Getting into shape as a mom can be tough, especially if you feel like you always need to be attending to your kids. One of the keys to squeezing in exercise while your kids are present is to find a fun way to incorporate the kids into your workout, as well. Try some of these options and see what works best for your family.
1. Jog or walk with a stroller: If you have one or two kids, invest in a good jogging stroller and hit the pavement walking or running. Young babies are often soothed by the motion and will take a good nap while you’re out getting exercise. Older kids will often enjoy seeing the sights of the neighborhood or park.
2. Run the stairs at home: Every two-story home has a piece of exercise equipment built right into it — a staircase. Even if you can’t set aside a full 20 minutes to run the stairs in order to acquire a solid cardiovascular workout, you can surely fit in a few flights at a time. Plus, there’s always the option to set your child up with a nearby activity so you can get in a longer workout.
3. Choose a kid-friendly gym: Your kids will have fun while you’re working out at the gym if you choose a facility with a childcare center on site. Many kids love going there to play with their gym friends and the different toys. Plus, the childcare provider will help keep them occupied while you work out. If you have older kids, consider enrolling them in classes at the gym so they can also exercise.
4. Jog while they bike: Rather than setting your kids loose to bike around the neighborhood, go out together and jog alongside them. Just make sure to remember basic safety tips for cycling, like your child wearing a helmet and staying away from moving vehicles. As your child gets more proficient on a bike, you’ll have to go faster to keep up.
5. Walk the dog together: Take multitasking to a new level by walking the dog together. You’ll get to exercise, have fun with your kids and take care of your dog all at the same time. Let your kids hold the leash to make it more fun for them, assuming they are big enough to keep your dog under control.
6. Play at the park: Most playgrounds have equipment that can be used for workouts while your kids play close by. Try going across the monkey bars for upper body exercise or doing tricep dips on a picnic bench. Instead of walking around the playground, lunge on a sidewalk to get a leg workout.
Especially if you have more than one child, it can be tricky to find a time to go to the gym or even to squeeze in a workout at home. Fortunately, a little creativity is all it takes to combine your exercise times with fun activities for your kids. Plus, they’ll start learning healthy habits if they see that exercise is part of your regular routine.