- Andy Hoffer
How to workout with the kiddos around!
It can be difficult to find time to take care of the kids, cook, clean, homeschool (thanks Covid!), and work. On top of that you need to find time to exercise too?? Well it can be done. With some creative thinking and some help you too can make space for exercise. Here are some tips that I have found has helped my clients.
Allow your children to see you and interact with you while you are working out. They are curious about what you are doing. All these weird movements and tools you are using, of course they are going to be curious. Talk to them about it while you are doing it. Let them feel the weight of your weights. Let them play the with resistance bands. Let them on your yoga mat! The more you tell them no, the more curious they are going to get. I don't know about your kids, but the kids lose interest after a while or they realize that they want to be your workout buddy! Either way don't make it a private event.
Use your kids as an extra weight. If your child is small enough you can strap them to your back and do a few lunges. They are great little weights themselves. One client and I were walking along the pond and I hopped one of her kids right on my shoulders to go up a hill. Her kid was laughing hysterically as I burned a couple extra calories.
Buy your kids their own weight sets. There are plenty of toy sets out there that are little weight sets. They will enjoy spending the time with you and will not injure themselves trying to pick up the heavy weights. Its a win-win!
Take the kids out for a walk. One of the things that I have found to be useful is to incorporate walking while doing exercises. The kids are getting out with some fresh air. If they are small enough you can push them on a stroller and get in some lunges or even bring a small dumbbell and do some curls with one arm while pushing with the other. You can get creative and find ways to double up the walking and some resistance training.
Avoid large and fast movements. My mother can attest to this one. When I was younger, my mother followed one of those fitness VCR tapes. As she was bending over rapidly her face met with my hard head. Well you can imagine the world of pain we were both in. You want to avoid any way that can injure a curious child. Find intense movements that require slow and/or methodical movements. Your nose will thank you for it.
YouTube is your friend! Nowadays you would be hard pressed not to find the type of workout you are looking for on YouTube. From HIIT to LIIT to Yoga, there is a wide array of types of exercises you can do. They range from 15 minutes to 1 hour long. So there is no reason not to start something up.
Find a trainer that can empathize with your situation. Not all trainers are built the same (HA! Get it?). There are those willing to work with you while little ones are running around. I should know, I am one of them. My motto has always been that kids seeing their parents lead healthy lives will often follow in their footsteps.
Whether you workout at home or on the go, involving your kids in your exercise regimen can be a good thing. It can create space for you to reach your physical fitness goals.
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