Lately I've been finding myself chuckling about how I thought I knew it all when I had a 6 month old baby. Spewing out workout tips and how-to's like crazy. And then I had a toddler. And then I had 2. And what they say is true - "The older I get, the less I know".
So here's the deal: today I'm gonna give you a real peak inside my workout life.
Spoiler Alert: it's not all that productive some days.
I've learned so much in my 3.5 years of parenting (I know...basically nothing compared to be a parent for 18 years (or 32, like my mama!) but if I've learned anything, it's that every. single. kid. is different. And what worked with my oldest doesn't necessarily work with my youngest. And what works for us might not work for you. And what works for 1 probably doesn't work for 2. And really probably won't work for 4.
So take these tips in stride.
Maybe you already figured this stuff out.
Maybe you're just coming into this stage and need some ideas.
Maybe you are so much more experienced than me that you're saying "oh just wait mama".
But regardless, I thought I'd share. Maybe it will give you the motivation or some ideas just to try it. Or maybe it will just give you that warm fuzzy feeling that you're not alone in the chaos. Cuz I'm right there with you fit sista.
Tips for Working out With Kids!
1. Take it outside - I know one thing for sure: that sunshine and fresh air make everyone happier. When toddler days are tough - take it outside. Go play in the backyard or load up the stroller and get running. Hands down the best way to break a sweat and tame a tantrum.
2. Schedule it. If you make exercise a priority, it's far more likely to happen. Put it on your calendar just like doctor's appointments and play dates. Make a naptime plan or schedule a time to run with a friend.
3. Join a Mommy & Me class. These classes are just a win-win-win for everyone. Mom gets to workout, kids get to come, and you get to make friends (for mamas and littles!). Plus you don't have to think about what to do, just show up and work! Do a search in your area for a local group (I teach one here in Kingsville!)
4. Do quick circuits lots of times. When doing strength workouts with littles around, I like to do moves that involve multiple muscle groups to save time, and create little circuits that I can do multiple times. That way, if I get interrupted after 10 minutes, I didn't just do 3 sets of 15 bicep curls. Instead, I maybe made it through a round of Squat and Press, Lunge and Curl and Walking Planks. That 10 minute workout hit it all! If you get lucky and can keep going, then you can go as many rounds as possible!
5. Alternate sides often. I learned this one when I was doing some yoga at home. There was a flow that did a ton of stuff on the right side first, and then all of those things again on the left. Baby woke up from a nap 20 minutes in and I only got right side yoga that day. For a 1 hour class at your yoga studio, this is great. But when you might not make it through the whole flow, I'd rather get a few warriors on each leg before having a mini-warrior climbing on my head.
6. Wake up early. This seems to be the most fool-proof way to workout with kids. Do it while they sleep. I prefer mornings because it just makes me a happier mama all day. Set that alarm and just do it.
7. Get a running stroller. Running is personally my go-to workout with my kiddos, mostly because they are CONTAINED!! It's the one workout that doesn't involve a child hanging off of a part of my body. Bonus - after doing most of your runs with 50+ lbs of kids and strollers, your solo runs will feel AMAZING. We LOVE our Bob Revolution (single & duallie!)
8. Involve Them. This is probably the trickiest of all, but oh so rewarding. From a really young age, your kiddos can take part in your workouts and I love watching them learn to love fitness like their mama! Wear your newborn out on walks and for squats and lunges. Let your toddler do yoga on a mat next to you (and under you), have your preschooler join in on squats and help you count, do family races with your big kids. You may not get the biggest calorie burn with these workouts but the impact you are making is HUGE!
The world of social media often shows us picture perfect workout conditions. But luckily, there are lots of mamas showing the real life chaos of working out with kids. Here are a few of my virtual (and real life!) friends and their tips for you!
@audreyrunsalot getting it done with her whole gang!
Photo Credit goes to the 4 yr old. naturally.
Her Tip? Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. I don't always have a lot of time. But I have a will to get it done, a way to make it work, and two wild boys to make it fun"
Esther is a busy mama of 3 under 6 but always finds a way to stay moving!
Her Tip? Just get outside, breathe fresh air and just go, no matter how crummy you feel, getting to the trail or you "start line" is more than half the battle. Yea it sucks having to pack snacks and worry about potty breaks but just get out there and make the most of it, my little people are constantly following my lead if not physically with their eyes.
@FitasaMamaBear with her adorable little weight vest!
Her Tip? "roll with it"! Workouts rarely go as planned/smoothly. You'll stop a zillion times to read a book, bounce, and play but it's all worth it and it'll get done. Just go with the flow". My girl is always climbing on me in workouts!
Gnarly Nay getting her daily dose of Vitamin D + Exercise with her little on their bike!
Her Tip? "Working out with kids can be awesome, like when they try to do burpees next to you, and horrible, like when they turn into a crying tantrum throwing mess on your yoga mat. But overall I love it, she runs around, plays with other kids, and see mommy working out and being tough! She learns that girls can sweat and grunt and be tough! She learns that push ups aren't just for boys, and she learns the value of a group of women doing something to better themselves! All things I'm proud to show her! "
Do you workout with your kids?
Join the real life movement by hashtagging #reallifeiworkoutwithkids and comment here with your practical tips!
It's great to see you! I'm Alyssa and I blog about all the things I've found "essential" in my life as a fit mama and football coach's wife. You'll find all kinds of fun stuff here like workouts, oily info, football stories and more!
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I am not a licensed medical professional. All views expressed on this website are based on my own personal research and experiences. Please consult your doctor with any medical issues before beginning a training program.
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