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As a mom, you’ll know that your free times can sometimes be pretty few and far between!
Actually, let me back up…
”Free time” is something where you spend time doing something you enjoy that isn’t related to parenting, cooking, work, or cleaning. (You may or may not remember it vaguely from your pre-kid past life.)
With so much to do when you’re juggling your household chores, social life, kids, and perhaps career, it can be difficult to fit in an exercise regime too.
The key is to not be over critical and just make the most of the time that you do have. This may only be a quick fifteen minute workout some days, and that’s fine.
One highly important thing to consider as part of a “mom-friendly” workout routine is the more you can get your kids involved in your exercise regime, the more likely you are to actually get to exercise. If you can even make them look forward to it, then you have officially birthed your most merciless personal trainer yet. Apply the nagging resilience of a toddler on a mission to your exercise routine and you’ll be an olympian before they leave for preschool.
Let’s consider a few top exercise ideas that you can do with your children.
Bike rides can be a great fitness activity to do with your children, whether it’s a quick session after school or a day-out at the weekend.
Bike rides are great because they are a low impact exercise that’s gentle on the body and easy to do. You will burn calories and tone your muscles. If you put your older kids on bikes of their own or tote younger ones in one of those pod-like follow-along thingies (you know, these guys), they’re sure to love it.
While you’re at it, why not take a picnic with you and explore some new outdoor spots when the weather is nice? Even if you’re not a fan of biking, but your kids are, you can always just jog alongside them!
Yoga is an activity that can so easily be practiced in the living room or garden with your children.
All you need is a yoga mat and to find a YouTube video or two to help you get the poses right! It’s likely your kids will love doing grown-up activities with you!
Kids are the best yoga buddies because they have lots of energy and are so flexible! (It’s also a blast to watch them giggle as they tip over repeatedly.)
Yoga can be amazing for both of you because it promotes a sense of calm, helps stretch and build muscles, and gives you a nice, physical activity to do with your active kids that doesn’t involve beating each other (or you) over the head with things. Win-win.
If you want to try for more soothing, before-bed type yoga, try a Pandora yoga station in the background and dim the lights. If you make it part of the nightly ritual, it might even help get the little demons in bed!
Hitting the volleyball (or basketball...or tennis) courts as a family can be a great day-out or after school treat for your children.
Team sports can really help to improve fitness levels and hand-eye coordination skills too. Even if your kids are a bit too young to play a proper game, you can temporarily abandon the idea of a full game and run more skill-specific drills that focus on a little bit of cardio for you. (Throwing and catching the ball as you run, wind sprints, dribbing, whatever you can make fun works!)
Trying new sports is so beneficial for our self-care as we can get the endorphins pumping, gain new confidence and social circles. You might even get a little team going between your friends, sites like Cisco Athletic provide some great custom uniforms.
If you don’t have much time, the easiest way to exercise is to do some body-weight exercises at home.
From crunches to squats and high-lunges, your kids will love jumping around. You could even do this to some music to make it more fun. Dancing is also an excellent calorie-burning activity for all the family to enjoy together!
If you have a baby (or small toddler) there are actually excellent ways to use your baby as a free weight. Weighted squats (aka squats carrying an infant)? You betcha. Pushups with a toddler riding your back? Bring it on! The more fun you make it for them, the more tolerant they’re going to be of you wanting to squeeze in a workout.
Summer is the perfect time to take your exercise activities outside and get some sunshine to boost your moods!
No matter how busy your schedule might be, letting your kids exercise with you means that it doesn’t matter if you can’t make it to the gym.
Founder | Contributor
Liz is a wife, mom, blogger, coder (and unabashed digital nerd), PhD student (and huge psychology geek), workout masochist, and occasional human being. She founded The Stay Sane Mom after marrying into the role of stepmom to a preteen girl (and Instagram addict) and shortly thereafter having her first bio kid (now a toddlernado supreme). Her goal is to provide tools and support to help other capable, sleep-deprived, soul-hungry moms master their domains so they have the time and energy to be more than just 'mom'.
Stay Sane Mom gives support to the over-worked, under-slept, marker-stained, soul-hungry moms of the world, so they can be more than just "mom".
You just want to keep the house clean, have a happy marriage, raise functional kids, and still have a little left in the tank to be a real person as well.
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