Read this awesome post from Michelle about how to incorporate kids into your workout. I’ve gotten to know Michelle via my mentorship program, and can’t wait to help her take her personal training business to the next level.
My name is Michelle and I am a NETA certified personal trainer and group exercise instructor. I love training and teaching aerobics as it gives me the flexibility to be at home with my 3 daughters who are 5, 3, and 4 months. I write about fitness, health, faith, and my family at livefitwomensfitness.com. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter: @livefitfitness and Instagram: @livefitfitness.
I remember after the birth of my first child I panicked. When will I ever have time to workout? What happens when my daughter dosen’t nap as much? At the time I didn’t have a gym membership. I had some free weights, a jogging stroller and a treadmill. At first I utilized nap time and as she began to be awake more during the day I had to become more creative. Health and fitness is such an important part of my husbands and I’s lives we wanted to teach our children that it’s part of our everyday routine and incorporate the kids into our workouts.
It hasn’t always been easy, I have had days in which I wanted to run to the gym while working out at home, winter is always rough and as they have become older we have adjusted into a nice routine.
It usually starts after I feed my four-month old daughter. I prep my five-year old to hit up her workout gear. I tell her it’s almost time to workout. I have it laid out and ready. She has her own little workout tee and pair of shoes. She also has a pair of pink 1 pound weights that she uses all the time while I’m lifting. We have a few old iPods with kid friendly music. She grabs it, I get on my treadmill and she hits play and our workout begins. She listens to her music and I listen to my headphones on my treadmill while she runs around our basement. Usually while she is running I cheer her on, count on your mark get set go and pretend she is in a real life race. She absolutely loves it and so does my three-year old. After the cardio comes the weights. My daughter often asks mom can you be our workout teacher (I teach aerobics) and we practice counting a lot during this time. I explain little things about why we lift, run and eat healthy. We even have a little workout handshake. It seems as over time this has become such a habit and part of our everyday routine. My children believe it or not actually help me on days when I’m feeling unmotivated. They say mom are we gonna workout? Great little accountability partners! Here are my favorite four tips and tricks to incorporating kids into your workout:
1.Pick up some gear for your kids. I love my workout clothes and if you checked my closet I probably have more than normal clothing! My daughter was always trying to wear my tank tops and running shoes. She would change constantly during my workout and interrupt it. That’s when I got her a little running tank, shoes and a headband. While she gets changed I prepare for my workout and it gives me a chance to get my thoughts together about what I am going to do for my cardio and weight routine. I have some toy bins in the basement that are an assortment of different toys then upstairs and that’s usually were the kids head after they lose interest.
2. Use it as a learning experience. I was a runner in college and would love for my girls to become runners. I would never push a sport on them and want them to choose freely and have an idea of different ways to engage in sports and working out. Find a local park or running trail. We often go for run in the jogging stroller and the girls get to watch soccer practices, softball, cross-country, track and various other sports practicing and we talk about how each sport is different and someday they can pick what they like the best. I often take them to the local track in town and we look at the shapes on the track, count the numbers on both the track and football field. They bring a little ball and kick it around and run the track while I run sprint repeats, perform plyometric drills, and stretch.
3. Have fun with them. I always tell them first we will go for our stroller ride and get mommy’s workout done and then we will play on the playground. I remind myself it’s not gonna look picture perfect and the least I can do on some days if they aren’t feeling the workout is just let them get out and play. If we are at home I will end up do a quick HITT routine or three 10 minute segments of jumping jacks,push-ups, planks, and sit-ups in my living room while they crawl all over me.
4. Find a local gym. I have my days were I workout at home with my children, days were we go to the park or track to run and days when I teach and attend classes at a local gym. This has been so much fun for my children because they have met friends(while they stay in the child watch) and we often have play dates after we are all done working out. I call these ladies my fitness friends and we swap recipes, workout ideas and these women are great accountability and support in my life!
I hope this has left you feeling encouraged in moments were you feel discouraged from the interruptions from diapers, bottles, and preparing lunch for kids in the middle of your workout. Give it a few weeks and you will find a routine that will work out for you and your children.