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Free Ways to Get Exercise With Kids in Tow

Chelsea Gonzales

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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!

Healthy Snacks in Early Postpartum

Chelsea Gonzales

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Getting anything done right after having a baby can be overwhelming. For many new mamas, showering becomes a thing of the past, and even simple chores—such as sweeping and washing dishes—get pushed to the side.

This is perfectly okay, of course. After all, the weeks right after giving birth should be dedicated to connecting with your little one. That said, there are some things that do still need to happen. For instance, you have to keep eating. In fact, if you are breastfeeding, eating enough and getting good nutrition are more important than ever.

Wondering how on earth to juggle a decent diet and take care of your newborn? Snacking is an excellent way to go about this. Eating plenty of healthy snacks throughout the day will keep you fueled up and won’t take too much time, meaning you won’t have to drop everything to cook and can continue snuggling your baby for the majority of the day.

Below are some awesome healthy snack suggestions for postpartum mamas. Add these things to your grocery list and prep them before baby arrives, and you’ll be good to go for several days after you give birth.

Pre-Cut Raw Veggies

Raw carrots, broccoli, snap peas, and celery are super easy and tasty snack foods. They provide lots of vitamins, and can be dipped in ranch or other condiments to make them even more delicious. Be sure to cut the vegetables beforehand to save yourself time and energy later on.

Smoothies

Looking for a quick and easy way to get lots of fruits, veggies, and protein all at once? Smoothies are an excellent option. Stock up on frozen fruits, protein powder, yogurt, juice, milk, and other smoothie ingredients. Throw a handful of spinach into every smoothie you make to get in some leafy green vegetables!

Trail Mix

Sometimes you just need something super easy to munch on while nursing your little one. This is where trail mix can step in. It’s just as easy to grab and snack on as chips and the like are, but much more healthy. Try to find a mix that contains plenty of nuts and fruits, then snack away, knowing you’re getting good nutrition in a yummy, easy-to-eat package.

Boiled Eggs

Another great way to get a decent amount of protein in a single snack is by chowing down on boiled eggs. Making a dozen boiled eggs is easy enough to do while baby is napping, and the snacks can be stored in the fridge for up to a week. This is great because it means you can grab one whenever hunger strikes, without ever even setting your little one down.

Fruit and Yogurt

Craving something sweet to eat? Skip the candy bar and pull out the fruit and yogurt instead. This wonderful snack will satisfy your dessert craving while skipping the refined sugars and still putting plenty of nutrients into your system. To make things even easier on yourself, purchase pre-sliced fruit and yogurt in individual cups.

Cheese and Whole Grain Crackers

Sometimes you need something with a bit of crunch. Whole grain crackers are a great way to get that wonderful crunch, and pairing them with some cheese can make this a complete and filling snack. Triscuits are a great example of a good, healthy snack cracker, and they pair well with pretty much any cheese you prefer.

Nut Butter and Bananas or Apples

Nut butter is a super yummy snack that, when eaten in moderation, is really good for you. Add the nut butter to apple slices or a banana and you’ll be looking at a really tasty, easy, and nutritious snack, making it ideal for busy new mothers.