Parenting can be a tough gig when it comes to finding time for the ‘e’ word – exercise. Who told you it was meant to be easy? I found that integrating a workout into my kids’ daily routine is easier than scheduling time for the gym – and it’s also cheaper, though this is one contract I can’t get out of.
Here are five ways I found to work some exercise into my life, with the kids:
1. Hit the trail
Just because you have small kids doesn’t mean you can’t get out there and enjoy the great outdoors. And you are literally spoilt for choice when it comes to baby carriers, so get one and hit the trail. Carrying around an extra eight kilos has to be good for you, right? I made it down to Tasmania’s spectacular Wineglass Bay (and back), thanks to an Ergobaby carrier (that is me in the pic above). My daughter didn’t see what all the fuss was about and slept all the way.
2. Shake it baby
Possibly the most fun exercise I can have with my girls – nothing like dancing up a storm in the living room. And with Spotify and YouTube, the world is your jukebox. Just don’t forget to draw the curtains/lower the blinds if you want to maintain your, ahem, dignity with your neighbours.
3. Get the console out
Ok, hear me out – not all video games turn you into a pale, sunshine averse zombie. Fire up a Wii, which has some great interactive games, and you can actually work up a sweat. A great option for a rainy weekend – and your kids learn how to be a good sport (or not) at the same time. Anyone for a game of tennis?
A trip to your local bowling alley is not just for birthdays parties, it is also a great activity for families. Heaving those heavy balls down the lanes is not only hard work, it is also great for developing your kid’s hand eye coordination, patience and maths. Just make sure you beat them!
5. Pram it
If your little bundle of joy/terror likes a trip in the pram to catch some shut-eye, turn it into a workout. Get the right gear on and instead of cruising supermarket aisles, hit the road for a brisk walk or even better, a jog. If you are serious about working up a sweat a three wheeled pram/pushchair is what you need – they are lightweight, with large wheels and a hand operated brake.
6. Bubs is the workout
Last but not least, work your bub into your home workout routine. And I am being quite literal here – junior becomes the weight. There are a bunch of moves to try including a dumbbell curl, chest press, push up and chin up (baby carrier required). And they will love being included and taken along for the ride.
See how these dads do it:
There are lots of other exercise hacks out there, what works for you?