Finding time (and money) to get to a gym can be hard when you're a mom. Between the baby waking up early, home work help, getting the right kid to the right place at the right time, House work, meal prep, and grocery shopping, sometimes it's hard to even fit in a 5 minute shower. We can't use all those things as an excuse to not get in a work out though (although really... they're pretty darn good ones!) Getting to a gym a problem? I hear ya! For one thing, it's expensive. For another, leaving the house child free for an hour or so a day is probably unheard of if your life is anything like mine! I have 4 kids ranging in age from almost 2 to 8, and my husband works some pretty lengthy hours. Anything I do, I have to be able to bring my mini-van of children with me. Here's a few ways I've found to get in a little work out while still having my kids with me, for free or nearly free!
- Go to your local track. Find another Mom friend to go with you! I actually posted on a local Facebook buy, swap & sell group and asked if there was anyone there that may want to get together for daily(ish) walks. Turns out my daughters best friend's Mom (did ya get that?!) was wanting some friendly motivation as well! We take our kids (9 of them between us!!) and hit the local track several nights a week. The kids love to play in the middle, and we love being able to keep an eye on them! We push our stroller and chit-chat and the time passes so quickly. Before we even realize it, the sun is setting and we've gotten a good 5 miles in!
- Dust off your Bike! Hop on your bike and go for a ride with the kids. They will LOVE it, and you'll be getting some good quality time in with them, while also demonstrating the importance of physical activity. You'll also show them that exercising is fun, more fun than video games or sitting in front of the TV. If you don't have a bike, check out craigslist or yard-sales. You can find them really inexpensively 2nd hand.
- Go to the playground. When was the last time you got across the monkey bars?! That stuff is no joke! there are so many pieces of equipment at the average playground that you can use to get some great gym quality work out in! Run around and play tag with the kids, or just try to keep up with your preschooler as they explore. Guarantee you'll be winded if you get up off the bench and play with them!
- Use work out videos. Sometimes the weather keeps us from being able to get outside to get our workouts in. No problem, with a few work out DVD's on hand you've basically just invested in a 24 hour gym right in your own living room! You can also find a HUGE variety of free work out video's right on YouTube. I love Pilates and Yoga, they don't usually need any equipment and you don't need much room to do them. The kids can get in on it too! Have them join you, they'll enjoy 'being like mommy' and you'll be setting a great example by letting them watch and join in.
- Start, or Join in on a challenge. Starting up a challenge with your office, group of friends or family is a great way to keep you motivated. Start a 30-day crunch challenge (starting with 20 on the first day and increasing by 5 everyday until you reach 150 on day 30). Or even a walking Contest, compete to see who can get the most steps, laps or miles in over the course of a week. Adding a little friendly competition into your fitness is a fun way to stay motivated and on track. You can join my weight loss support group This Mama Moves we have mini and monthly challenges all the time.
These are just a few of the ways I've found to incorporate movement into my busy life with 4 kids. The track is definitely my favorite, It's great to get some adult interaction at the same time and we really keep each other dedicated because we know that there's someone waiting on us and expecting us to be there.
Which would you be most likely to do?
P.S. let me know what else you'd like to see covered in fitness posts in the future!
Image courtesy of mapichai / FreeDigitalPhotos.net