“When is the best time to workout with young kids?”
I’ve had this conversation dozens of times, especially with new moms juggling night feedings, early wake ups, fussy babies, and doing all the things. While maybe they’d love to wake up leisurely, get dressed, drink a cup of coffee, and move their bodies, sometimes it just doesn’t happen. It can take me at least an hour of awake time before I feel ready for a workout or activity, beyond changing clothes, making kids’ breakfasts, and changing dirty diapers.
“Fitting it in” before the kids wake up would require a 4:30 a.m. wake up time, which for me is a no go. Rather than forcing my tired body to wake up to move, I get way more benefit out of the extra rest, albeit minimal.
What is more helpful advice? Tips for moving our bodies, kids in tow, or during parts of our day. I love to view movement as something we can do to celebrate our bodies and incorporate in small ways throughout our day, rather than a task I need to “fit in.” A shift in perspective has really helped me find a manageable schedule and adjusted my expectations.
1. Break Up Your Workouts: A workout doesn’t need to be completed at once, or even all on the same day. Perhaps you have 10 minutes here, 20 minutes there, etc. Break up the movement and sprinkle in throughout your day.
2. Involve your kids: While I do prefer a solo sweat session, I also love showing my boys that mommy can be strong! I include them in my strength workouts, often giving them a band, or creating a mini obstacle course out of equipment.
3. Screen time or quiet time: There – I said it. I give my oldest an iPad. For older kids this may be a great time to set them up with an activity too.
4. Time your movement /exercise with your kids’ schedules: When I do workout with my kids around I typically do so around breakfast time. My son can entertain himself eating his breakfast, playing with toys, and watching a movie. This becomes a bit more doable when your kid(s) can feed themselves 🙂 Nap time in our home is too unpredictable.
5. Have a plan: I like to review the movements/workout the night before. When it comes time for my workout the following day I’m more efficient, confident, and don’t mind my son’s music or movie in the background.
What are your favorite ways to workout with kids around or with a busy schedule?