Help!! I can’t exercise, I have kids!!
If you have children, and it doesn’t matter how old they are, then chances are you may have thought this at some point. You’re possibly even thinking it right now, and you probably believe yourself too. Sure, kids can make it a bit more difficult to exercise – less time and less money because of children are very good excuses that we often hear. But they are excuses, not reasons. And once you recognise this, you can plan your attack on exercise.
Children can be a great motivator for doing exercise – you are their role model and they will to look up to you and learn from you. Watching you exercise now not only keeps you fit and healthy (and more likely to live longer) but sets them up for a lifetime of good exercise habits, meaning they are less likely to be overweight and unfit as adults. What you are about to read will help you not only get fit, but have a great relationship with your children.
Trying to find time to exercise and be with your children can be difficult if you think that it has to be one or the other. The reality, and this evades most of us, is that you can have the best of both worlds. With a bit of motivation, you can exercise with your children, or get them to help you exercise. If you think you don’t have the time, then stop and think how you can involve your kids in what you need to do. This can be great fun, so it’s worth a try.
Here are a few ideas to get yourself, and your kids moving:
First you could pack a lunch and take your children to the park on the weekend. This gets you out of the house and to a place with lots of space. Once at the park you can play some games before lunch. Examples of some of the games are tag (aerobic exercise), cricket (aerobic exercise), and races (aerobic exercise). This is a great family outing and the children will not even know that they are exercising. You could also try throwing a Frisbee, throwing and catching a ball, or old favourites such as “What’s the time Mr Wolf?” which can be played with as few or as many people as you wish. If your backyard is large enough, you could also try these games at home. Or set up a swing ball set, or a tennis/badminton net and have a tournament. Bouncing on the trampoline is also great aerobic exercise, so come on mum and dad, get moving!
At home inside you can still interact with your children while you exercise. Older kids can talk to you about their day while you exercise, or babies can have mat time while you do things like push ups (biceps), planks (abs), side planks (abs), and dips (triceps) nearby. Babies will probably love this (ours do!), and you may find cooing and gurgling is a great motivator to keep going! If your children are older than 3, you can get them to exercise with you. If some exercises are too hard for them, come up with variations or other exercises they can do with you. Get them to choose the exercise and complete it together, or get them to decide what exercises they want you to do. This gives them a sense of helping, and can be lots of fun for everyone.
You can also play with your children at home, and get exercise that way. You may not realise it, but giving ‘horsie’ rides on your back, or bouncing them on your knees is actually helping to get you into shape. Not to mention that children can be great weights for lifting!
Always keep in mind that safety comes first. If you think something could be dangerous, then stop and find something else to try. Generally, there is no harm in older children attempting an exercise, but if they find it difficult, don’t force them to do it, and if it hurts anyone, stop straight away. And remember, if your children are joining you with your exercise, then you need to praise them for exercising with you, and keeping you and them fit.
As you can see there is no reason for you to miss out on exercise and your children, or to make a choice. The choice is simple, you can have both.
By Anatomy Fitness