Exercise With Kids 101: Your Full Guide To Mastering Fitness With The Littles
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We all know exercise is great for you right?
Exercise with kids may seem impossible but is actually so fun, healthy, and I’ll make it easy for you! It helps you to maintain a healthy weight. Exercise helps give you more energy, and it helps you sleep better at night. It helps to relieve pain, even chronic pain. Exercise is the absolute best healthy way to flood your body with endorphins. It even helps to keep all sorts of diseases at bay. It’s good for your heart, it’s great for your muscles, it benefits your respiratory system, it assists in managing mental disorders, it combats digestive issues, and it just overall makes you feel great! Exercise is a key component in leading a full and happy life.
And yet, so many times and for so many people it is not a priority. Some people genuinely don’t think they like to exercise. Others know all the amazing benefits it will bring them, but cannot manage to work it into their schedule. But you need to, and I’m sure that I can help you to do it!
Can a mom really find a time and a way to exercise with kids?
Most definitely! Being a full time mom, finding time to exercise can seem absolutely impossible. Or being a working mom for that matter, it can be equally as challenging. From your waking until you crawl into bed at night your time is consumed by everything and everyone else. Feeding, changing, creating, soothing, teaching, guiding, driving, everything you do is so important! But exercise is important for you and your children and when you have the knowledge of how to work out with your kids it will become so much easier. You don’t have to buy a gym membership or expensive equipment (or any equipment for that matter) and drop off your kiddos to get in regular healthy exercise. In this blog I’m going to give you the knowledge and skills to tie in handfuls of types of exercise into your everyday routine, children incorporated!
Some of my favorite forms of exercise that I’ll detail frequently are:
-Babywearing full body circuts
-Stroller exercise routines
-High Intensity Interval Training
-…and many others!
PILATES WITH KIDS
Great Pilates routines don’t need to include any additional equipment other than your beautiful body. It’s easy to do even while breastfeeding believe it or not! Pilates is great for incorporating a few strengthening moves while playing on the floor with the littles. It’s even easy to do with school aged kids by getting them involved.
There’s one YouTube channel I’m into using lately called Boho Beautiful and my six year old can even keep up with many routines if I modify a few of the moves. This gal is great. She’s been hardcore into exercise of many types from the time she was a small girl and would have been in the Olympics had it not been for a severe spinal injury the year before the games. She also does a lot of yoga but I haven’t done too many of those videos yet. Try her Brazilian Butt Challenge, it’s tough but short and amazing. Don’t forget to check out my Breastfeeding Pilates workout here. (You totally can get a great workout doing it even if you’re not breastfeeding though!)
YOGA WITH KIDS
Yoga is so wonderful for mind and body. The benefits far exceed just getting fit. You will learn to control your mind, your breathing, and develop wonderful postural awareness. Yoga is very low impact and you can easily find routines for absolutely any level. From the time my oldest was two she really enjoyed a YouTube channel called Cosmic Kids Yoga. It’s a great way to get your children familiar and interested in yoga as each video is a guided routine to a kids story or movie. If your totally new to yoga I recommend learning a sun salutation.
It really helps you learn some of the most basic and effective moves and also gets you comfortable with performing a yoga flow. Which is the fluid-like shifting from one move into the next. Beginning yoga is a great exercise to do with your children which will greatly help you both.
STROLLER / BABY WEARING EXERCISE WITH KIDS
As a personal fitness trainer I used to design 45-60 minute routines for a class of mamas. It was geared at stroller and babywearing exercise classes. If you set baby or bigger kid (as I do) in a stroller and/or wear your little one it can be a wonderful and beyond simple way to incorporate your littles into a fitness routine!
BABY WEARING EXERCISE
Baby wearing exercise can be a bit tricky as not all moves can be used for babies safety and comfort. Also, the extra weight on your front makes any exercise extra challenging. But I absolutely love it and think it is completely necessary for baby wearing mothers to try out baby wearing exercise routines. It gives you so much strength for that precious extra weight we choose to carry around a lot of the time. Sometimes it can be hard on your back, arms, and even legs to carry little ones as much as we just have to! If you keep those muscles strong by including regular exercise into your routine, carrying around that lovely little load becomes exponentially easier!
Strollers are made for using with a workout and run in my opinion. And I’ll let you in on a little secret, you absolutely don’t need to spend the extra coin to get a fancy schmansy jogging stroller. With baby #1 I used a regular stroller. This time around I got a nice double jogger and then proceeded to switch back to just using a regular stroller. I’m always on paved roads and it works just fine for running and it is much less maintenance as I don’t have to pump up the tires. You can even use the stroller as a stabilizer when incorporating other moves besides running and use it as a bench to do some moves on! Think mountain climbers, pushups, and tricep dips.
HIIT WITH KIDS
Have you ever heard of HIIT routines? It stands for high intensity interval training and I love love looove it. You can get in as much calorie burning and even more of a metabolism booster in less time by using high intensity interval training. Just perfect for a busy mom. Your metabolism is boosted for 48 hours after completing a HIIT routine. Seriously, two days! The intensity level you work at is so high that it causes excess post-exercise oxygen consumption to take place. What that means is that you are working at such a high threshold (for a super short amount of time I promise!) that it causes can oxygen deficit in your body. Which it continues to recover from long after the workout and continues to burn calories as well as increase metabolism.
HIIT changes your body on a cellular level for 24 hours after completing a routine in an attempt to prepare for future HIIT bursts. The best part of high intensity interval training is that it is super short. You exercise in short bursts at 100% intensity, followed by a short rest period, followed by something different or a different level of intensity, followed by a short rest period, and so on. Routines are usually about 10-20 minutes. That’s it. I love that when I even first start a new exercise at a level I don’t feel I can keep up long, I’m already almost done with it. It makes it so much easier to push really really hard. If you can keep your kiddos entertained for ten or twenty minutes you can get in a rockin’ workout!
DANCE EXERCISE WITH KIDS
Dance is an effective and very popular form of exercise. I mean, who doesn’t love to dance? Whether you have mad skills or your totally awkward, dancing is fun and freeing. There are tons of popular classes and DVDs that have just exploded because even if you hate the gym, I bet you don’t hate to dance! Zumba and Jazzercise are two super fun dance classes I’ve tried out and just had a blast. Jazzercise came so perfectly to me, in Zumba I was totally awkward but rocked it as best I could and had a blast anyways. What’s great about dance being a phenomenal form of exercise is that kids of all ages love to dance to! So rock out to kid tunes! Have an epic dance party with your kids!
Exercising with kids is totally possible, you can do it! I absolutely love to exercise, if you gave me free time that’s what I’d do. I’m just a freak like that. It’s my favorite “me time” activity but I equally love teaching it to my children. To feel like I’m setting a good and healthy example for them every day. I get to show them that I care about me and I care about them. Teaching them from a young age how to have a blast getting off the couch, putting down the tablet, and getting outside for some exhausting fun.
I’d love to know which types of exercise you’d love to learn more about how to complete with the littles! I’d be more than happy to make routines and posts for your inspiration. Please let me know your thoughts and wishes below! Have a beautiful day. 🙂