If you have children, no matter their age, finding the time to workout can be a challenge. It seems I just get going and one of my kids wanders in and needs something. Balancing your role as regular-mom and fit-mom may seem impossible, but who says you have to choose between the two roles? Combining them can be done, no matter what the ages are of your children.
First of all, remember this:
Instead of getting into a “it’s me vs. them” mindset every time you want to fit in some exercise, remember that this can be a great opportunity to spend some quality time together and teach them about living a healthy lifestyle. The next time you find yourself fighting for a little fitness time, try one of these tips:
Exercising with Infants: The best option for a lot of moms is to exercise while they’re taking a nap. When my kids were babies, I could exercise and shower before they woke up–and doing both those things always made me feel amazing and improved my attitude!
Use your baby instead of weights or medicine ball! Hold your baby while you do lunges or squats. Lay on your back and lift your baby up and down, working your biceps. Sit and then lean back in a slightly reclined position (where your abs are engaged), hold your baby, and twist side to side working both sides of your abs. Lay your baby on the floor and do push-ups above them, making silly faces each time you press down.
Even going for a walk with your baby in the stroller or a jogging stroller is great!
If your baby can sit up, push them lightly in an infant swing in your yard or park. While the swing is in motion do a few reps of squats, lunges, push ups, jumping jacks, high knees, arm circles…there are so many things you can do without equipment and not having to be inside!
For Toddlers and Older: Explain to your children that this time is important to you. Invite them to join you as you do your workout and tell them before you start that if they get bored/tired they may sit down and watch or go play quietly with something else until you’re finished.
I have a friend who involves her 7 year old as she jogs around the neighborhood. Sometimes the child will run or sometimes she’ll ride her bike alongside the mother. It’s so fun to involve your kids in a healthy and active lifestyle! Children learn from example, and there’s no better example than a healthy parent who enjoys taking care of their body.
For All Ages:
Walk or ride bikes around the neighborhood, to the park, or to school. For babies and younger kids, a bike trailer is a great option and pulling the extra weight is an added workout for mom!
Take your workout outside! Do the same moves in your back yard or at the park while your kids play.
Just a few days ago my kids wanted to play outside but it was time for my workout. SO instead of pushing play on the DVD- we took the workout outside and went for a walk and then did some PiYo Buns.
It is so nice to follow these programs and then to be able to make up your own routines whenever needed. My workouts are very important! But I also never want my children to hate that I workout… I want to set an example for them and keep it a positive and fun thing!
I used to go to the gym… my children HATED going to the day care. And hated when I would leave them with dad so I could go workout. It wasted 2.5 hours in my day (between workout and travel time) that I could have spent with them! The gym didn’t work for me!!! So nice to be able to workout from home in only 30 minutes our every day (or less). And still live a healthy and fit life and have that extra time with my children!! They are happy when I work out, and often times ask me when I am going to do it.
What are your favorite ways to workout with your kids? I’d love to hear some other ideas!