Fitting in exercise when you have young kids.
So I just got back from a Bounce class (think mums jumping and flailing on tiny trampolines to loud dance music). It did not go well. I took my toddler. I know I know what the feck was I thinking???!! I’ll tell you what I was thinking…. I was thinking I really neeeeed and want to get out and get sweaty and jump about and listen to loud music and feel that wonderful rush of endorphins that reminds me of Old Sarra. Oh and burn off some calories and build some muscle but mainly just do something for me that I enjoy and try to keep myself sane.
It was already one of “those” mornings in Toddler World and there were lots of tears before even getting there. I had a bag packed with snacks, blanket, books, colouring, dolly, drink I even bought the frigging dolly buggy for her to boot around with. Ofcourse all dolly wanted to do was bounce along on the trampoline with mummy (seems that Upsy Daisy was packing away the Xmas Baileys and wanted to burn it off). I jumped, I wobbled, I bounced, I flailed, I even sweated a bit and smiled as those gorgeous hormones started flooding my body and the music filled my head.
These moments were interspersed between drawing, running around the studio with a dolly buggy, sitting and looking at books, trying not to bounce on a toddlers fingers that kept appearing on the trampette and soothing an increasinlgly fractious and pissed off 19 month old.
There were tears.
From both of us.
Mine came as I admitted defeat and was packing the bags and toys away and another mum came over and was nice to me…… Argh! Don’t be nice, I was on the edge and then the tears fell. I don’t know why but I’m guessing a mixture of embarrassment, frustration, hormones, did I mention frustration? Anyway they were fleeting but I felt a total wally even though we’ve mostly all been there. I felt ashamed like I shouldn’t have even tried to take my toddler to an exercise class with me. I know other people think I was silly to try but I had to. There was nothing to lose (apart from my dignity as I blubbed) and everything to gain if it had worked out. I’m not gonna let it stop me from trying again and that was infact my 2nd time there and the 2nd time I’ve had to leave before the end due to ‘ol stroppypants.
Yes I can exercise at home but sometimes I really want to get out, meet other people, try something different, listen to really loud music, push myself and I want Wriggles to realise that is sometimes a part of our life too.
So moving forward I’m gonna stick to my workouts at home with the odd class at the gym (without child!!) thrown in for good measure. She will still be dragged on walks in the woods however coz if I don’t get into the woods I will lose my mind and coz climbing on tree stumps and splashing in puddles is great toddler fodder.
It’s a juggle with a little one that’s for sure but it’s something I know I need to do and want to do. It’s part of who I am and want to be and I want her to grow up seeing physical activity as something that is normal and fun.
I guess I’m sharing this to show that even though it’s not always easy it can be worth it (I mean I still got a work out in and had some fun). That it’s ok when things go wrong or you fuck up, that’s human. It’s ok to want to do things for yourself even if you’ve got kids!
Here are 5 ways of fitting in exercise around your kids.
1. Youtube videos or fitness apps at home. With Youtube I set up different playlists for different types of exercise from yoga to HIIT and even meditations. I really enjoy The Body Coach as he has a great mix of HIIT workouts starting from 15 mins and beginners to advanced. FIIT is a brilliant fitness app that has a range of classes from cardio to strength to yoga. There is a growing community to keep eachother motivated and you can even get personalised fitness plans. these are all easy to do at home whilst little one naps, kids are at school or even before/after work.
2. Swapping childcare with friends so you both get to go to your classes and not worry about creche fees or asking family to babysit. Doesn’t matter if the other half isn’t around to look after them then either.
3. If your kids are at bike riding stage yet then just trying to keep up with them will keep you fit! Don’t sit about on the park bench watching them go in circles, try and take them somewhere they can ride safely whilst you jog along side. Bike riding with your kids or with them on a seat on your bike is also a fab way to burn of some steam as well as having a fun family adventure. When I say fun we all know this can go either way!
4. Use the outdoor gym whilst your kids play in the park. These are such brilliant free facilities it seems a shame to waste them. Lots of play parks have climbing walls now and there’s no reason you can’t have go on the monkey bars. Get involved!
5. Take them with you! There are lots of Mummy and Me type classes now where you can take your little one along. Slightly easier at the “sleeping nicely in the buggy” age rather than the “toddler tearing the place up” age.
So tell me, how do you fit in exercise around little ones? Have you had any luck taking them with you?
I’d love to hear from you. If you’d like some personalised help figuring out how to fit a healthy lifestyle in around kids then drop me a line, I’d love to help.
40 something wine loving Mama with a passion for delicious healthy grub and helping others shine.
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