Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to start our new year’s resolutions and the most common one is to start working out more. As a working mom, I can tell you that it’s easier said than done. Especially when you live in a cold place where winter means snow and going out for a run is impossible at times. For me personally, my goal is to exercise more for the sole purpose of staying healthy, not to lose weight. Being a full-time mom, with a toddler, and a newborn, on top of working from home can be overwhelming and gives me a small window of opportunity to workout. However, I have found that if I include my kids in my workouts, I can get two things done at once. If you’re like me and want to get moving a lot more in this coming year, here are a few ideas to workout at home with your littles.
Believe it or not, kids love yoga. YouTube has a bunch a children’s yoga videos so that you and your little can have a session together. At the moment, Cayden is very into Sonic the Hedgehog so I found some yoga videos with the Sonic theme that he loves. You can use the kids’ yoga videos as a warm up to then jump into your own adult yoga video so that you can complete a full hour session.
Sometimes Cayden will tap out early and sometimes he wants to do the same workout as myself. As moms, I feel like we’ve learned how to pivot a lot so just go with the flow. As long as you’re doing at least 30 minutes of active yoga a day, you can feel the difference in your body. You’ll feel more energized, more flexible, and you’ll even notice a difference in your breathing.
At times, I feel like just jumping into my own yoga routine so I’ll set up our iPads at the edge of our yoga mats so that Cayden can do his own (he calls it “Baby Yoga”) while I do my adult workout. I try to get both of the yoga video times as close together as I can so we can both “Namaste” together without him having to wait for me.
The best time for us to do our yoga session is right before lunch but every mom has their own schedule. For you it might be first thing in the morning or after their nap. Be sure to schedule it at the same time everyday so that it becomes a routine and eventually a lifestyle.
Running aka racing
What kid doesn’t love to race? It seems like the minute Cayden learned how to walk he would run everywhere and he was all gas and no breaks. If the weather allows for it, go outside and race each other. You’ll be surprised at how fun this is for your little one. There’s just something about the freedom they feel to run as fast as they can. Especially if they’ve been cooped up inside the house for too long.
You’ll also be shocked at how fast your little one can go. At times, Cayden has me sprinting and I can’t believe his little legs can take him that fast. No matter what speed, whether it’s sprinting, jogging, or even walking, a mere 30 minutes is good for your heart rate, strengthening your bones, and reducing body fat.
Because nature makes us happy, researchers have found that spending some time outdoors reduces stress. For me, I find that when I’m working, taking a break to go for a walk or for a run with my littles makes me feel a lot better when I clock back in. Especially on days where the workload is so heavy or I’ve hit a wall with a work task. If you live in a place like me where temperatures are freezing during winter, take advantage of the days that are bearable. Bundle up and get to moving so you stay warm.
Physical play time
Being a boy mom means I get to play fight — a ton. I’d say 75 percent of my day is play fighting with my little one and I honestly love it. I would rather wrestle or play sword fight with him than bake cupcakes or have a tea party if I had a girl. I was born to be a boy mom so I was relieved when I found out baby number two for us would be another boy.
Cayden loves to box so we bought him a pair of gloves and he loves being able to punch as hard as he can into the pads. We pretend play a lot so I’m usually the “bad guy” and he’ll beat me up to death. If you have boys, take advantage of their wild side. Get into pretend scuffles with them, horseplay, wrestle, fight, chase each other around the house (it’s more fun with nerf guns). All of that movement is helping your cardio, picking them up in the air can help you tone up (especially your arms), and it helps you to keep moving on days that you can’t get through a full workout.
Whether you have a boy or a girl, another activity that both will enjoy is dancing. Teaching Cayden about my culture is very important to me so some days I feel like doing some salsa dancing with him and he loves it because of all of the turning and spinning. He also loves hip hop so we’ll take some time to have a full blown dance party in the middle of the day to get our blood flowing or out of a funk.
A year and a half ago I bought my husband a Peloton. I didn’t understand what all the rave was until my first ride. Unfortunately, when I tried it for the first time I was already a few weeks pregnant and couldn’t ride anymore because I had to take it easy. However, it did make it easier to get a session of cardio done when work and kids kept me tied up.
The best thing about exercise machines is that you have access to them all of the time so you can use them no matter what your schedule is like and no matter what the weather outside looks like. At times, I would ride it while my toddler was napping, other times I would put on a movie for him and set him up with some snacks so that I could ride while he was enjoying his movie time.
I know these machines can seem pricey but it’s worth it if it improves your health. Personally, I don’t have time to commit to the gym or a personal trainer because my schedule is all over the place, especially with two kids and a job. So these machines are worth it to me because I can workout at home as late or as early as I’d like.
Working out with your kids allows for physical activity as well as being able to spend time with your little one and have some bonding time. It also teaches them healthy exercise habits from a young age. I know winters can be really harsh so look for opportunities to be active indoors and take advantage of the warmer days outdoors.
Cheers to a healthier year in 2022. I know we can do it!