said: Five reasons you *need* to hopscotch.: I know. Im gonna stop a moment & gaze lovingly at the photo above as well… http://bit.ly/fJF5gy [...]

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    [...] to do a handstand? Al Kavadlo will teach you how. And then re-learn to hopscotch from [...]

  3. PLAYout not Workout* [Working out should be fun, by golly!] | Elite Daily Diet and Fitness - December 28, 2010

    [...] *I’m totally borrowing “playout” from MizFit who, along with her darling Tornado, pioneered the art of making a workout less about work and more about fun! [...]

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