Exercising when you have children can be an absolute nightmare at the best of times. They need so much time and effort, and your exercise does too. Fitting in both of them is bound to be a challenge. When you do manage to find a slither of time for yourself, sometimes exercise isn’t the most appealing thing to do. We understand that. So how can we change it? Well, that’s when it’s a good time to look at exercise with your kids instead of around them. (although we’ve done that too, so scroll for that).
It makes sense. There are more ways to do it than you probably think, and it’s even a great way to tire them out as well as you and get you both some well-earned rest. Exercising with kids benefits both of you, after all.
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- Get Them Involved
- How to Fit Exercise in on Your Own
Get Them Involved
Once you have your routine in mind or know what it is you need to be doing, why not try asking your child to join in? Exercising with your kids on the smallest scale can have huge benefits to both of you, even if it may not quite go how you expected it to.
Of course, this is very likely going to cause competition, so don’t say we didn’t warn you. This is also a perfect opportunity for them to see you making time for them whilst keeping healthy and active yourself, all the while showing them how to exercise correctly and maybe even impress their P.E. teacher.
Let Them Coach You
This one is a stroke of genius and great use of their PE. First of all, why not let your children coach you? It sounds a lot more bizarre than it actually is, we promise.
Letting your child take charge can really mean the world to them and be a lot of fun whilst still giving you the opportunity to get in a good workout and, who knows, maybe even give you that little extra motivation to impress them.
They can do whatever you need, from encouraging you to do that one extra rep to even timing you whilst you do your routine. Whatever works for you. Exercising with your kids is also a good chance to bond and let them see the importance of exercising and making them feel helpful. It’s a win-win, really.
Sport & P.E.
Again, like with the point above, you can stay on the theme of using your child’s knowledge and active lifestyle to help you grow too. Get a demo whenever they have P.E. or even find a new fad game to play. From there, you can help them practise and play together while you get that all-important exercise.
You may even find a sport you love yourself. You can show your friends or join a team and really make the most of the energy that your child has shown you. (It’s a great way to get the social benefits of exercising too). You will both encourage and motivate each other while being an awesome role model!
Use The Playground
The playground can be a perilous place, full of the dangers of speeding children and low climbing equipment for you to walk into when you least expect it, but it can also be your friend too. It might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but exercising with your child while you’re out and about can be incredibly time-efficient and, well, fun!
If you find yourself having some time to play with your child, why not take advantage of these parental death traps whilst you’re there? Try a few pull-ups on the monkey bars, climb the climbing frame as fast as you safely can, and even just trying to keep up with your child will likely be a high-intensity cardio session. The playground is your oyster.
You can take this indoors too with different games you can play like challenges and competitions, or with sporting or leisure centres where you can exercise and play at the same time. Talk about efficiency!
Bring In Added Weight
So, what can you do if your child isn’t quite old enough to do these things with you yet, but is still needing a lot of your time? Easy. Utilise their growing bodies to your advantage; you have your own naturally progressing weight.
Of course, this goes without saying, but be careful (more careful than you ever have been). Ensure that you are always on the ball with what you are doing. It’s wise to think about using equipment like a baby harness that is strapped to your body and can be used for squats or lunges, even whilst you’re comforting them or even while they sleep. This might not be the most practical way of exercising, but it is often a good place to try and make a start.
Commuting & Travelling
Other slightly more time-effective ways are still available, too, though. One of the easiest ways that you can fill your day with something slightly more active for both you and your family is to simply take a walk together somewhere instead of driving, even if it’s just for 10-20 minutes. It can be taking a walk just for something to do or walking instead of driving to get somewhere you need to go; it all helps!
Days out are also a great way to get in some exercise and have some family fun. There will always be somewhere nearby you can go, and go because you all want to, rather than just because it’s good for you. There are tonnes of different activities going on constantly, from parties and social calls to events and attractions. It often does the whole family well to get out of the house and spend some time doing something different, but find what works for you.
Overall, if you get creative, there are tonnes of ways to get in some exercise with your kids, you just need to know what to do. The easiest thing to do is to let them lead the way and exercise together equally. It’s hard work, and it’s not always straightforward, but it is almost always a lot of fun! Give it a try!
How to Fit Exercise in on Your Own
Now, all of that exercising with your kids is all well and good, but it’s not always quite what you’re looking for. There are always going to be some times or some workouts where you want to go solo. It makes sense. That’s why you need some ideas on how to exercise without your kids as well.
It’s a lot easier said than done. The reason you may want to exercise with your kids in the first place could just be convenience. Fitting in your own workouts around their day is hard enough. That doesn’t mean all of your hard work, fitness progress and health aspirations have to be put on hold, though.
There are a few little things you might not have thought about, though, when it comes down to how you can put yourself in a better position to be able to exercise to your heart’s content.
The most obvious, but not always the most convenient gap you can work around, is when they go to bed. Even if you are tired from running around all day, it can be useful to practice some yoga or Pilates to help centre yourself and exercise both physically and mentally to create a healthy body and mind before you turn in for the night.
Shift Parenting with Others
Another good system you can put into place to make a little more of the time that you do have is to take shifts with another family member or even someone close to you in a similar situation, like a friend with a family of their own. They will likely appreciate the time off when it’s your turn too, and it means that your kids have something to do whilst you can focus on your training and make up for the time you may be losing otherwise, either at home or at the gym.
Short Bursts of Exercise
Breaking up your workouts into bitesize high-intensity chunks can be an amazingly practical way to get your workouts to fit into your day too. That is the beauty of the H.I.I.T. workout, even more so when you utilise your own body weight in your exercises, removing the need for equipment.
Early Morning Workouts
Even though getting out of bed earlier can seem like a nightmare after running around after your family, making use of silent equipment is a good solution to keeping the noise down; they are practically silent and get your days off to a flying start, leaving you feeling motivated and energised for the whole day which could really make things a lot easier. Going out for runs or walks is great, too, as long as you still get in some your time.
Even though it is a challenge, there is usually some point in your day where you can make the most of some of these ideas. Even if it is a bit of a nightmare to think about sometimes, it’s worth trying. Exercising is a great mood booster and motivator and lets you take some time out for yourself, so it’s always worth doing in the long run.
Find what works for you, and try to have fun doing it!
Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.
If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.