Fit Tip: Working Out With Your Kids

Posted On Aug 6, 2020 By Amy Kiser Schemper

A woman and her child

Working out with kids? Seems impossible, right? And the truth is, sometimes it feels like it is! But with a few helpful tips you might be able to get your exercise time in and get your kids moving too.

After training parents for many years, one of the most common concerns parents share when it comes to working out is that they feel selfish for taking time to exercise. Whether it’s being away from the kids for a workout, or trying to exercise with them, parents often feel like workouts take away from their quality time with their children, or time away from something they should be doing for their children. I get it, I feel the persistent “mom guilt” too. But let me say it loud and clear: taking care of yourself is the LEAST selfish thing you can do for your family. A healthier, happier you equals healthier, happier them. And what a great example you can set by letting your children see you exercise! It models for them that fitness is a normal and important part of life, and encourages them to lead an active lifestyle.

If your day allows you to get in a dedicated workout of your choice on your own, by all means, DO IT! That time alone is crucial to your self-care, and it’s so beneficial for your body and brain to just get moving. So whether it’s early morning, naptime, after bedtime, or with the help of a partner or babysitter, if you can get the YOU TIME, go for it!

But if, you’re like me, that’s not always possible, so consider all the ways you can workout with your kids. Whether it’s a using your baby or toddler as a weight, or having your older child join in the specific workout you are doing, or setting them up with an activity while you train, getting moving with the littles is beneficial for everyone.

A woman performing a plant with a child on her back.

Here are a few tips to jumpstart your family fitness:

  1. Let go of expectations and the need for it to look or feel like a full workout.

    If you move your body, you are working out! You will still get your heart pumping, your blood flowing, your muscles working, and produce those feel good endorphins, which is great for you and the kiddos!

  2. Let them join in. Or not.

    Kids often love mimicking what grownups do. Give them a stuffed animal to use as a dumbbell, challenge them to copy what you are doing and remind them this is how we get strong. If they aren’t into it, set them up with some toys, snacks, games or even a screen. Your health is worth it.

  3. Make it a learning opportunity.

    Count reps out loud, have them count for you if they are old enough. Talk about what you are doing and why it’s important.

  4. Have fun!

    Above all, keep an open mind and try to smile throughout. If you are having fun, your kids (usually) will, too!

Check out the video for some more ways to workout with kids.

Working Out With Your Kids

  1. Squats or lunges holding baby or toddler. Add a press for extra upper body.
  2. Mat work while baby does tummy time: Core, pushups, bridges, yoga or pilates.
  3. Play a game! Toss the toy and lunge, over and under plank press.
  4. Animal play! Frog hops, crab walks, bear crawls.

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Two people in a lake