I’ve been back on Keto and working out the past few months, trying to rid myself of my pandemic pounds. Though my kids are a bit older now and I can freely take a few minutes to jump on the treadmill in our basement, I remember what trying to workout when they were little was like — insanely hard!
It took me a long time to figure it all out when they were little, but what I did eventually learn is that if you have kids under five-years-old, the only way to get a workout done at home is to include them in your workout.
Including your kids in your workout has the double benefit of creating some valuable play time between you and your child; play that you actually enjoy because you’re checking off one of your to-do’s at the same time! Win-win!
Here are my five tips to involve your kids in your workout:
5. Make a Plan
If you know what kind of exercise you want to do before you get started, you’re more likely to successfully complete your workout. Prepare your workout YouTube videos and any supplies you’ll need ahead of time.
Tell your kids what you’re planning to do as well so that they can get excited and are waiting for this fun new thing to start (it will keep you accountable as well).
Keep on task by encouraging everyone to participate by keeping them informed and ready to go.
4. Get the Workout Clothes Out
Though we’re all in our yoga pants a little bit too much these days, putting on your serious workout clothes for your workout helps you feel prepared for your routine.
Getting your kids into their “workout clothes” will also help them to feel included in the activity and ready to participate.
Comfortable, workout-friendly clothes that are easily accessible and ready to wear set the tone for exercise.
3. Adapt Your Routine
When planning your child-friendly workout, consider the length and type of exercises you’ll complete.
Shorter routines will keep your little ones’ attention longer, and partner exercises or games will make your kids more willing to participate.
Partner pushups, situps, and races encourage healthy competition and get everyone involved. Dancing to a Zumba routine, YouTube Video, or even the radio seem more like fun than a workout and make an excellent cardio routine.
I love this minions dance routine (we love minions in my home), and there are hundreds more just like it on YouTube to fit your family’s likes and tastes.
2. Go Outside
If the weather is good, take your workout outside.
Pushing a stroller while you walk or run adds resistance, and running after kids on bikes and scooters does double duty as a workout for you and playtime for your kids.
Outdoor running races are another great way to keep yourself fit while including the kids.
Best of all, you’ll all be getting a healthy dose of vitamin D.
1. Be realistic
My best advice for you when planning a workout with your children is to stay realistic.
Keep your routines short, simple, and truly child friendly, and you and your kids will all get the exercise you need.
If one day just isn’t unfolding the way you planned, then don’t feel discouraged.
Children are unpredictable, and their (and your) happiness should always come first. Try again another day, and if you’re really feeling the need for a workout, burn the midnight fitness oil for a day or two to keep yourself active.
You got this!