Thursday, October 27, 2011

Exercising With Little Kids Around

There's no doubt that we all need exercise.  There's also no doubt that traditional workouts on a treadmill or at a gym are kind of impossible to really achieve with several little kids around.  I know that I personally am not AS fit as before I had children, but I don't think that has as much to do with giving birth as it does with no longer being in the military, and even if I were single I likely wouldn't be doing 86 sit ups in 2 minutes like I did after firefighter school.  But I'm straying from the topic at hand.

Here are some ways I found to get exercise in when little ones are running around:

When my third was a tiny baby, he had colic, and as with many colicky babies, movement helped him.  One thing was walking up and down the kitchen, holding him close, making a shush-ing sound and doing a sort of bouncy lunge walk.   Great leg workout and it calmed him down.  Another thing was holding my back up straight, holding him in my arms so his bum was against my tummy and his feet sticking up, my hands were under his bum and head and shoulders, so he was supported and could see me.  Then I would do deep squats.  The squatting stopped him from crying, but if I counted out loud it made him laugh for some reason.  Which was really cute and I ended up doing about 100 squats to entertain my baby!

Another thing is walking.  Strollers are my friend.  We've walked to the library, grocery store, park, and doctor's office.  Tip:  if you go on really long walks with kids ALWAYS bring water for them and you and bring snacks for them at least, even if it's just a banana for each or them, and eat right before you leave and right after you get home, this prevents a great deal of whining.

When you have a small baby who can support their own head, you can lay on the floor with the baby sitting on your chest (hold onto them!) bend your legs and do full sit ups.  Making faces at the baby makes them a lot more enjoyable during this, and what better motivation to exercise than making your baby laugh?

This may seem obvious, but taking kids to the park is of course a great way for them to get exercise, but if you run around with them, you will really get a workout.  Play tag with two or three kids, let them all be "it" and carry a 20 pound baby around while trying to escape the giggling big kids.  You'll definitely get your cardio in, let me tell you!  This will build your endurance too, as the kids will want to keep going and going!

One thing all kids I've ever met love is getting piggy back rides and having the rider runnign aorund the house"singing"  (does "da-dum-da-dum" count as singing?) William Tell Overture (Lone Ranger theme song), This is even more fun for them if you gallop instead of run, also gets your heart rate up there!

Dance!  Even if you feel like a dork.  As my sister says: "Embrace the dork within yourself, life's too short to be 'cool'!"  Put on music, dance with your kids, dance by yourself, pick up your kids and spin them around, shake your booty without regarding it's size, have fun!

Take a break from writing a blog post to play ball with your one year old.

Do standing crunches and walk in place while you're making dinner or washing dishes.  I had to walk in place while doing the dishes or anything else when I was pregnant with my third because I had varicose veins and I had to keep the circulation going, plus it was July in Texas and our air conditioner didn't work very well so the compression stockings weren't recommended by my doctor.

After little kids go to bed, do a short exercise video.  If you're like me, buy the end of the day you're too wiped out to do a long video, plus there's that coveted sleep thing, so I try to just do 10-20 minutes, like one of the 10 minute solution dvd's, and just pick one or two workouts from that.  When I was working to lose the baby weight I did this every night except Sunday, but now I only do it a few times a week to just be healthy and somewhat strong.  Sometimes I'll do it during the kids nap time instead. 

Anyway, I hope these tips help you to get some exercise with your little blessing running all over the place!

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