As a parent, finding time to get a workout in can be a challenge. Parenting is a full-time job and making the time in your busy schedule for fitness is often of a lower priority than all the other tasks you need to get done in a day. But your fitness routine doesn’t need to be exclusive from quality time spent with your family! Including your kids in your workouts can be fun and still have you working up a sweat.
Regular physical activity can help both your body and mind function at their best, and demonstrating healthy fitness habits for your kids can help teach them to enjoy the benefits of physical activity, as well. Incorporating your kids into your fitness routine is a great way to squeeze some exercise time into your schedule and teach your kids healthy habits.
Make Fitness a Family Event
Oftentimes as parents, exercising is something we schedule specifically for when we’re not with our kids. While keeping your kids out of your fitness routine makes sense when you’re doing activities that aren’t child-friendly like weight lifting or going to the gym, incorporating kid-friendly exercise into your routine can be easy and fun for the whole family.
Making fitness a family event can help you as parents work a little exercise into your busy schedule, help teach your kids healthy physical activity habits, and provide a new opportunity to play and interact with your children. When the whole family goes out together to be active, exercising can be an enjoyable bonding time for all.
Go For a Walk
Going for a walk is one of the easiest ways to add a little fitness into your routine with your kids. Whether you go to a park or take a stroll around your neighborhood, walking has many health benefits and is an easy way to include your kids in your physical activity. Depending on how active your family is (and how much patience your kids have), aim for thirty minutes of walking but cut it shorter or incorporate another physical activity if your kiddos start getting antsy. A walk can lead to a playground where your kids can play while you do an ab workout or to a park where you can play a game or sport together. With older children, a walk can be a valuable time to connect and create a space for conversation away from all the distractions of home.
Play a Sport
Sports are a great way to play to your child’s interests and get in a great workout. Even throwing a football or kicking a soccer ball back and forth in the park can be great exercise if you embrace your inner child and run around. You may realize that you’re working new muscles when throwing a football or that you can get an intense cardio workout when running with a soccer ball.
Try Circuit Training
Including your kids in your fitness routine may add some limits to what kind of exercise you’re able to do depending on their age. You likely can’t take your young kids to the gym and let them run wild while you use the weight machines. Nor will a five year old be too happy to go on a three mile run. But circuit training can be a fun and accessible option for you to get in a great workout while your child participates in a more kid-friendly way.
Circuit training is when you set up multiple stations that you go through one after the next with short breaks between each round. Circuit training is an excellent way to build up your strength and cardio endurance. Stations can be anything from burpees to jump roping, crunches to lifting dumbbells.
Start by leading your child through the circuits and encourage them to do a couple rounds with you. While they won’t be able to do every exercise in the same way you are, kids often enjoy proving their own strength and getting the chance to “play” with items that may usually be off-limits, like very light dumbbells. Make sure to keep an eye on young children throughout the workout, as some exercise equipment can be dangerous if used incorrectly. And don’t forget to provide encouragement!
Including your children in your fitness routine can be a fun and memorable activity for your whole family to enjoy. While it may require a little creativity and patience depending on their age, you’ll be teaching your kids healthy habits while adding more movement into your own busy schedule. For more fitness tips and inspiration, read more on our fitness blog!