Doing anything with kids is hard. Anyone who says otherwise is either perfect or lying. They’re their own little beings with their own interests, desires, and purposes. Sometimes these little peoples’ wants don’t mesh with our own, and that’s ok.
But just because something is hard doesn’t make it impossible, right?
It just means that we need to put a little more effort, a little more planning into it.
For example, there is a gym in our apartment complex, but I have a two year old. My probable excuse, knowing me, would be that I just don’t have time. But my husband doesn’t go to work until 2pm. So that leaves the entire early part of the day open to where he can watch our son while I go get my sweat on.
But in reality, not everyone has that luxury, and I understand that. Sometimes the nearest gym is too far so you can’t afford gas. Heck, you may not even be able to afford a gym membership. Maybe you have several kids running around and you just become overwhelmed.
The usual response to these types of things is, “just go for a walk.” Yes. I totally agree and I think that if you feel comfortable in your neighborhood to pack up your munchkins and go for a walk, you should go for it. But for those of us that don’t feel as comfortable, myself included, it leaves us pretty stuck.
However, yesterday I was playing with my son and happened to do some thrusters with him. A thruster is when you, usually with a bar on your chest, squat down and on the way up, thrust the bar upwards. My husband calls them Stupid Squats. Yes, they burn. And yes, they bring results.
I realized it’s no different here than in CrossFit. Axel is about the weight of a bar, except he wiggles and giggles, so I like to think it’s a bit harder. And a bit more fulfilling. This exercise works your entire body. Core engaged, uses your butt, thighs, and calves on the squat, and your shoulders and biceps on the way up. It’s killer.
I managed two full sets of ten, and let me tell you my thighs and shoulders were on fire in the same way they would be at the gym. Plus my son loved it. We spent time together, and he thought it was fun being thrusted into the air. In fact, he’s the reason I got up a few times later and did some more, because he kept begging me too. There’s no better motivator than a whiny two year old voice.
But you’re not limited to just thrusters either. Do you have the ability to wear your baby? Strap her on and do some squats. Even if she’s just a newborn, any extra weight will help you that much more.
Have several kids? Lay down on the ground (core tight, of course) and press them. By pressing I’m referring to the bench press where people press the bar into the air. It’s amazing for your chest and core muscles, especially when it’s heavy. But here, you don’t need a fancy bench or a bar. That’s what your kids are for. If you have several, have them stand in a line. This will also help them with their patience, so there’s a double bonus.
Have them stand (or sit, or lay) lightest to heaviest. Press them each as many times as you can. When your arms start to feel like they can’t do anymore, move on to the next heavier child. This is incredibly difficult, and if you haven’t been to the gym in a while, you might not be able to do the maximum amount with each child.
This is also possible to do with one kid. Try to get in a few sets of ten. If you can only do 5, fine. Rest a bit and try to do it again. If not right then, because I know how parenthood is, within the next hour or so. Every little bit counts and it adds up.
Just think about it and be creative. Wear your baby and do some lunges. Or if your child is old enough, give him a piggy back ride while doing walking lunges, squats, etc.
If both parents are home, you can do sit ups across from each other and pass the baby back and forth.
It’s all about creativity.
Let it be fun. Don’t get so caught up in meeting unreasonable goals that you and your kids don’t enjoy it. Working out is important, yes, but this is also about bonding with your kids.
This is a great way for you as a parent to bond with your kids while getting your movement in. They will see it as playtime, and you’ll get a workout. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Don’t let your kids be an excuse anymore – let them become an inspiration. Go play tag in the backyard, do push-ups with a kiddo on your back. Get on the swings and purposefully tighten your core and squeeze your butt as you kick.
There are so many things you can do.
Have you exercised with your children before? What have you done? If not, what are you looking forward to doing?