I am hands down a better mom when I’ve taken care of myself, and for me, workouts are an important part of that equation. While it’s not always easy to fit in a workout when we have little ones at home, it’s so worth it. With the school year winding down, I’ll soon have three kiddos home with me on most days. While it may not be the same workout or what I once considered the ideal workout, I will still be weaving one into my days.
10 Ways to workout with kids at home
1. Early bird gets the worm
With my husband’s early schedule as a lobsterman, it’s not always an option (especially in the summer months), but whenever possible, I prefer to start my day off on the right foot with a workout. The upside to a morning workout is air is still cool, it’s peaceful, and you have the satisfaction of knowing your workout is done and don’t have to worry about the distractions of the day.
2. Make it a family affair
With the seasons of our lives, our workouts may have to look a little different. Right now, for us, that often means having kiddos in tow. Instead of getting frustrated that I can’t make it to a certain class or run longer, I’m trying to embrace these days and these workouts. My workouts often include a family bike ride (with a cart or seat for the little guys), strapping on a carrier for a hike in the woods, or a walk or jog with the stroller.
3. Invest in a quality jogging stroller
In the nicer weather, a good portion of my cardio comes from pushing a stroller around town. For me, a quality jogging stroller is key — I have a single and a double that I use, depending on who I have in tow. There are a number of good options available these days, but at the top of my list are BOB, Baby Jogger, and Thule strollers, as the easy push, smooth ride, and loaded features for Mom and Baby make a jog or walk a heck of a lot easier.
4. Find a gym with quality childcare
If your child will go willingly, and you find a gym with care you are comfortable with, and if it’s in your budget, this can be the easiest solution for getting a workout in. We are very fortunate to have a great YMCA just down the road that offers a clean and fun childcare room, and knowing that we use other services the Y provides, we can justify the expense.
5. Create a home gym
There are always those days when heading out is not in the cards, or maybe you only have a short window between pick ups or Baby’s nap time to a squeeze in a workout — carving a workout space at home can be a lifesaver. Your home “gym” can be as simple or elaborate as you chose. My space is in my basement where I have a treadmill, free weights, and my favorite 30 minute workout DVDs.
6. Look for parent focused classes
This works best with babies and young toddlers, but there are many opportunities out there to bring your little ones to an exercise class. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find everything from stroller boot camp to dance class with baby carriers, or a mommy and me yoga class.
7. Play with your kids
Lets face it, these days are long but the years are short — our time with our little ones is fleeting and some days the best choice is the best of both worlds. Be active while having fun with your kids. Have a dance party, play a game of soccer, walk the beach, play hide and go seek or tag, go for a swim, or make the playground your gym.
8. Ditch the car when you can
We are lucky to live in a small town where ditching our car is often possible… weather and temperament permitting of course! But when you head out this summer to the library, the store, or off to camp in the morning, leave a few minutes early and ride bikes, walk, or jog to your destination.
9. Dress the part
I often joke that my “mom uniform” on most days is workout clothes and sneakers. The upside of this is that I’m more likely to sneak in exercise throughout my day. If I’m already dressed for it, I’m way more likely to walk instead of drive, play instead of watch, or seize a short window of downtime for exercise.
10. Build support system
No one ever said this parenting gig was easy, but finding your village and working together and accepting help can make it a lot less daunting. Whether it’s finding a workout buddy to keep you motivated or getting childcare so that you can workout on your own, it’s important to have people in your corner that support your goals. I know many moms who do a babysitting swap with one and other and it’s a great way to get a break, have play dates for your kiddos with no cost of a sitter.
What’s your favorite way to get a workout in?
This post was contributed by Rebecca Spear as part of Savvy Sassy Moms Product Scouts. You can find more from Rebecca on her blog, Mainely Mama.