Working out when you have kids can be a challenge but getting in exercise has so many benefits that it’s a good thing to make the effort. We’ve got lots of ideas for you on how to accomplish that goal!
I’ve always been athletic and have enjoyed working out because it makes me feel strong and healthy. The health benefits to exercise are numerous (lowers blood pressure, eases anxiety, helps with depression, etc.) but making the time to break a sweat is no easy task once kids come along. My kids are 12 and 8 now so we’ve transitioned out of some of these ideas but I’ll give you lots of suggestions for working out from when your kids are babies through high school!
Use a jogging stroller
These were my lifelines when my kids were little. I jogged everywhere with my oldest kid and then got a double stroller so I could cart around both of them when my second came along. It was easy to make time to do, a fantastic workout, and the kids seemed to be entertained. I’d usually start at the Swamp Rabbit Cafe, run for a few miles, turn around, and motivate myself with coffee and a scone when we returned.
The Bon Secours Wellness Arena also lets the public walk their concourse indoors most Tuesdays & Thursdays for free. And we have several stroller-friendly trails in the Upstate you can walk.
Get a baby carrier
Another lifesaver: my Ergo baby carrier. I used this for everything but most especially loved it for hiking. It was a great way to get in a workout while also introducing my kids to nature.
When kids are older, there are hard framed carriers you can buy (go get fitted at REI and either get it there or get it used from Facebook or consignment shops). I tried one and didn’t like it but many, many parents love these. Just be sure to get the right fit.
Involve the kids
Now that my kids are older, it’s a lot easier to get in a workout and involve them alongside me.
We love hiking, as our readers will well know! I’ve taken my kids all over the place hiking and they are such troopers (bring snacks since they make great bribes). We’ve worked up more difficult trails like Table Rock Trail and have hiked about eight miles inside the Grand Canyon but even when they were younger, we would hit up easier trails like many of these in our area that still provided a great opportunity to get moving.
Biking is another way to involve kids, especially once they are able to ride a two-wheeler on their own. We have lots of great biking trails in our area that you can utilize. And if you go to the beach for vacation, don’t forget your bikes or rent bikes there as it’s a fun way to exercise together, even on vacation!
Another way to get in some movement with your kids is to just take a walk around the neighborhood. We love this just for a quick time to get outside. If your kids are little, you can push them on their tricycle or they can use a scooter or balance bike.
I’ve recently discovered how much fun indoor rock climbing is! My kids and I have really enjoyed our local rock climbing gyms and you can even bring a little one inside while you climb and kids switch out watching him or her.
If you’re really athletic, go play baseball, basketball, soccer, or tennis. We have courts and fields all over the Upstate.
Lastly, get on the water. I love to kayak and paddleboard and my kids have gotten into it so now we do a lot of this over the summer at our local lakes. This is a great workout that can do double duty and involve swimming.
Make use of early morning hours
This is how I get in my workouts nowadays. I get up early and get in my workouts before everyone else wakes up. I found a great online workout site that I’ve been using for years where I can choose workouts that involve HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) or use my weights with a strength training workout or do a more gentle Pilates workout.
If I don’t workout in the morning, I’ll never get to it.
Find a gym with childcare
There are several gyms with childcare in our area, many of which include the service in your membership. This is a pretty good excuse to let the kids play with other littles while you get in your workout.
Join a mom workout group
There are a few mom groups in our area that get together for workouts where you can bring your kid and their stroller or go for hikes together. These are great for both exercise and meeting other moms.
Make it fun
My kids love trampoline parks so when we go, I’ll usually join them in jumping around and doing obstacles. This is absolutely a workout!
We also love roller skating so I’ll rent skates and skate along with them for a couple hours – also an amazing workout. Or if you’re headed to a local zipline or obstacle course like Flying Rabbit, join the kids while they traverse the ropes course in the air. I’m always surprised how worn out I feel afterwards.
You can definitely find things to do in our area that are fun, engaging, and can help you feel strong and be healthier so you can be there for your kids.
What would you add to our list?