Most moms have to give up going to the gym to exercise after the kids come along. 1. It costs a lot when it’s not being used. 2. Working moms don’t want to give up any more of their time with their kids.
However, kids and exercise can go together. Here are 6 suggestions to make it happen:
- Strollers – Walking the mall became a regular activity for me through the baby and toddler years. I packed snacks or my toddlers loved the colored popcorn they could get at the mall and it kept them in the stroller for a good 30 minutes. You don’t have to actually buy anything. Just walk the mall and through the stores. It gives your child a lot of different things to look at and you can keep up with the latest styles and sales.
- Swimming – A lot of pools have times set aside just for moms and babies. If you can’t make those times, just go together. Walking in the water is great exercise and your little ones will love it. Swimming is not my favorite activity, but the kids always love it and it gets me moving.
- Sporting Events– How much time is spent sitting at a ballfield or other outdoor events? Instead of sitting, try to get up and moving. Walking around the field or just letting your kids walk/play with you instead of just sitting. Most kids don’t want to sit for very long anyway.
- Playgrounds/Parks – Most of the time when you see adults at the park, they are just sitting there watching the kids play. Join in with them. Play with them or just walk around while they are on the equipment. It will get a lot of extra steps in for you and your child will love that you are right there with them.
- Stretching or small movements – These can be done throughout the day. At the sink do calf raises. Stretch your calves when you get to stairs. Sit down and stand up several times from a chair. Lift your child up and down several times in a row. Pick up items off the floor with full bending to work your legs. Do high leg lifts as you walk from the bathroom to the bedroom. Dance around the house as you do chores. As you add these things to your daily routine, you’ll see your child start to imitate you.
- Family Hike – Skip the movie and take the family on a nature hike. Choose a route that could be at the local park, around the neighborhood, or on an actual trail. Put on some comfy clothes, grab a water bottle and snacks then take off. Flourish Magazine has some ideas to keep kids active while on a hike. Here’s a few of my own:
Find things for each letter of the alphabet (Archway, Bird, Caterpillar, Dirt…..)
Find things in numerical order (1 stick, 2 butterflies, 3 rocks, 4 flowers….),
Find things that are different colors (green leaves, green feather, green sign…..)
Stop and listen to identify the sounds that you hear.
My Story –
Pre-kids I went to an aerobics class at 5:00 in the morning, went to work, then worked out again at 5:30 in the evening. I was in the best shape ever and then I got pregnant. And I was not an active pregnant woman. From about 11 weeks, walking was painful and slow. I tried a water aerobics class. That lasted a few months, then I was done until after the baby. Now my schedule was not my own. I had to fit everything around her. Going to the gym has never been a daily thing since then. I try and try to schedule it in, but I can’t seem to make it there on a regular basis. That led me to start finding creative ways to fit in exercise with my kids while they were babies and as they have grown and become more active.
How have you creatively fit in exercise with your kids?