6 Ways to Get a Workout WITH Your Kids

Don’t Give Up On Your Resolutions

The biggest obstacle for moms of young children, when it comes to exercise, is that we just don’t have time.

So today, I wanted to share a few ways to exercise WITH your kids: 

1. Mailbox Racing

 Our current favorite family exercise is mailbox racing.

If your kids are old enough to ride in a jogging stroller or run, then mailbox racing is a great way to have fun with your kids and get good exercise at the same time.

So what is it?

It might have another name, but  my son and I named it “Mailbox Racing” while we were logging miles for his kids marathon. All you do is challenge one another to race to the next mailbox on your street. Then you walk to the following mailbox, then race to the next one and so one. Alternate racing and walking between mailboxes.

Because youre alternating between sprinting and walking, it can be a really good workout. When my son was in a jogging stroller he’d yell, “Faster Mama! Faster!” Two year olds can be brutal training coaches.

Now that he’s old enough to run, we play Lightning McQueen vs. Chick Hicks.

2. Wii Boxing

If you have a Wii, the boxing game on Wii Sports can be a great workout. Especially if you’re trying to outbox 3 kids in a row. Just don’t break stuff…particularly if you’re visiting family…and they have a lovely candle set right in the middle of the living room.(Sorry Aunt Di.)

3. Tag

Kids love tag. Tag is a great workout. Exercise problem solved.
Playing Tag Football
Bonus: Your kids will think you’re awesome (times infinity plus one of what anyone else says) for playing tag with them.

4. Nike Training App

I recently downloaded the Nike Training App (iPhone) and l-o-v-e it. It has several great workouts focusing on different muscle groups. It also has 15 minute workouts from top notch athletes that are short, effective and inspiring.

I especially like that I don’t have to watch a video while doing it. The app talks me through each segment and if I’m not sure what to do on a certain move, I can watch a video tutorial.  So, I can workout in the living room while my kids watch a show.

I can also listen to my own music or audio book while using the app, which helps your sanity if your kids happen to be watching DORA! THE!  EXPLORER! (girl needs to find her inside voice.)

5. Register for a 5k

Don’t underestimate yourself. If you can walk through the grocery store for an hour with small children, you can do a 5k. The great thing about registering for one is that none of us wants to be the last one across the finish line. (Although, last one across the finish line is light years ahead of those on the couch.) So we work harder than we normally would because we have a goal ahead of us.

ALC Health Expo 5K Run

Also, once the 5k arrives, the atmosphere is electric, you FEEL like an athlete. (Because you are…) And it’s easy to catch the racing bug.

6. Secret Weapon

I couldn’t write a fitness post without sharing about my beloved chin up bar.

Don’t be impressed. I started out by just pathetically hanging on it. Slowly, I was able to pull myself up  a little bit until I was eventually able to do a chin up. It has really helped my posture and is easy to do while I’m cooking dinner, doing dishes, or playing Candy Land.

So, my chin up bar is my “secret weapon” to staying fit because it’s simple, I can do it anytime and it has great results.

What could be your secret weapon?

  • Maybe a pair of hand weights in the kitchen or bathroom sink?
  • An exercise mat in front of the TV?
  • Doing squats while you check email on your phone?
  • Jumping jacks before every snack?

Find something fun and simple that you can always do regardless off weather, time of day or the craziness of your schedule. It will keep you inspired and moving in the direction of a stronger body and healthier you.

And You?

You all shared some wonderful parenting resources in this post, I’d love to hear what exercise resources have helped you? Click here to share!

(And don’t forget to sign up for the FREE parenting webinar next Wednesday! Learn more and sign up here.)

Comments

  1. My kids love the elliptical, I don’t know why. And I will only allow myself a treat to fiction-reading while using the elliptical.
    As a homeschooling mom I use the FamilyTimeFitness curriculum and we always end up laughing when we exercise together. And they also do much better throughout the day.

    • Kimberlee,
      My kids love the elliptical too…and we don’t even have one! But whenever we go to the sports store all they want to do is play on it.

  2. I use T-Tapp – my daughters say the 15 minute workout is as good as the 45 minutes in their karate class.

    • Phyllis,
      I hadn’t heard of T-Tapp, sounds like a great workout!

      • Here is a link to the site with some try before you buy workouts. http://t-tapp.com

        I like it because it has one that is 15 minutes long and I can actually do it. I know several of the people who have had “amazing” results and know that it really works. I’ve been doing it for 2 years and I’ve never stuck to any exercise program that long.

  3. i have been struggling to find something for me and my kids to do as an exercise activity. we play tag a lot, but the mailbox races is awesome! i think we may try that tonite!

  4. I would love to have a pull-up bar. Where can I get one?

    When I was caring for my twin grandsons, they were my exercise equipment. Picking them up, struggling with the diaper changes, putting up and taking down 2 pack-and-plays when ever I visited a friend or setting up the stroller (you had to be some kind of engineer for that one) and then attaching the car seats to it.

  5. We’ve found some Just Dance videos on YouTube that are fun for us and the kids. My sister and BIL have wii fit too, so that’s fun when we visit them. We got the Green Eggs and Ham for Christmas last year, and surprising it can get your heart pumping. Mailbox racing sounds fun too. =p

    • Joyce,
      I’ll have to check out those Just Dance videos. Except, I totally cannot dance. But my kids might enjoy the laugh.

      We don’t have many Wii games, but my son is hoping we’ll right that wrong on his birthday in a few weeks. I hope to get games we can all enjoy and benefit from!

  6. hiking.

    I signed up for this challenge to get me into a morning routine so that I would indeed practice for a 31 mile hike in the spring.

    I go hiking with my 2 and 4 year old on the weekends. We have decided to make it a “family time” after church on Sundays with another couple.

    Love.

    P.S. Signed up for the hike this past week.

  7. I keep weights in a trunk in the living room and can do a full body routine in 15 minutes. We also live next to a trail that we all walk often. Your tip a while back of just doing something consistenly has helped me so much!

    • Jen,
      That’s so great to hear! And that must be lovely to live near a trail. We used to live in a neighborhood that had lots of trails. Now that we have kids I certainly miss it. Enjoy!

  8. We have an exercise dance party every day. I put on Christian hip hop or techno and we all just go crazy for 15-30 minutes. My 3 yr old son gets alot of his wiggles out and my 1 yr old daughter thinks it’s especially fun to dance with mommy, which adds an extra bit of weight resistance :)

  9. I love all of your ideas!
    We are blessed to live near the beach, so getting active in the water is a pretty natural way to “exercise.” I also have begun to jog with my boys some, and we all love to hike.
    I’ve tried to get them to do some yoga stretches with me, but it usually ends up in a major laugh-athon instead. :)

    Aloha!

  10. I have completed my first round of P90X back in June and have done it ever since! I got in the best shape of my life (losing 13lbs, 8.5 inches,) and have never felt so confident even after 2babies :-) Also, its taught me I can do whatever I put my mind too, including waking up early! I relate it P90X and know to keep pushing and eventually ill see results. If anyone has any questions or is interested in it feel free to email me, id love to help!

  11. While waiting for the microwave, for the pot to boil, the washing machine to finish spinning or other few minute time wasters, I do various arm and leg exercises. Done throughout the day they add up.

  12. Deanna Porter says:

    I have started riding my bike with my two year old in the bike seat attatched. She loves going on a ride and I get exercise at the same time, plus i get a 35 pound weight behind me so its even better exercise!
    Sometimes we ride up to a playground, which is an added bonus for her and some quality time together. We normally would always just drive there, but this is a great way to integrate the exercise time :)

  13. I tend to be all or nothing when it comes to exercise and am trying to ditch that attitude and incorporate more exercise throughout my day. I really like the idea of mailbox racing. We’ve been doing dance parties lately and my daughter really enjoys making up new moves for us to copy and vice versa.

  14. I’ve just started using EA Sports Active 2 on our playstation (it’s also available for Wii and Xbox). It’s basically a personal trainer, but some of the exercises are set up as games which distract you a bit from what you’re doing. My 3yo things it’s a fantastic game and loves to play alongside me and my 16 month old pops likes watching us. So I’m getting some exercise and my kids have fun – win win!

  15. I love mailbox racing! Initially, I thought you were going to suggest racing to the mailbox, and I was disappointed. :) Our mailbox is a few short steps from the door. These are all great ideas, and I’d like to second Narelle’s EA Sports Active suggestion. I’ve started and stopped using that a few times through the years. I do like it though.

    I usually wait until my 1-year-old is napping and try to convince my 4-year-old to exercise with me. She’d rather play with her doll house most days. Oh, well.

  16. I downloaded the nike training app…looking forward to trying the 15 minute workouts! I love this post and the mailbox racing sounds like FUN! Thank you for the encouragement!!

  17. These are all great suggestions. I already do quite a few of these and it’s great! Another thing I do is dance parties. Usually while the kids are bouncing off the walls on a rainy day. I turn the music up and we all dance. I swing the kids around to get some weightlifting in. It’s awesome and euphoric.

    Also, Netflix has a lot of workout videos in their “watch instantly” category. That’s been a great backup for me. My kids will often get into it too.

    • Yes! We love to have dance parties too Kiasa! They can keep it for quite awhile too. Get way to get some cardio in.

  18. I LOVE my pull up bar! I have it in the door way between the living room and dining room/kitchen area. I can use it during commercials on T.V., while cooking dinner, or just while walking by! Best 19 dollars I’ve ever spent! I can’t do pull ups though LOL, I use it for hanging leg lifts, and because of that, my abs are in great shape!

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