If the thought of exercising with yours kids freaks you out a little and you know your patience wont last, then read on!
People ask me all the time how I exercise with my two children in tow. The truth is, there is no one right formula. I modify it depending on their age, mood and what exactly is working in our life right now.
My children are 1 & 3 (well he is very nearly 4!). In this blog I am going to outline one great workout that we are doing regularly right now. It is a lot of fun and you can easily adapt it to workout with your circumstances.
Rule 1: There are no rules. You must have fun and go with the flow. We are working with babies and toddlers here, so expect the workout to go a little sideways and be creative.
Choose your weapon: Know one knows you children better than you do. So what do they really enjoy and what will keep them engaged the longest?
My youngest as only in the last month or so decided she likes to be in the pram. I think she loves going fast with the wind in her hair. My big boy loves to run and is actually very good.
Other tools that may work for you are babywearing, older children on bikes/scooters, double pram, home based workout or a playground based workout. This workout below is designed for pushing a pram and your older child following on foot (or bike).
We start at the playground with a warm up. I give my kids a 5min warning that we will play here for 5mins and when we have finished our circuit we will stop for a long play here.
While the kids play I warm up with some light squats, step ups and general climbing on the play ground with them to prepare myself for exercise.
Off and running!
We run intervals of 50-100m (depending on my little mans little legs) while I push my daughter in the pram.
We stop every 50-100m or so to do different exercises, play or check out our surroundings. Start by choosing 4 or 5 of your favourite exercises. Complete 15-20 repetitions before heading off for more running (or walking if you body is not ready to run yet!).
Here are some great exercise options:
20 x Squats
10 x Steps ups (each leg)
20 x Walking lunges (big dinosaur steps as my son likes to call them)
10 x Assisted Chin ups (choose a low bar, hang underneath and row up)
Or if your area has council exercise equipment, jump on and use these
At the half way point of our run there is a mini rock climbing wall. We stop here for 10-20mins and have a good climbing play. You can use the wall, do more different exercises and even climb a tree.
By this point in the run circuit my son is getting pretty tired and my daughter is sick of the pram, so they swap over in the pram.
A one year old walking pace is much slower and she likes to look at EVERYTHING, so it is an easy walk back, but you can keep your heart rate up by doing stationary exercises while you wait for her to enjoy the world.
By the time we reach back to our starting point at the play ground, we normally stay here for however long we have available, have some snacks/drink and cool down and stretch on the playground.
This full loops takes us around an hour and we are all pretty pooped by the end of it. I normally carry a Manduca under the pram incase extra cuddles are required through the workout. If I end up babywearing, then I don’t run (fast walking only) and ensure that any of the exercises I do don’t include any tripping hazards or hanging (IE no step ups or chin ups).
Give it a go! Let me know what worked for your family and how you adapted it. If you are just starting to get back into your exercise after having children, the make sure you grab a copy of my FREE Guide on how to start your Fitness Journey (below)
Postnatal Fitness Expert & Founder of Nurtured Fitness