I thought I’d do a quick little post on the ways that I have come up with to exercise when you have kids. Keep in mind that I’m a single parent with no family anywhere near me.
The main place I run these days is at the gym on a treadmill. We have a YMCA-style community center that we are members of. I bring Caleb into the treadmill room with me, and he sits on the floor and plays with something while I run. This is not an option for most gyms, I’m guessing, but many gyms have free or very cheap childcare (ours has none).
-If your kids are a little older, run at a park that has a playground.
-Get your kids involved in something, and run laps around the block. This is also good for when they are asleep-you can keep checking in to make sure everything is alright.
-Do situps, pushups, lunges, squats, and other bodyweight exercises while you are “playing” with your kids.
-Run up and down the stairs.
-Buy a treadmill or other exercise machine and put it in the room your kids are most likely to be playing in. (When I’m visiting my mom this is an option, she has a treadmill.)
-Buy a mini trampoline, bouncing on one of these can give you a surprisingly good workout, of course you may have to fight your kids for it or do it while they are asleep.
-Hire a babysitter if your kid(s) are okay with that.
-Get a jogging stroller and use it.
-Have races with your kids.
-If your little one is little enough, put him on your back and go for a walk. I wore my son for walks until he was over three. It’s like wearing a weight vest, it gives you a double workout.
-If you have friends or family near by, trade babysitting with them so you have time to exercise.
-Of course if you have a spouse that doesn’t work too much, you should definitely lean on him to give you time to exercise.
Please share your tips too. If you make exercise a priority, you will find time to do it. I don’t know how I’d ever manage to get enough time in to train for a marathon, but I can get my 30 minutes a day and lately I’ve been getting an hour in. Where there is a will, there is a way.