Movin’ & Shakin’ Together!
You may already feel like you are running to keep up with your daily schedule and the new responsibilities as a parent. Even if you are not struggling with any baby weight, you may be simply seeking ways to keep in shape, both physically and mentally. Of course, the way to make this all happen is diet and exercise.
One of the challenges of having a young child is that you may find it more difficult to get in a good workout. The days of hiking in the woods for endless hours may be on hold for a little while as your child develops both the stamina and patience to endure such activities. Even long walks in a stroller may be challenging as a child grows bored or expresses the need to walk, jump, or run on their own. With these “bumps” in the road, you may be doubtful that completing an exercise routine whose benefits you will reap is even possible. Never fear, there are a few things you can do…together!
Let's face it, exercise isn't necessarily fun all the time, but when you have a child, it's important to make it an enjoyable adventure. Here are a few opportunities that are both feasible and fun:
- Enjoy a cardio workout by doing a little movin' and shakin' with your child. Whether you hold them in your arms (think upper body workout) or they are mobile enough to bounce and wiggle on their own, you both can get a good workout. Provide a mix of tunes that are designed to get you moving. It's a good time to bring out that 90's mix that inspires you to move and then throw in a few children's favorites like “Ring Around the Rosie” or the “Hokey Pokey.” Whatever music it is, keep moving! Work towards at least 10 minutes of cardio, getting your heart rate up and breaking a sweat. You will find that time really does fly when you are having fun.
- Start pedaling. There are many types of child carriers for bikes. Included in these are the pull behind trailer and the safety seat, which attaches directly to your bike. Whichever you choose, both can provide a safe, enjoyable experience for your child while providing you a good workout. When biking, keep in mind the needs of your child. You may need to stop more often, pack a few snacks, and think about the destination you are biking towards (i.e. the park, a friend's house, etc.).
- Stuck inside? There are many workout videos that have been designed for you and your child to do together. From yoga to cardio, a stop at your local library will help you identify a workout video that both parent and child can do together. Better yet, since most library rentals are free, you can try many different workouts that will keep both you and your child engaged.
- Last, but not least, think about exercise differently. Consider the activities that you enjoy doing with your child. Think about how you may be able to increase your physical movement together through these tasks. This may including walking somewhere instead of driving, hopping from place to place in the house instead of walking, or simply spending a few extra minutes running around the backyard.
However, whenever, and wherever, remember to keep the fun in fitness. Do it together!