Fitness Tips for Moms with Young Kids
One of the best things you can do as a mom is set a healthy lifestyle example for your kids. In the U.S., where childhood obesity continues to grow at an alarming rate, setting a foundation of regular exercise as a priority is especially important. But as a mother of younger kids, you already have a hectic schedule, and trying to find time for a workout can seem impossible. Here are 5 easy ways to get a workout without having to take time away from your children.
Invest in a jogging stroller
You don’t need to shell out a lot of money for a special jogging stroller. They definitely are the go-to choice for an active walking or jogging mom, but even a run-of-the mill bargain stroller can give you a workout that you’ll feel in your arms, calves and core. Chances are good that your baby will love being rolled around the neighborhood, especially if he has a cup of juice and a snack or two. Longer walks can even double as nap time for him and workout time for you.
Get involved at the park
Taking your kids to the park is a great opportunity to find a bench, sit down and relax while your children play. Park benches are full of moms who choose to play catch up on some much missed grown-up time or just simply rest from a hectic daily routine. But if you’re looking for an opportunity to get a workout, go push your toddler on the swing. Walk the length of the monkey bars as your daughter plays on them. You’ll burn far more calories than you ever could just sitting on that bench.
Stage a miniature Olympics
If you’ve got more than one child, finding free time may be even more difficult than moms with just one. But you can actually use this to your advantage. That frustrating sibling rivalry? Let them use it in a healthy manner for a change. Whether you live in an apartment or you have a large yard, you can set up stations for the kids to compete in physical activities. Turn cans of green beans or any weighty household item into weights to lift and see who can do the most reps. Set up a long jump station in your living room or yard. You can compete with them (wink, wink, don’t win!) or just show them how to perform each task, and that can be a workout in itself.
Make the children walk
If your child is too old to sit in a stroller anymore, you can still take him for a walk. If he complains about not wanting to go, make it into an adventure. He can collect rocks, leaves or sticks along the way. Or maybe he can count how many yellow trucks you pass during your walk. Either way, you’re setting a great example by making exercise a priority in both your lives.
‘Tag, you’re it!’
You may have to suspend the “no running in the house” rule for this tip to work, especially if you don’t have a yard or park nearby. But the simplest way to be active with your kids and encourage them to be active at the same time is by playing a simple game of tag. Younger children will especially love the opportunity to run after and away from mommy. If tag works, try some other favorites from your childhood, like dodgeball and jumping rope. If you have older children, you may even be able to trick them into telling you about their school day while you’re at it.