Keeping a workout routine with little ones around can be a huge challenge! Anyone who has young children, whether one or more, knows how demanding life gets when you try to meet the needs and schedule for the whole family.
Take me, for example:
In my single days, I woke at 5 a.m. to go to the gym Monday through Friday. I’d even go to the gym on the weekends! But once my kids arrived, I had some serious challenges keeping up on my workouts. I missed more than I made until I realized that something had to change.
As a mom, I’ve learned that for every problem, there is always an equal or greater solution! Instead of feeling like a workout had to be a certain way, I changed my focus to make sure I was simply active and moving each day in my life. My workouts and life as a mom started to integrate. As luck would have it, my little ones were just about the right size and weight to replace weights.
There are several workouts you can do using your kids! Infants and toddlers—our wonderful objects of affection–usually want to be by our sides 24/7. Use that to your advantage. You’ll get to exercise along with giving all of you some quality bonding time, and your kids will love being picked up and held in a new, fun way!
Here are the guidelines:
- Make your focus for 5–10 minutes of “workout time” as many times during the day as you can. A starting goal can be twice a day.
- Do a specific number of sets and reps based on your strength and goals. Usually 2-4 sets with 10-15 reps are a good place to start.
Here are my favorites:
Bicep curls: Take your precious little one in your arms and move them up and down, slowly. Make sure when they are close to your face you kiss and coo with them. They’ll love it!
Shoulder strength: Hold your little one out with straight arms and lift up and down. This one can get a little boring for the baby so be sure to change it up and get creative in games to play for this exercise.
Squats: Place your toddler on your shoulders and preform a standard squat while holding them there, make a tiny little jump at the end just to get them to giggle. And of course, make sure you’re not going to bonk them into the ceiling or anything hanging from the ceiling when you do your tiny jump.
For cardio, one of the best workouts you can get is just chasing your kid around. They think it’s purely a game! If you get into the game too, you’ll forget that you’re “trying” to work out and will just plain have fun! If you lean into following your child’s lead, you’ll be surprised how much activity you can get into a day (and how many calories you can burn)! It’s so fun for the kids to have that kind of attention and time with you…they’ll feel like they have the best mom, and you’ll be teaching them to be active and healthy their entire lives! You’ll all forget that you’re exercising!