I’m a mom, and one of the biggest obstacles when it comes to exercise is my kids. Honestly, how is one supposed to get a workout in when the children demand attention every single minute of the day? Impossible, right? Wrong! I’m going to share with you the tips and tricks that have helped me exercise even with kids hanging around.
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I have three kids, all different ages- an 18-year-old young man, an 8-year-old mischievous boy, and a 2-year-old little girl. I also have to keep up with chores and work. Yep, it’s crazy.
Despite all that, I’ve managed to keep up with an exercise schedule for 5 years. I’ve also been able to lose 55 pounds after my last pregnancy. I can tell you that working out when you have kids is possible and doable.
It’s not that I’m obsessed with my weight. Quite simply, I just want to be healthy. Doing exercise lowers your risk of diabetes and heart disease, and it also helps to relieve stress and delay aging. What could be better than that?
Let me share with you the tips and tricks that have allowed me to do exercise on top of kids, chores, and all.
12 Effective Ways To Exercise When You Have Kids
1. Be an early bird or a night owl
There was a time in my life when the only way I could find time to exercise was getting up early. I used to get up at 5:30 so I could work out peacefully and with no distractions. Do what it takes, right?
In fact, I even used to go to bed with my workout clothes on so I wouldn’t have to get dressed when I got up. No kidding! It was tough, but I lost more than 20 pounds by doing this.
If you’re not a morning person, I get it. In that case, wait until after the kids are in bed to do exercise. Personally, I’m not a night owl, but you have to make time whenever you can. One of the perks of evening workouts is that you can have a relaxing bath after you’re done. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
2. Plan your workout
Getting up at 5:00 am without any idea of what you’re going to do is a major mistake. Take a minute to plan what you’re going to do the night before so you won’t waste your time trying to find a workout at the last minute. That way, you’ll be ready to exercise the minute you have some time available.
3. Do short, intense workouts
I’ve found you don’t need to spend hours working out to get results. You just need to do it with enough intensity for a short period of time. I do HIIT routines that are over in less than 30 minutes. Some are just 15, 12 or even 4 minutes long.
I know it’s hard to believe that you’ll see a difference with so little time, but I’ve already lost 55 pounds doing this. Yes, it really does work!
4. Use nap time
When my little girl was a baby, I used her nap time to get a workout in. I breastfed her, put her to bed, and jumped right into my HIIT workout. Then, I showered and dressed. By the time she woke up, I was ready to be with her again.
5. Use playpens and toys
When my baby got older, her nap time got shorter. She no longer napped through my workout, so I would just put her in playpen with toys while I did exercise.
Obviously, you should make your baby feel comfy. It won’t work if you just put him in there and toss a couple of toys his way. You should spend a little while playing with him so that he feels calm, and then you can start warming up.
6. Don’t feel guilty about turning on the TV
The truth is that as kids get older, it get harder to keep them busy. That’s why I have a large video library that my kids like to watch while I do exercise. I figure that as long as they get some physical activity everyday, a little TV is not going to hurt them.
7. Play video games
This one is a fun option! There lots of games that require you to dance or move around and are good enough for a workout. You can use games for Kinect, Wii Fit or Playstation Move, and even the kids will want to play with you. It’s a win-win.
You should know I started doing exercise with a dance video game. It was a fun and easy way to start!
8. Involve the kids
A great alternative is to include the kids in your workout. My kids have gotten used to mommy doing exercise, so sometimes they join in my workout. In that case, we do bodyweight exercises without heavy dumbbells for safety. They like to have competitions. Trust me, they’ll have fun.
9. Go to the playground
Older kids have more fun if you take them and your workout to the playground. You can do exercise while they’re having fun. This is great specially during the summer.
10. Have backup
If possible, get a friend, a neighbor, your sister, or your mom to babysit the kids while you workout. You could also babysit your friend’s kids while she gets a workout in, so you will both benefit. Having community support is a must if you want to reach your goals.
11. Use school time and daycare
The easiest way to find the time to work out is to exercise when the kids are at school. If you have little ones, sign up at a gym with daycare. Another idea is to sign the kids up for football or some other activity while you are at the gym. That way, everybody has some physical activity.
12. Set rules
Remember you’re setting a good example for your kids by exercising, so it should be a priority. That’s why you need to have some rules to make sure you and the kids respect workout time. For example, you put up schedule on the wall, with the kid’s chores and your workouts included, so it becomes a part of the family routine.
What do you think?
As you can see, doing exercise when you have kids is possible and doable. All you need is a schedule, a strategy, and a plan to make it happen. Don’t put off things for later. It’s best to start taking care of yourself and your body today.