01 May The Secret to Exercising Once You Have Kids
I’m sure you saw the title of this and are now anxiously awaiting THE secret to finding time to work out once you have kids. If your days are anything like mine (which I’m sure they are), it can be impossible to find even 30 minutes to get anything done – let alone precious time to exercise. My days are filled with interruptions from little ones, demanding that we read, play, go to a park, get a snack…you get the idea. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love it, and I feel so lucky to get to stay home with them. But that doesn’t mean I also don’t need a little “me time” (which for me typically involves exercising). In fact, I think “me time” for parents is essential. It gives you a chance to focus on your mental and physical health simultaneously. And when you feel good, it is naturally going to positively impact your parenting.
Now that we’ve covered why it’s so important to carve out that time for yourself, I’m going to share what I do when it seems impossible to find the time. Ready? Drum roll, please.
I include them. Whether it’s walking, running, biking, lifting weights, or doing jumping jacks, I involve them in what I’m doing. It’s the easiest way to find time and it’s just as good for kids as it is for adults. It gets kids enjoying exercise at a young age, gets them outside (depending on your exercise of choice), and turns it into a family activity. My go-to is to put my kids in the running stroller and run to a park, let them play for a bit, and then run home. I like to find a park that’s 2.5-3 miles away, so when all is said and done, I’ve logged 5-6 miles. They also get their wiggles out while we’re at the park, it breaks up the run a bit (because you know, kids and attention spans) and they spend the rest of the time giggling to each other in the stroller while I listen to my music. It’s perfect.
The best part is that my 4-year-old daughter, Reagan, is now getting to the point where she’ll ask to run a little bit with me. She sees I love it, and as a result she enjoys it too. My son, Easton, sometimes stands by the door saying “run” repeatedly. They love it, and so do I. You could do the same thing for biking. I have this stroller, which I use for a jogger and then we also attach to my husband’s bike when we want to go for a family bike ride. Including your kids in your exercise routine could be as simple as going on a long family walk. Personalize it to your choice in exercise – your kids won’t care what you do; they’ll just be happy to be included.
So there you have it. The solution here is similar to most great things in life – it is simple and straightforward, with very few frills or complexities. Exercising with your kids will become an event, will bring joy to you all, and will help you bond while enabling you to focus on your health. Here’s to many, many workouts with the ones we love.