,If you know my workout story, then you know I do all my workouts at home. I haven’t been to a traditional gym in more than 5 years and haven’t felt like I need one. The hubs and I used to go to a private gym and do boot camp and personal training, but that can be expensive and since we’re big on saving as much as we can these days, that got cut a few years ago. But working out at home also means that my kids are almost always around when I do my workouts. This can be challenging at times, but one thing I’ve learned in the 3+ years of working out with little ones around is that you can make it work and sometimes it’s even more fun with them! Being able to exercise with your kids may not be for everyone, but I love to set a good example for my kids and working out with them is one of the best ways to teach them about health and fitness.
So how do I do it? Well it takes a little patience and some planning but I’m able to exercise with my kids every day and honestly, it can be really fun!
HOW TO EXERCISE WITH YOUR KIDS
FIT IT IN WHEN YOU CAN
Sometimes you have to get creative when it comes to working out at home. This means taking advantage of the hubs being home from work, getting up early, nap time and if you have to, a movie. I never sacrifice my workout time so if the kids have to watch a movie for 30 minutes, so be it.
INCLUDE YOUR KIDS
This isn’t for everyone, but it’s one of my favorite things to do with our daughter. She LOVES to do workouts with me and the hubs. Just the other day I had to do wind sprints, so we all went for a run and she rode her bike. We made it into a fun race and she loved it. Not only did we make our workout happen, our daughter got to burn off some energy and we still spent quality time together as a family.
Not only can it be fun, but you’re also setting an amazing example for your kids by showing them how important exercise is! You’d be surprised at how much they are capable of doing!
WAKE UP EARLY
Before baby boy came along, I used to get up at 5:30 or 6:00 every morning and do my workout before Little A woke up. I got my workout out of the way and it didn’t interfere with our time together.
Working out in the morning makes me feel like I’m starting my day on a high note. I’ve got natural energy going for the rest of the day and it always puts me in a good mood. It took me a while to become a morning person, but I can testify first hand that it makes my days go much smoother.
Working out in the morning can take some getting used to, but if you can be consistent with it I promise it feels so good!
INVEST IN A GOOD JOGGING STROLLER
Hands down the baby item we’ve gotten the most use out of is our jogging stroller. I used it almost daily until Little A was about 3 1/2, and I’m using it almost daily with EJ now. If all else fails with getting my usual workout in, I can throw the baby in the stroller, sister on her bike, and we can go for a walk or jog around the neighborhood. A good jogging stroller is a must for active parents and we’ve never had the need for any other stroller.
BE PREPARED FOR THE UNKNOWN
And by unknown I mean any potential meltdowns. If you have to take the kids on a run with you, pack snacks, toys, even the tablet. There have been times in the past where I’ve been out on a long run and 3 miles in Little A starts whining and wanting to be done. I always bring her some healthy snacks, a little sketch pad and the tablet or her Leap Pad. Find what works for your kids and always bring it with you!
TRADE WITH ANOTHER MOM
If you have a friend who’s in the same boat as you, ask if you could trade watching the kids for gym time. One day you watch her kids and the next day she watches yours. You both benefit, and you get to see your friend a few days a week!
You could also make it a group affair and take all the kids on a walk or bike ride. I did this just last week with a friend and her girls and the kids had a blast!These tips on how to exercise with your kids are awesome! Click To Tweet
INVEST IN SOME EQUIPMENT
If you want to be successful at working out at home, you really need a few pieces of equipment. I highly recommend some dumbbells (5 and 10 pounds), a kettlebell or two (25 and 35 pounds), a yoga mat, resistance bands, and a medicine ball (8 pounds). You can also check out my post on building a home gym for a few other ideas!
USE THE PLAYGROUND
You bet that when Little A and I go to the playground I often use that time for a little exercise. I do step ups, push ups on the equipment, pull ups and more! She loves it too and we use that time to make games and even play tag. We’re both exhausted by the time we leave.
GET SOME WORKOUT DVDS
A few years ago I was really into Jillian Michaels’ DVDs. When you’re pressed for time, you have a sick kid(s) or you just can’t get into it that day, a DVD is a great way to still have a quick workout but not leave the comfort of your living room. Tracy Anderson has some great videos as well. Check them out!
USE YOUR KIDS AS EQUIPMENT
This is a super fun one! I love to hold Little A on my back and do squats, or do push ups with the baby laying on the mat under me. They always have the best time and the endless giggles are a great motivator for you to keep going!
I’m a firm believer in setting goals and rewarding yourself when you achieve them! Your reward could be as simple as a cheat meal, dessert, new exercise clothes or even a massage (I prefer the last one!).
It’s not always easy to exercise with your kids. There will be times you’ll get interrupted, the baby will start crying or the toddler will need everything under the sun (like they always seem to when you’re trying to do something for yourself, am I right?), but taking those 20-30 minutes a day for yourself will make you feel so much better. And I’m sure the kids won’t be permanently scarred.
Even if you only make it around the block a time or two, do it. If you’re a mom, I challenge you to get out and exercise with your kids more. You may end up having more fun than you think.