Finding the time to workout for anyone can be difficult, and when kids get into the mix time management can be even harder to figure out! In some ways, though, once you figure out the logistics and determine the routine, getting fit with kids can be quite doable, and even enjoyable!
If I wouldn’t have figured out how to work out with my kids, I would have never lost the weight. I was a single mom by the time my second child was several months old, so I needed to find ways to fit in exercise with them in my presence; and I needed the time they went to bed for my own rest/relaxation/sleep! I had to make it work!
My mom helped me purchase a double jogging stroller with the bucket seat attachment as a baby gift so I could begin walking with the kids. This was a lifesaver in terms of fitness (and my own stress level!), and it gave us something to do! I used this stroller up until about a year and a half ago and still had my 7-year-old squeezing in to go for walks! The kids LOVED our time walking or running in the stroller over the years. We’d jog to the park, I’d get some body weight exercises in there, and we’d jog or walk home… whatever mommy’s legs could handle! Long walks around the town was their favorite thing to do. Of course this started with slow, short walks; but I was jogging with them by the time my youngest was probably a year. Now I actually have had to readjust again to find my way to exercise, since I can’t just push them around anymore (my 8-year-old doesn’t fit, or I might still try it! Morning workouts for mommy now)!
Some other tips I’ve found helpful over the years, through my own experience and in working with parents losing weight… AND, these a great tips for non-parents too…
- Even if you have a small flight of stairs, take 10 minutes to walk up and down them, as slow as you’d like. Pop on some headphones and you’ll be done in no time. Put baby in the swing, or do this during naps… or better yet, strap baby on to walk with you! Do this more than once a day if you can.
- If you have a baby body carrier, strap baby on for all sorts of chores around the house. The added weight will help you burn more calories!
- Put baby on the play mat or in the swing and do some body weight exercises, a circuit, use your home gym, or do a workout video. Baby will think it is fun watching mom/dad doing “silly” moves 🙂
- Put baby in stroller and walk or jog, indoors or out. If it is too hot or too cold, walk the mall or walk the track at the gym. No need for daycare, bring baby along.
- Or, check out the local gym daycare center to see what you think.
- As kids get older, walk or jog next to them while they ride their bike!
- Invest in some home workout equipment, which could be a DVD player to stream videos (check out http://www.dailyburn.com, or http://www.youtube.com for loads of free videos), cheap weights (used exercise equipment stores are the best for this), resistance bands, or a piece of exercise equipment such as a treadmill if you can afford it.
- And then make a little play space for baby/toddler in that area! Baby plays and you get to work out! I have logged many miles on my treadmill while my kids played nearby.
- Swap with your partner… help each other out to get in that workout, whether at home, outdoors, or at the gym. Maybe one of you exercises in the morning and the other in the evening. Or you each get at least one night a week to get to the gym and the other has kid duty.
- Problem solve with your mate! Even if your partner is not ready to work on fitness, talk to him/her about how important it is to you, and ask for help!
- All 5 of our kids in our new blended family know the importance of exercise and communicating needs to ensure fitness, as we are always fitting it in simply as part of our, and our kids’, daily lives… despite us both busy working fulltime!
- BEST TIP I CAN GIVE… don’t try to find the time to workout without them there. It’s too hard! Once they are asleep, that should be your time to wind down, relax, catch up on TV, catch up with your partner, or do whatever makes you feel content!
- Kids benefit so much from watching parents get in fitness. I don’t even have to talk about the importance of exercise with my kids, because they talk about it and understand it! They have seen it every day since my youngest was small, and they simply know it is important! Plus, we do have healthy talks about fitness and nutrition (another thing they see the importance of) 🙂
- By exercising WITH your kids, instead of hassling to find ways to get it in when they are sleeping or not around, you are doing them the huge favor of creating healthy little beings! My kids love copying my exercise moves and beg me to put on workout DVDs so they can do it too!
Find some more great tips for getting in that workout as a busy parent with tips from the DailyBurn. Although this article is titled 17 tips from fit moms… it is absolutely just as worthwhile advice for busy dads!
Here’s a pic of me getting in some arms and abs with my littlest man… my other son is the photographer :)! Make exercising with kids fun!