Fitting a workout into a busily scheduled life can be difficult for anyone, but for those of us with children, it can feel almost impossible. If you don’t have time to take away from the family in order to get to the gym, you might have to complete your workout with everyone around. Instead of seeing it as a burden, we at Modernize think you should embrace exercising as a group. Here are a few ideas to help you involve your children in your workout routine.
Go for a Walk
Everyone knows that a bit of fresh air can do a world of good for everyone, especially for children. Taking a brisk walk or run with smaller kids in the stroller can be just as effective as a solo circuit. If you have older children, try chasing them as they practice on their stunt scooters or bicycles, or challenging them to a running race. In addition to feeling the benefits of fresh air, you and your family will have so much more room to move, run, jump, hop, and skip around.
Get to the Pool
If you’re looking for an all body workout that differs from traditional circuits and cross training, head to the pool. Children love swimming, and this important skill is easy to develop while your children are young and consider exercise to be nothing more than fun. While this particular option might not be best for families with younger children who need your full attention, older children will love racing you down the lane and playing while you do a few laps. If you do have younger kids and still love swimming, make time to complete this activity as a family. While one parent looks after the kids in the shallow end of the pool, the other can get in a quick 200 meters or so.
Make it Fun
When weather or schedules dictate that your workout routine has to take place at home, make the most of your surroundings and embrace family exercise. Dance games and DVDs are far more fun than traditional cross training and repetitive weights and other exercises, so they will definitely get everyone involved. When the weather is not horrible, make use of your backyard and recruit everyone for a game of soccer, tug of war, or even badminton. The more physical, the better, but remember that any workout is good for your body (and your children’s bodies).
Keep it Short & sweet
If you’ve been a parent for any length of time, you’ll know that kids’ attention spans can be very short. If your home workout routine is lengthy and monotonous, even the most well behaved children are likely to lose interest before you’ve finished. For maximum results, choose a workout routine that lasts no more than 30 minutes. If you have very young children, consider setting up a play area close to your workout space for use when necessary.
Adapt your Routine
Once you’ve chosen an exercise routine that everyone can enjoy, remember that you can change it up as you go along. It’s easy to give children a simpler version of your workout when you are doing something a little tougher. This way everyone will still feel included and no one will get hurt. Finally, the most important thing to remember about working out with little ones around is to be flexible. If your usual routine doesn’t seem to be happening on a particular day, don’t sweat it. Try again tomorrow, or set the alarm extra early for a few minutes of morning workout zen.
-By Kaitlin Krull
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