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Family Fitness, How to work out WITH your kids!

Posted by Bert on 12/13/2012 to Family Fitness

One of the main things when youre a parent and trying to get back in shape is figuring out how your kids work into that mix. Fortunately, many gyms offer childcare and if you have the financial means to join a gym that offers this I suggest that you consider it. Itll greatly aid you in your goals to have that piece of taken care of. That might not be an option for you and thats where so many of us get stuck. How do you workout while you have little ones hanging all over you?

Working Out with Your Kiddos

  • 1. Babywear! I think it goes without saying that wearing your baby is going to burn extra calories. If you dont own a heart rate monitor one way to figure out how many calories youre going to burn is to use a site like My Fitness Pal and either search for the exercise. You can also enter your weight plus the weight of your baby into a site like Health Status.

    Now, a few important things to remember while youre working out and wearing your baby:

    • No crotch dangling! Baby should always be facing the one wearing her. Its bad for her hips to be facing outward.
    • Do not do anything that is going to compromise your balance and put your baby in danger.
    Here are a few moves you can use if you own a carrier; I am using a soft structured carrier here but you could also use a wrap or Mei Tai. I would not use a ring sling when doing planks or push ups.
    • 15 or 20 squats
    • Push Ups for 30 seconds or 1 minute
    • Stairs (going up and down) for 6 minutes
    • Forward Lunge across a room, down and back twice.
    • 30 second or 1 minute plank
    Repeat this either once or twice. Its all up to you and what your level of fitness is. And if you have an older child like my four year old, chances are theyll grab their beloved bear and try to wear him too for the workout. So sweet!

  • 2. Use those workout DVDs! Youll be surprised how your kids will enjoy watching you and even trying to mimic you. I once got up at 6:30am, a time that I knew no one would be up in our house, to do a little 30 Day Shred before my day started. I turned around after a few jumping jacks with dumbbells only to see my 4 year old son watching me. Flustered I was certain hed ruin my workout and Id have to start over again. Something else happened; he watched me, asked questions and then tried to follow along.
  • 3. Get out and ride, run, or walk! This obviously doesnt apply to me since Im in snowy Minnesota so please all of you who are in a warmer climate get out and enjoy the outdoors for me, okay? As for fancy jogging strollers and bike trailers, look for a trailer that can go in between a bike and jogging stroller. If you really do like running Id really consider investing in a good quality jogging stroller. If youre going to use it frequently why not own a good quality one.
  • 4. Do a kid swap!! If you stay at home find another parent whom you trust to do a kid swap for two hours with. Thats an hour of workout time for you and extra time for driving, dropping the kids off and picking them up.
  • 5. Join a gym that has childcare. Several gyms offer this. Check out your local YMCA or other chain gym like LA Fitness or Golds Gym to see what their monthly dues and childcare fees are. Heres another little tip I learned this week from a salesman at the gym I just joined: join now before the 15th. The peak busy time for most gyms is right before Christmas and of course, after New Years (hello diet commercials every time you turn on the TV!); its about the dollar sign which means a raise in price is coming soon to a gym near you!
  • 6. Use naptime or your lunch hour for your workout time. I know, I know. Some days this is the last thing you want to do but some days this is the only way its going to happen.

Most Importantly...

Have fun and dont be afraid to get your kids involved in an active lifestyle. Remember, youre cool right now to them!

Yours Truly,