Taking The Time For You – Exercising With Kids

It’s no secret that you can exercise without having to subscribe to a gym – how did people in previous generations cope otherwise? There are things lying around your home that can be utilised and turned into equipment with little fuss. The trick is finding the time to get to do it, which can be hard to do in any normal life … but even more so when you’ve got children. It’s true to some extent that your time isn’t really your own any more when you’ve got kids, at least not until they’re a bit older. Their needs come before yours, which can be hard to come to terms with when you’re thinking of all of the things that you used to be able to do. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t get back into exercising if it’s something that you previously indulged in, or start out on a new track for your own health and enjoyment. It just means that your time has to be juggled around more efficiently; work out the time for workouts.


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Get Them Involved


The first step to exercising if you haven’t got the time to take to yourself is by getting your children involved. There are so many ways to do this that you’ll be kicking yourself for not starting earlier. If they’re toddler size or under, using your child as an exercise prop isn’t something that’s just for Pinterest – it actually works! Putting them in a sling and finding a dance class or squatting/lunging whilst holding onto them are definite ways to build your core muscle and strength, as is using them as a weight of sorts to lift up and down. Not only is it a great workout for it, but it’s a brilliant source of fun for them and a way to wear you both out. When they’re a bit older and past the point of being able to pick them up so freely, you can get them involved in simple exercises that you’re doing. There are many sites online which are freely available to tell you how to execute the right exercises for your kids to join in with. They can mainly all be done at home and don’t involve other equipment, so it’s a great way of being frugal too.


First Past The Post


If you really want to take time to yourself to throw yourself into a workout, it may be worth getting up before everybody else does. This can be hard for the parents that have kids that are early to rise anyway, but for the ones are prone to a little bit of a lie-in this could definitely be the way forward. While we don’t tend to generally think of an hour as a long amount of time, there is a lot that can be packed into those sixty minutes – especially when you are doing a whole bunch of different exercises. It doesn’t take much to get your heart racing and your blood pumping if you’re doing the right things, and it may just set you up for the rest of the day. Those who wake earlier and get their days started are more likely to be motivated for longer and achieve more things in the time they’re given, so it could be doing more for your work/life balance than you had originally given thought to.


Incorporate Your Routine


You can work out whilst doing anything if you really put your mind to it. Running around after the kids is a great way to get your heart rate up to cardio level, but you shouldn’t just be focusing on that. Think about other things that you do around the home; cleaning is a great one to start with. For example, whilst vacuuming, every thirty seconds you could pick up the vacuum and do five lifts of it before getting back to what you were doing. It’s something that doesn’t take much thought to do


KLAIPEDA, Lithuania (Sept. 12, 2010) Information Systems Technician 3rd class Albert Finch, assigned to the amphibious command ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20), demonstrates the proper push-up to Lithuanian children during a community service project at the Klaipeda Orphanage. Mount Whitney, the U.S. 6th Fleet flagship, is homeported in Gaeta, Italy. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sylvia Nealy/Released)

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Bring It Home


When you’re working out in a gym, it can be hard to find a spinning bike that doesn’t suck or a cross trainer that hasn’t broken if you’re not the first one stepping into the class. Instead of taking the time to get yourself to the gym, see if it’s possible for you to buy the equipment that you use the most there and bring it home. You don’t have to buy it from your gym especially – although they may be willing to sell it off for a cheaper price if they’re looking at upgrading their current exercise systems, so it’s always worth asking. The internet houses hundreds of sites which can give you great reviews on which is the best for you, both in terms of what you’re wanting and what you can afford to spend.


Ditch The Car


Think back to when you were younger – did you like sitting in the back of the car while your parents were driving you somewhere? As we get older we tend to appreciate the rest more, but when you’re a kid you just want to race off all of the excess energy that you’ve got stored up inside of you. Instead of driving them to school, try walking; if you want to get there quicker, try cycling; if you want to get there in a fun way, try scooting. There are so many options to be able to exercise in place of what you were already doing. It may mean that you have to get out of the house sooner, wake up earlier or get yourself more organised, but where’s the harm in that? Not only will it be helping you and the kids the get fitter, but it’s a cheaper option too; you will be spending so much less on fuel if you’re not using your car.


Pack It In


If you’re doing a workout instead of spending time with your family, you need to ensure that you are really making the most of what you are doing. Being able to pack as much as you can into your exercise should only be exacerbated by the fact that you are doing it instead of something that you want to be doing more so. Think of it as working to a deadline; you know that you need to be doing so much more in the timeframe that you have been given, so try and do as much as you are able to without hurting yourself.


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Make A Day Of It


Getting your children involved in any exercise that you’re doing doesn’t mean that they have to come to your hot yoga class with you or sit at the back of the room as you’re spinning away. Instead, you simply have to take the Mary Poppins approach and find the element of fun in anything and everything that you’re doing. Working out together is something that should be exciting and a time to look forward to. Spending whole days riding your bikes around the countryside, running around parks and kayaking down rivers isn’t something that is just allocated to ideal families that you follow on social media; it’s easily accessible and can be done by absolutely anybody. Even if you live in the inner-city, there’s a good chance that there’s a park or open space available for you to utilise and take advantage of in terms of exercise.


Regress – And Have Fun!


There are so many pieces of play equipment out there which children can use to help strengthen their muscles and build up their core. Monkey bars, hoops, poles … they’re all pieces of exercise equipment in disguise! Playing on these things with them is a way for you both to get a workout in. Exercising doesn’t have to be dull by any means, and the more that you can dress it up as something that’s fun, the better it will be for the both of you. You could even consider getting a mini play park put into your garden, or building a small obstacle course for you to have a go at. Challenging each other to beat personal bests is only one way to extend the fun and ensure that you’re really pushing yourself to your limits. It can be such a great way to bond and keep the fun going; if you are enjoying something, you don’t tend to think about the health benefits behind it … and why should you? Don’t focus on what you’re gaining from it personally, but think about what you’re all gaining from your experience as a family; look at the memories that are being made, the enjoyment that can’t be bought and the learning is being done. There are some things that you can’t put a price on, and this is definitely one of them. Taking the time to look past the exercise and concentrating on spending time together as a family can be hard to do when you’ve something else at the forefront of your mind, but immerse yourself in the playground and you’ll have the best time.

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