How do you workout with kids at home? As a starting disclaimer. I have modest mommy-fitness goals: jog a few miles without dying, strengthen my core, hike in the mountains. You get the idea! Marathons are not among my life goals, at least not yet! I’ve just passed the six-week postpartum mark which means I’m getting back into the workout routine. Here are six practical mommy-workout ideas.
1. Go on a Walk
If the weather is good, put the little ones in the stroller and go for a brisk walk. Once you work up to it, you can jog this way as well. It’s helpful to have a jogging stroller, but not absolutely essential. Older kids can ride their bikes beside you. This method tends to get challenging if you have more than two kids under four because the older ones can’t go fast enough on their bikes yet. You may have to invest in a double stroller or do what one of our contributors, Aimee did. She would put her baby in the stroller and have her toddler sit facing toward her, arms linked on the sturdy stroller handlebar. This was a perfect solution for those brisk walks, but certainly only worked with the right kind of stroller.
2. Use Your Staircase
I love this method because it’s so simple. Once my newborn is asleep, I get out some new toys for my toddler and do flights of stairs. I put my toddler’s toys where I can see him from the stairs, and he thinks it’s funny to see me go up and down. Obviously, this method is not for you if you live in a one-story house!
3. Online Pilates Video
Find a workout online (or buy one). I discovered pilates after my son and love it! Personally, I memorize the workout the first few times I watch it. Memorizing it lets me go through the workout faster because I don’t need to listen to the instructions everytime. Also memorizing, real mom confession, let’s me turn on Winnie the Pooh for my son while I workout beside him. Work out videos are a HUGE bonus for the stay-at-home mom. Aimee even tackled the PX90 recently and found that her four-year-old loved doing it with her. You will find when you do these easy-to-follow work-out videos with kids in tow, they will both join the fun and will give you new levels of challenge. Her daughter would consistently jump on her back during push ups, climb up her leg during lunges and crawl under her during her pilates moves. So much fun, fantastic memories and a lot of great muscle building!
4. Join a Gym with Childcare Services
Many gyms have childcare services available. Usually there is a minimum age, so this is not an option for a really young baby, but it can be a great option for slightly older kids. You can even meet a friend to workout, and the kids can see each other as well. This is a fun way for your kids to socialize without having to put them in a pre-school. Plus, it’s some Mama recharge time for you.
5. Team Up
Find a partner and trade back and forth babysitting. I love swimming laps during the summer. Last summer I would meet my sister at the pool, and we would trade babysitting so that we both got lap swimming time. This method requires some planning and coordinating, but it’s a great way to supplement the workout routine. It’s also the best method for really intense training.
6. Keep it Fun and Flexible
Try to make workout a fun time for you. This can be something super simple. For me taking 30 extra seconds to grab the portable fan and have it blow right on me during an indoor workout makes all the difference. I also love having a Fitbit because the step count motivates me. Staying flexible is also important. One day you might swim, the next you might walk and a few days later you might be running up and down the stairs. And, don’t mind interruptions as they are such a typical part of Mommy Life. I expect to get interrupted and then don’t worry about it if I need to stop and start a couple of times to help my toddler reach a toy from the shelf or refill his water. When you anticipate interruptions, those interruptions aren’t nearly as discouraging!
I hope these ideas inspire you to find your own ways of squeezing in a mommy workout. Exercise really does boost energy levels and stamina for the everyday adventures of motherhood. And if you find an exercise tip that works great for you, let us know!
Mommy Medicine is a group of moms that love sharing tricks, tips and strategies with our fellow moms, so send us your mommy questions you would like to see as the subject of a blog. We would love to hear from you! Subscribe here to receive posts straight to your inbox!
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (5/16/2018) nchenga (Flickr)