We all know that exercise helps us to lower our stress levels, increase our energy, and even helps most to sleep better, but when you factor in parenting, exercise can sometimes be a challenge, in particular trying to get out of the house to be able to get your fitness on. This is why many parents have begun working out and exercising at home, and it is getting easier to be able to do exactly that.
When you are ready to start exercising at home, the age of your children will be a factor in planning out your routine, but consider the following tips to make it easier for you to work up a sweat.
- Exercise during naptime
- Place your babies in bouncy chairs or activity gyms so they can watch you
- Incorporate babies on the move into your program by trying out a parent/baby routine like yoga
- Older children may want to try some yoga moves with you or join in on a dance routine. Not only is this a fun way to get your child up and moving with you, but you are also modeling for them the benefits of being and acting healthy and how that makes us feel better.
Once you have figured out your time and when you will exercise, consider your interests and your goals.
- If you love yoga or want to work on your flexibility, researching yoga poses or pilates workouts online to practice is a good place to start
- If you want more cardio but do not have space or resources for treadmills or elliptical machines, try a dance-based program or even begin with jumping rope or burpees
- Consider equipment needs. Do you have space for weights, mats, or other exercise equipment? If your children are awake while you are exercising, will equipment get in the way of them playing? Will it still be safe to use?
Knowing what your goals are, begin looking for workouts or programs that will work best for you.
- Try out a free or low-cost app that allows you to customize workouts based on your goals and abilities
- YouTube is a great resource for free videos of all kinds if you prefer to follow along with someone on screen
- Paid subscription-based programs allow you the opportunity to try many different routines and programs for one fee to be able to try different types of exercises and discover what you love best, and what works best for you.
Once you know what type of exercise you will be doing and when you will be doing it (whether in the morning before the babies wake up, at naptime, or at night) remind yourself that no matter where you are starting off, you are doing something great for yourself. Start small; do not feel bad if you are using lighter weights or are only able to complete half a workout, you will continue to build muscle, strength, and endurance as you continue. Do not give up! You will feel incredible when your one pound weights become ten pound ones!
Consider finding an online support group or a group of friends or neighbors who are also interested in exercising to keep motivated on the days when you feel tired or stressed. Also, remind yourself that getting outside for a walk is also incredible exercise, especially if you have multiple babies in a carrier or stroller. Taking small steps to take care of yourself will, in turn, allow you to have more energy to parent, even after those sleepless nights.
Alyssa Keel has worked as a social worker in both Canada and the U.S. for several years. Living in Toronto, Alyssa is a single mum to a rambunctious six-year-old boy and amazing four-year-old identical twin girls, one of whom has Cerebral Palsy. During her high-risk mono mono twin pregnancy, Alyssa began blogging, an extension of her love of writing. Alyssa loves taking photos and impromptu dance parties with her kids. Follow Alyssa and her family’s adventures at adventureswithmultiples.com.