Fitness: Getting Kiddie With It
One of the biggest struggles I have had in becoming a parent is managing to fit exercise in. Between sleepless nights, busy schedules, and the sweet demands of my boys my personal fitness time is hard to find. And truth be told, if I don’t get exercise I just cannot live up to my full mom potential. I need my heart pumping and endorphins running almost daily in order to feel peace of mind (among other things, of course!). I know this about myself, and my family knows it, too!
Over the years I have worked out my own little plan (out of absolute necessity) to get some exercise in and stay healthy as a mom. Note: I am not an extreme athlete and am not training for any big event (that would take special scheduling skills.) I am “just” a stay-at-home mom wanting the best for my family.
The best part is most of these tips also get the kids outside with you–an added bonus for everyone!
Tips for Mom Fitness Time:
1. Get up early. For me, that means leaving the house before 5:30am while my husband takes care of the kids until he leaves for work a little before 7am. While sometimes that means sacrificing sleep, I am also “done” by 7am, and am not fighting the heat of the afternoon or exhaustion in the evening.
2. Get a bike and a bike trailer. Get a little music going in the trailer (iPod touches or ENO HiFi Speakers work well for this) and give the kids a snack. Some people like to plan it around naptime, but I prefer my kids sleep at home as much as possible, plus this allows them to enjoy the outdoors and learn about associating fitness with fun! Find some hills and encourage the kids to cheer you on. Point out wildlife as you ride!
3. Play with them! Run up the hills, roll down them, jump, slide, and race. Just go a little extra distance and you’ll find that you feel great and your kids are having a blast.
4. Walk/bike/run wherever you need to go as much as possible. Yes, it takes a little planning, but it saves money, too. Our kids get to the point (especially in the milder times of the year) where they are actually confused when we get in the car.
5. Join them in their activities and turn it into a workout. Do lunges in the backyard, tread water in the pool while they swim, jump rope while they play in the sand box.
6. Set aside a “Me Time” evening. Plan your family around that time. My boys know that on Wednesday evenings, Daddy is in charge (and it’s usually a crock pot meal!). Take an exercise class, go on a group trail run, or just meet a friend to walk. That knowledge that you are meeting other people in some capacity or another makes it easier to keep your commitment. It’s good for you to have some solo time, and the rest of your family will benefit from something a little different, too.
Don’t let the fact that you have young children be an excuse to not take care of yourself. Your family needs the best version of YOU and health and fitness plays a crucial role in this.
Read more from Amelia Mayer and follow her active life on her blog, Tales of a Mountain Mama