So many moms want to workout, but the biggest obstacle is almost always the kids. They need our attention, our love, food, help wiping after going potty, for us to “Watch this!”, and more food. All during our workout.
I have been working out 4-6 times a week with 1-4 children for the last 8 years, and I have a few tips that will hopefully help you make a workout routine more consistent and enjoyable!
Use your 30-minute workout time to let your kids have 30 minutes of screen time. Whether that means a TV show or ipad for your children, they will be out of your way and entertained so you can get a good 30 minute sweat on.
Get up before they do in the morning. Yes, I know this is an unpopular one that you probably were thinking “please don’t say get up in the morning before they do.” To be completely honest, this is the hardest for me BUT the most enjoyable way for me to work out. I am alone, I can focus, and it’s already done for the day by 6:15am!
Do it after they go to bed. This is usually a last resort for me. I used to work out at 9pm in college, but by this time these days, I am beat!
Workout where they are. I used to do a lot of my workouts in the playroom or outside. We started moving more toys and their arts/crafts downstairs (we have an unfinished basement), so now they can play and make messes while I lift weights.
Give them a fun activity to do. Save something fun for your workout time: play-doh, Magnetiles, Legos, cutting from a magazine (my kids love this one), etc.
Find a gym with childcare. I was a member of a gym for about 1 year, and I made sure it had childcare. I have nothing against a gym, but I realized I preferred working out at home.
Split it up. Sometimes the guide or challenge I am using to exercise has a long workout. Other times, I didn’t get up early enough or we have to go somewhere. Instead of NOT working out altogether, I just do half now and half later.
During nap/rest time. It’s easy to clean, cook, do laundry, etc. during nap time, but if you notice you are never getting a workout in, this may be the first place to start.
Plan your LISS day for when you know they’ll be with you and let them walk/bike/skate with you.
Save your rest days for days you know it’s not going to happen. There will be days when you oversleep, have a rough day at work, dinner ends up taking longer than normal to cook, and you still have to run your daughter to softball practice. Working out should be enjoyable and a stress reliever, so don’t stress yourself out trying to get it in if it’s just not physically possible that day.
Let them workout with you. Not only are you getting a workout in, you are modeling healthy habits for your kids.
Literally work out with them. When my 3rd child was a baby/toddler, I used her as weights when she got cranky. Forget trying to set a PR or stay consistent with weights, it’s more fun and your child will love it.
Expect interruptions. They’re going to need something. Or crawl on and under you. Just expect it and it won’t bother you as much when it happens.