As a parent it can be tough to find the time to workout and stay in shape. Between work, keeping the house in order, and taking care of the kids there’s barely enough time sleep, let alone head to the gym several times a week. But that doesn’t mean you can’t sneak in a little workout here and there. Here are several ways to workout while the kids play.
The key to getting this done is to multitask and do a few exercises while the kids are playing, or napping, or working out right along with you. How you make this work will of course depend on the age of your kids and your own circumstances, but here are some ideas to get you thinking.
6 Ways to Workout While The Kids Play
You don’t need to spend loads of money on a babysitter, new equipment, or a gym membership to get in a workout while the kids play. Take a look at what you already have and what’s available around you and you’ll be surprised at the number of ways you can make it happen.
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1. Baby Jogger, Bike or Scooter
Invest in a baby jogger if your kids are small enough to ride in a stroller. Strap them in when it’s time for a nap and walk or run around the neighborhood while they sleep. If you have older kids, have them ride a bike or scooter and come along with you.
2. Parks and Playgrounds
Check out the parks and playgrounds in your area. If you’re lucky you can find one with a playground area in the middle and a walking path going around it. You can run or walk laps while the kids play on the playground.
And speaking of playgrounds or even the swing set you may have in your own backyard, take a look at it and see what kinds of exercises you can do on it. You may be able to find a bar that allows you to do pull ups and chin ups while the kids play. Or use the steps leading up to the playground equipment to do some simple step workouts. Get creative and make it work.
Here are exercises you can do at the playground:
- Pull-ups – Also try chin-ups.
- Monkey bars – Also try crossing the bars sideways.
- Step-ups – Facing the steps, tep up and down on a set of steps, alternating legs. For an extra challenge do step-ups on a bench. To really get your heart rate going, jump up with both legs, then step down and repeats.
- Split squats – Stand with your back to bench, place one foot on the bench and one leg on the ground in front of you. Lower your body towards the ground then stand.
- Lunges – Also try walking lunges.
- Front leg raises – Facing the steps, step up with one leg while lifting the other leg up behind you.
- Lateral leg raises – Stand with one side to the steps. Keeping one foot on the step, lift the other leg up at your side. Do this for each side.
- Knee raises – Keep one leg on the step and one on the ground. Raise the knee of the leg on the ground towards your chest. Do this for each side.
- Tricep dips – On a bench or on the steps for an extra challenge.
- Push-ups – Off a bench, a step, or on the ground.
- Sit-ups – On a bench, on the slide with your feet up and your head at the bottom, or hanging upside down with your legs holding onto a climbing structure, perform sit-ups with knees bent. For an added challenge, do them with legs straight.
- Hanging knee raises – While hanging on a monkey bar, raise your knees to a 90-degree angle and lower. Raise and lower at a slower pace for extra challenge.
- Hanging leg raises – While hanging on a monkey bar, with legs straight raise your legs to a 90-degree angle with your body and lower. Raise and lower at a slower pace for extra challenge.
- Climb – Climb the fireman’s pole as high as you can before slide down.
- Body rows – Holding onto a bar at chest level or lower, keeping feet in place, lower your body into a tight plank position. With arms close to your sides, raise and lower your body pulling your chest to the bar.
3. Play with the Kids
And let’s not forget about just going out and playing with the kids. Go on family bike rides, go for a hike, or take a Frisbee out to the park. Playing catch is a great way to get in an interval workout. If you have access to a pool, playing water games is a sure way to burn off calories. It’s one of my favorites ways to workout while the kids play. You’ll be surprised how much of workout you can get just from running around with the kiddos.
4. Workout Together
Get the kids involved and do your workouts together. That could mean holding your baby while you do crunches and squats. Or maybe you turn on some fun music (check out the Summer 2017 Workout Songs Playlist) and have the kids dance around in the living room along with you. Even yoga can be fun for the kids and for you. It’s a great way to spend quality time as a family and get everyone moving around more. And kids don’t mind burpees as much as adults do.
5. Set Up a Playdate
Here’s another idea for you. Call up a friend and set up a playdate. The kids can play together while the parents workout. Or kids and parents can play games together. You’d be surprised how much of a sweat you can get going jumping rope, skipping, running races, and even playing several rounds of tag or hopscotch.
6. Start an Exercise Group
Why not make it a regular event and gather other parents for an ongoing Exercise Group Meetup. Some local town groups offer free space to gather or exercise. Take turns with one or two parents watching the kids while the other parents workout. Rotate who provides the workout of the day. New to the neighborhood? Contact local moms and parenting groups to see if there’s one already in place.
As you can see, with a little creativity, you can still find time to stay in shape. So grab pen and paper and write down 3 ways you can workout while the kids play. Then plan a day or two this week to go and do it.
Feel free to comment in the box below if you like this article or have any other suggestions to add to this list. Hope you enjoy!