Recently, I wrote about finding time to exercise as a busy mama, even if you don’t think you have a spare minute. Sometimes, though, despite how much you want to find kid-free time, it just isn’t possible. So, what’s a mama to do?
The answer is simple -- take the time you spend with your kids anyway and turn it into a family workout! Children have so much energy, you can take advantage of it to get your own workout done while everyone has a good time and gets some exercise. These are some fun ideas for working out with your kids.
Go for a Stroll
The obvious way to exercise with kids is when they’re small enough to nap in the stroller, so you can get out for a walk or a run while pushing them. As your kids get bigger, more active, and want to hang out with you rather than just be pushed around, you may find yourself feeling stuck for ideas.
Have a Dance Party
Fun for everyone and a great choice for days when you’re stuck indoors is having a dance party in your living room. Throw on some music, get dressed up in party clothes, and get down! You could take it in turns to do a solo dance, have a dance-off battle, or take turns coming up with new dance moves. You’ll get your cardio in and have a good time with your kids.
When in doubt, there's baby yoga! Doing a few fun yoga poses together can be bonding and stress relieving and give you both a good stretch. You may also be passing to your child good exercise habits and a love for yoga for life!
Head to the Playground
Another easy place to play with your kids and get a mini-workout in is at the local playground. Practically everything in the playground can double as gym equipment, or you can just chase your little ones around! Don’t forget, the humble park bench can be all you need for a great workout -- why not try this park bench workout with your kids?
Play Backyard Games
If you have a backyard or access to a local park, grab a few props and set up a fun game afternoon. Your kids can even invite their friends for a little extra competition. Either set up stations for different fitness activities, like hula hoops, jumping jacks, leap frog, and wheelbarrow races; or you can have different 'events' everyone participates in, like a running race, water balloon toss game, or tug of war. This would be an awesome choice for an active kids’ birthday party, too!
Go for a Run Together
For the runners out there, chances are your kids would love to join you on one of your runs. I’m not suggesting you take them out and try to force them to keep up on a five-mile run, but just going out for a short jog would be fun for them and a great way to get some quality time in. If they really enjoy it, check out your local road runners clubs, since most offer kids' races, usually for entrants age 2 or 3 and older.
When your kids are still small, if you have a bike, you can look into one of the children’s bike seats on the market so they can accompany you on a ride. If your kids are older, what about going for a run while they ride their bikes alongside?
Finally, don’t forget, for kids exercise just means playing. Don’t miss fun opportunities for chasing each other around, racing up a flight of stairs, or a quick game of ‘Simon Says’ using exercises. It all counts toward living a healthy lifestyle and making your kids realize being active should be fun.
What are some of the ways you have fun and exercise with your kids?