It’s not easy to keep yourself moving and active when you’ve got kids. Getting up earlier than the kids to hit the gym means rising with the dawn – no thank you. And I can personally attest than my energy is zapped by the time my daughter’s gone to bed, making a late night workout pretty much impossible. So I’m getting creative and finding ways to fit in a little exercise WITH my kid. Here’s a few of my go-to kid-friendly workouts.
Go for a walk or run
When my daughter was a baby this was an easy one. Strap her into the baby carrier or bundle her up in the stroller and get going. Now that she’s a willful toddler who prefers to walk on her own, I’m learning to embrace the toddler speed. When she’s full of beans, we sprint! When she’s in the mood to smell every flower and examine every blade of grass, we take a walk break. Be mindful of your child’s age and size when choosing your route, but it’s amazing the distance most kids can cover – when they want to ; )
Basketball, soccer, baseball, football, tennis… the list goes on and on. Pick a sport your child enjoys and play with them. Even a simple game of catch or Frisbee gets you outdoors and moving. Plus, you’ll be having too much fun to notice the calories you’re burning.
Use little ones for strength training
Babies and toddlers make fantastic weights. Strap your baby into a carrier or hold them to your chest and try a few squats. Do a few walking lunges while pushing them in the stroller. Or lift them slowly up and over your head a few times for a killer arm workout.
Take advantage of the playground
This one’s a win-win. Let your little one go nuts at the playground while you use it as the base of your workout. Have you tried the monkey bars since you were a kid? Well I have, and I’m telling you right now, they’re way hard than I remember! Most playgrounds are full of different platforms to push off for tricep dips or standing push-ups, plus different levels of bars for pull-ups and chin-ups.
Make a game of it
Get your kids working alongside you by turning it into something fun. Make a list of body weight exercises anyone can handle (like jumping jacks, toe touches, and arm circles) and write them on coloured Popsicle sticks. Stash them in a jar and pull out one of each colour to create the day’s workout. Then challenge each other to see who can get through them the fastest. It gets your heart pumping, gives your kids a little dose of healthy competition, and shows them at a young age that exercise can be fun.
So, don’t let your kids be your excuse to skip a workout. Use them as your motivation to get moving!