We all know how important exercise is. Unfortunately, getting in daily exercise as a mama to your kids can be pretty difficult. Finding time away from the kids is nearly impossible for some parents, and distracting the little ones long enough to get in a workout is even more so.
Sure, you could pay for a gym membership and drop the kids off at the gym nursery. However, this isn’t ideal for everyone. Some kids have separation anxiety, making drop-off a traumatic event. Meanwhile, some mothers simply can’t afford the extra cost of a gym membership.
Wondering what the solution might be? Why not involve the kids in your workouts? Below are 5 fantastic and free ways to get in your daily exercise with the kids in tow. Not only will these solutions help you get the exercise you need, it’ll also get the kids involved, setting them up for a lifetime of healthy habits.
#1: Head to the Park
Every kid loves the park. Why not give the kids what they want and head to the park more often? You can easily tie a workout into a trip to the park, and the kids will have a blast playing while you’re there.
One option is, if you’re close enough, to put the kids in a jogging stroller and jog or walk to the park, letting them get out to play once you arrive. Don’t have a park within walking distance? Try taking the stroller on a few laps of the park's walking trail before hitting the playground. If your kids are older, there’s also the option of letting them play while jogging around the perimeter of the play area.
Any of these options allow you to get in a jog or brisk walk while giving the kids a chance to play. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.
#2: Do Yoga Together
Yoga is a great, relaxing way to wake up your body. It’s fun to do by yourself, but it’s even more fun to do with the kids.
Try heading over to YouTube and working your way through a couple episodes of Cosmic Kids! yoga together each day. Kids love these interactive videos, and they actually give us adults a decent workout.
Another option is to find “mama and me” yoga sessions in your area. Sometimes these are offered by the local library system. Meanwhile, some communities offer free family yoga sessions in the park. Lastly, you might check local yoga studios for free workshops and trial classes.
#3: Have a Dance Party
If your family is having a bad day and everyone is in a crabby mood, heading out to the park or getting everyone to pay attention and do yoga might be a bit difficult. Instead of forcing those things to happen, try putting on some music and having a dance party instead.
This less structured exercise is a great mood booster, and kids adore it. Let the little ones dance however they please, but make sure you’re working yourself by throwing in some jumps, twirls, and leaps. Don’t worry about looking silly. Just worry about having fun and breaking a good sweat. You're sure to feel better afterward.
#4: Get Down on the Floor
You probably find yourself on the floor playing with very tiny children a few times throughout the day. You can actually take advantage of this floor time and give yourself a bit of exercise while you play.
Floor stretches, planks, push-ups, and crunches are all great exercises to do while on the floor playing with your babies. This means you can kill two birds with one stone, and your little ones will be perfectly pleased the entire time.
#5: Break Out the Bike
Finally, there is the awesome option of going for a bike ride. I’ve never met a kid who didn’t like riding a bike, and babies and toddlers will love sitting in a bike seat or bike trailer. Better yet, the added weight from little passengers will increase your workout. If you want to make good use of your time, consider riding to the grocery store to pick up a few things. You’ll have the items you need to make dinner, the kids will have fun, and you’ll get your exercise in.
Just make sure baby is old enough to ride along, and put helmets on everyone for safety’s sake!