Ideas on How to Exercise with Kids

We all know the importance of regular exercise, yet when you have small children finding the time and space to exercise can be a challenge! Over the years I have had to adapt my exercise routine to the ever-evolving needs of my family. Here are some tips I have picked up along the way:

If you are exercising at a gym:

Select a gym with an awesome childcare – If the announcement “come on guys, let’s go to the gym” is met with excitement from your little ones, it’s much easier to have motivation to actually go to the gym. If they complain about going to the gym and it’s a struggle to get them ready to head out the door, you are less likely to feel like going. Choosing a gym for their childcare might mean going to one that is a little further away or even a little extra money a month, but it is worth it in the end if you end up using it more frequently.

Find out the schedule of your favorite childcare attendants – Some of the attendants will interact with your kids, have fun with them, and be silly with them. Some of them will hold your baby when he/she wants to be held. Others will park themselves in a chair their whole shift and think no ones knows that they are playing with their cell phone the entire time. It is typically this attendant that will come get you at the slightest fuss your baby makes rather than attempting to comfort baby. Find out the work schedule of the attendant your children like and see if you can coordinate your schedule with theirs.

Consider your child’s daily rhythms – To help ensure an optimal experience for everyone aim to go to the gym during your child’s playful time of the day. Avoid going when they are tired or hungry.

If you are exercising at home:

No equipment, no worries – If you are accustom to working out at a gym, sometimes the transition to working out at home can be difficult as you might be unsure how to workout without equipment. An easy first step might be to get exercise DVDs and books from the library. Another option is if you subscribe to Netflix, check out their exercise video options. Even youtube has some great videos that demonstrate basic exercise techniques. Here’s one my kids really enjoy!

Keep it simple – If you do want to invest in equipment, keeping it simple is usually best from both a space and budget standpoint. One piece of equipment I love that is inexpensive, takes up virtually no space, and provides an excellent workout is a jump rope. Plus it’s actually a lot of fun to jump rope! Another friend of mine has empty water jugs that she fills up with water to use as weights. Be creative and resourceful using everyday objects as part of your exercise regimen.

Seize the moment – Currently this approach seems to work well for me to incorporate exercise into my life. I call it the “Seize the Moment” plan. Basically when an opportunity arises I squeeze in a set of lunges, planks, squats, burpees, etc. It may be in the kitchen while I am waiting for a pot of water to boil or in the bathroom while watching the kids in the bathtub. You may not have an uninterrupted hour block of time to devote to working out, but by incorporating it throughout the day you can maximize the small chunks of time you do have.

Use the Park as YOUR Playground – This is hands down the easiest way for me to get exercise. My kids are always happy to go to the park and I know I can get a decent workout in while we are there. Pick a park with a nice grassy area so you can do sprints, bearcrawls, walking handstands, etc. Get over worrying about looking silly and just enjoy the feel of the grass, the fresh air, and the sunshine!

Play with your kids  – Chase your kids at the park. Kick the ball around with them. Climb on the equipment along with them. You are sure to get your heart rate up just mimicking whatever your kids do at the park. Engage with them and have fun with it!

Make it fun for the whole family – Walks, hikes, bike rides, and even runs are all possible with little ones. You might need to be creative in adapting these activities to include the whole family. The benefit is that you can enjoy exercising together and it models for your children the importance of a healthy, active lifestyle.

How do you fit exercise into your life? Would love to hear some tips from other mamas! 🙂


PS. Check in tomorrow for my current favorite smoothie recipe! It’s sure to give you a burst of pure energy.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.