I'd like to hear from other parents of young children how they fit daily exercise into a busy schedule? I'm a stay at home mama of two young ones. Daughter is nearly 3, son is nearly 6 mths. I'm finding it challenging finding time everyday to fit a good amount of exercise in, and this goes for my husband also. So far things that work irregularly (depending on weather, baby's sleep, etc) are for hubby to ride to and from work some days, or to get up early and go for a ride/do a yoga video. Occasionally we manage to fit some surfing or mtn biking in on the weekend, but usually only one of us.
We have a bike trailer for the kids, so once our younger one is happier in it for longer we'll be able to go for family rides together. And we are planning on spending more time down the beach on weekends with surfboards so that we can tag team a surf. But during the week I find it challenging to fit something in everyday, especially if I'm too tired after a full night breastfeeding to manage to get up early.
I've been thinking of trying to make it to the local gym once a week for a spin class where I can pop bub into the creche, but I've never used a creche or daycare before so I'm not sure how that will go.
And tips from other parents I'd be interested to hear, or just what others are managing to fit in.
Perhaps you can do a high intensity weight or kettlebell workout at home. You only need 15 minutes including warmup. There are plenty of kettlebell routines on the net for women. You might be able to fit that in during naptime. Adjustable weight kettlebells can be bought new for less than $100. If your kids sleep long during the day, you may be able to fit in longer workouts, which open more options. Using daycare at the gym and jogging with double stroller may also work for you. I read once about a mom who ran around the house with the windows open, so she could hear her kids if needing attention.
My friend and her husband take turns jogging with a stroller.
They also go to Birkram yoga together and while one is taking a class, another one is walking/jogging with a stroller, then they switch.
DVDs! From the library, or order a few from amazon.com. These can be done in the privacy of your home, in any weather, and the kids can be playing on the floor while you exercise.
For females, belly dancing and or yoga are great for toning and getting back into pre baby shape. Some belly dancing dvds even work in cardio too.
Yes! for when the kids are older, nothing more fun than running, being chased and screaming!
A few things that worked for me when my kids were wee:
A backpack or sling while hiking (if you don't already have)
Strength training at home - a few weights and 20 minutes is all it takes, if you're not too tired. It still gives me added energy. I would be on the floor for some of it, available for hugs and airplane rides.
Think snippets of time. You can do things for even 5-10 min at a time that will make a difference, like rebounding, dancing, yoga, going up and down steps. Doing just a few of these snippets can really help with energy and outlook.
We are in the same situation, two boys, 3 years old and 11 month. Are it's not always easy to find the time to do something, even 15 minutes (may sound unreal to some, but true with two kids it's sometimes just not possible to get 15 minutes in the day). Going from one kid to two made it more difficult too.
My wife often takes the kids for a walk, the young one in the backpack, and our 3 year old son would go for 3km hikes no problem (we live in the mountains, steep hills). If he can't finish the hike, she sometimes takes him on her shoulders with the young one in the backpack, and that makes a good leg workout for her!
Usually, we try to take turns. One playing with the kids while the other ones in doing a workout or a run. But it's hard to get on a regular schedule with the work. But so far the best way to get some workout in has been to take turns. But we don't have 8 to 5 jobs, so we can arrange our schedule between us with more freedom than people with a job.
This is exactly what I was going to suggest! I have 5 kiddos, ages 13-3. We go to the park and just PLAY. Best workout ever! And while they play I can really run if I want to. Bring some soccer balls, basketballs, hula hoops, jump ropes, etc. Stand on your head. Do cartwheels. Play hide and seek. Play tag. Do ALL of that. Who has time for working out when you're hitting the park on a daily basis?! :)
Thanks everyone for your replies; I've been inspired to find ways to fit something in everyday. Last week I hiked a mountain with bub strapped on and my 3yo walking too. She managed the whole thing nearly; had to put her on my shoulders for a little bit but I was so impressed with how she went. Have been bike riding early mornings, or yoga DVDs, or have dug the weights out of the garage and do a quick workout in the backyard while the kids play. Walking to the beach with bub strapped on and pushing daughter in pram has been great now that the weather getting really nice too. And my husband and I traded mtn biking sessions this weekend - one had the kids while the other one went riding. It's been awesome getting regular exercise again, and I definitely notice I am happier for it. Positive effects all round. Thanks for all the encouragement and ideas!
I have a 2 yr old and a 5yr old but I still manage to train and compete in Ironman triathlons. My wife also gets time for her own exercise. The only way we can get the training done is each morning one of us goes out early (this morning I was out at 5:30 for a 90 minute ride. Got back just as the kids were getting up). I also run after the kids go to bed in the evening during summer when the sun is out late. Kids are really adaptable and I am sure they would be fine at the creche as well.
Get a good stoller that you can jog with, or go to a track and let the kids play in the the sand pit for the long jump while you run intervals...whatever it is be creative and include the kids where possible. Just don't let yourself down by not making it work. Team work is kind of the key. You and your husband just need a system around it.
If you are really struggling for time then you could always do short home workouts like the www.bodyrock.tv ones. They aren't perfect but good for someone short of time.