Dec 17, 2013

exercising with your children

Napping newborns, teething toddlers, as much as we'd like to exercise, sometimes finding the time can be a real challenge. As my children have grown, I have found that there are times I have had to adjust my exercise routine in order to fit in with their developmental needs. At times I have learned that I have to be flexible and creative if I want to get any exercise at all. A while back I wrote a post about exercising with a baby which has some tips for staying active as a new mother, so today I thought I'd expand on that by sharing a few of the different ways I have kept active as my children have grown, stopped napping and become more active themselves.

1. Walk to a park
Babies that are walking often don't like to be confined in the pram for long periods of time, so try breaking up your walk with a play at a local park.

2. Bike rides
I still haven't personally tried riding a bike (as I simply don't have one), but I know of toddlers that love riding on a bike's toddler seat, or in that trailer attachment thingy that toddlers can sit in behind your bike.

Once your children are at an age that they can ride their own bikes (or trikes, or balance bikes), you can get some great exercise walking behind them (or jogging once they get quicker). I have even just started occasionally skating behind my munchkins on my longboard, it has been years since I have skated! Going for bike rides is one of my favourite things to do at the moment as all of us get some great exercise and time outdoors. These are pics from our latest ride, we explored and found a new local park...

The heat got to us a bit on the way home so we stopped for a rest...

3. Gym crèches
Usually toddlers are quite happy to play in a crèche, if they are still a little unsure about it, try going with a friend so that both your children can play together in the crèche. I found by meeting my sister at the gym, our children were all excited about playing in the crèche with one another, and they enjoyed there time there even more. depending on whether your child is okay being minded. (Just be sure to do your research, some gyms require crèche teachers to be certified childcare workers, but some do not).

4. Swimming
We try and regularly go to the pool so my munchkins can improve their swimming. As they are progressing and getting more independent, I am finding I can tread water, do water lunges and move through the water while supervising them which allows me to get a small workout myself.

5. Gardening & other incidental exercise
I have mentioned before that incidental exercise is pretty much any movement that we do when we aren't officially exercising, I can't stress enough that it all adds up. We have recently been in a season where finding the time for exercise has been tough, incidental exercise is so beneficial during these times. Try and do some extra gardening, mow the lawn for hubby, run around more with your children. Drop and do some sit ups or burped when you get a spare 5 minutes. Every bit truly does help as creating muscle helps speed up your metabolism.

6. Play date exercising
As both my sister's hubby and my hubby work long hours, we try to get together when we can so that we can take turns going for a quick jog. One of us will mind all the children while the other goes for a half hour jog, then we swap. It is an excellent way to fit in some exercise and socialise at the same time.

These are some of my favourite ways to fit exercise into our day at the moment, it doesn't keep me marathon fit, but it definitely keeps the children and I living a healthy and active lifestyle which is vital to our health, our moods and our wellbeing.
Do you have any activities you and your young children do? I'd love to hear them, pop on over to the facebook group and join in the conversation.