Working Out w/ Kids

Hey friends! Hope your week is starting off well! I wrote a post like this back when I only had one kiddo…now that I have two, working out looks a little different. I’m still in the midst of figuring out my workouts with two little people, but I’m here today sharing some tips that are working for me.

#1 Early morning or late night workouts

Once your kiddos are on a ‘sort of’ schedule, you can plan a few times when you’ll be kid free during the day. Usually (and especially now during #quarantine) that will be the early morning hours or after bedtime. I will admit, I’ve only recently started waking up before my kids again. When Matthew was still eating at night, there was no way I could wake up before everyone at 5 to fit in a workout (I did this in the beginning when he would nurse at 5am but after a few months that wasn’t really sustainable). If you are in that season of little ones still getting up and eating regularly at night, sleep in. Sleep and recovery is just as important as working out, and you’ll get to a stage when you’ll be able to get 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep again. I only just got to that stage about 2 weeks ago. I’m still working on pushing my wakeup time earlier, but early in the morning or after bedtime is a good almost ‘guarantee’ (no true guarantees w kids though) of kid-free time and uninterrupted workout time.

#2 Get them involved

Kids love to mimic and copy what they see, so why not let them join in on the fun! Teach them how to do pushups or let them participate with foam weights or take them for a run. I think it’s amazing to be a good example and show our kids what an active lifestyle is like. My daughter (4 years old) is currently getting into running with me. It’s certainly slower than my normal pace but I love that we’re doing it together! Also, for the itty bitty ones, they make great little weights. I’ve certainly used Matthew for curls and presses when he doesn’t want to be put down but I want to get some kind of lifting in. If you do like to be outdoors, get yourself a good jogging stroller or hiking backpack. This will allow you to keep moving while containing the little ones at the same time. I love our jogging stroller and our hiking backpack.

#3 Opt for shorter more intense workouts

If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you know I’m not a huge fan of doing Crossfit style or HIIT exercises for every single workout during the week. They can lead to more injury and, if not careful, can wreak havoc on your hormones. However, when necessity dictates that you need shorter workouts, you can adjust them to fit your lifestyle. Pick 3-4 exercises, do each movement for 45 seconds, take a 15 second break, then move on to the next exercise. Repeat everything for 3-4 rounds or 20-30 minutes (or however long you have to workout). This will ensure you get some movement in, even if it’s not as long as you’d like and you can up the intensity to get more bang for your buck during that time. Just be sure you’re moving with good form (don’t rush through the exercise just because the timer is running) and fueling your body well.

#4 Set realistic expectations

I’ve totally gone into an early morning workout only to have it interrupted by someone waking up. Then I set them up with some toys to be able to finish my workout and have to stop again to make breakfast or get a snack. Then I set them up with food and they still interrupt me. This is just how life goes sometimes and moments with these littles are fleeting and should be cherished. But also…mama still needs her workout. Set realistic expectations going in. Know you could be interrupted a million times and the workout might take longer than expected, and that’s ok. It’s the season of life you’re in, and setting realistic expectations can help dash disappointment later on.

#5 Get moving in any way you can

As much as I love a good program, and have been following one the past few months, sometimes you’re just in a season where a structured plan isn’t going to work. If you’re in this position and can’t find a consistent time to get a workout in, squeeze it in whenever you can. Find one morning when you can sneak away from a run or do some squats and lunges while holding the fussy baby. Do some fun yoga with your preschooler if they’re having a fit (it’ll help calm both of you down)…just move in whatever way you can!

If you’re in this season with little ones, hang in there mama, I’m in it with you. I know the busy days and the sleepless nights. We still need to take care of ourselves though so finding time for some intentional movement is important. I hope these tips help you fit in the movement you want and help you feel stronger!

If you want a more guided and structured approach come join my Empower Your Fitness VIP group! You get new workouts each month along with demo videos, your own online training platform, access to a private Facebook group and more! I made this group for my fellow mamas who are in the thick of it and need a workout plan to follow that’s sustainable but still gets results. If you’re ready to feel good and get strong join us HERE!

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