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Q&A: How did you find time to exercise when you had young children?

Have a difficult time finding time to exercise while being a mom to young kids? Read this!

Crystal, I’m curious if you worked out as regularly as you do now with young children? How did you manage your time when your kids were in a more time-demanding stage? I am pregnant and have a 2-year-old at home — the former keeps me up all night with dance parties in my stomach & the lovely toddler still doesn’t sleep through the night.

I’m working 2 days a week now (down from 5-7 in residency… hooray!), but still can’t manage to pull myself out of bed before my child wakes up (usually 5:30-7:30 a.m. time range) after being up 2-3 times a night. I’m just wondering if you have any tips on how to fit it “all in” when exhaustion & time aren’t on my side right now? -JLyn

I thought this was a great question to address as exercise is the focus for January as part of the 12 Months to a Healthier You Challenge. Here are some of my thoughts:

Make It a Priority

If you don’t make exercise a priority, there’s a very good chance it’s not going to happen. It takes dedication, motivation, and commitment to stick with consistent exercising. But it is so worth it — not only because you’ll probably feel better, but you’ll also have more energy!

When I had young children, I found that I had to exercise first thing in the morning or it just seemed like it wouldn’t happen. Before I knew it, the day would be over with, I’d be exhausted and ready for bed, and I hadn’t exercised yet again.

How to Find Time to Exercise When You Have Young Children

Practical Ideas For Making Exercise Happen With Young Children

    • Use a Playpen — When I had a baby or a young child, I’d often put them in the playpen with a few special toys to play with in the same room while I exercised. This will usually buy you at least 10-20 minutes’ worth of exercise time if your child can’t climb out of the playpen yet!
    • Do It Together — If I don’t get exercise in before my children get up, they often exercise with me. In fact, just this morning, Kaitlynn and Silas did my entire hour of P90X with me. They had a blast trying to do the exercises with me and it was so fun to do it with them — and I got in a great workout, too!
    • Take Advantage of Naptime — If you are energetic enough to not lie down and take a nap while your child naps, this can be a good time to get in a quick workout.
    • Turn on a Movie — When my children were really little, I sometimes would plan their movie time to coincide with my exercise time.
    • Have a Basket of Special Toys — Another fun way to keep children occupied is to put together a basket of special toys that they can only play with while you exercise. You could even create Day of the Week Tubs specifically for them to use during your exercise time.
    • Play Outside Together — Go outside and get some fresh air. Play tag or swing on the swing set at the park. It might not be a strenuous workout, but it will be something. And something is always better than nothing!
    • Go on a Walk — Strap your child in a stroller and go on a brisk walk around the neighborhood. Too cold to walk outside? Head to the mall or another indoor location and walk.

How to Find TIme to Exercise When You Have Young Children

Give Yourself Grace

Now that I’ve given you some ideas that worked for me, I want to leave you with this reminder: give yourself grace in this season, JLyn. You have your hands full — and you are nurturing a baby inside of you.

If you’re exhausted, sleep. If you only have energy to do a 10-minute workout DVD or play with your child at the park, that’s okay.

Don’t beat yourself up over what you can’t do. Just do the best you can do and be free from guilt!

What advice and ideas do the rest of you have for JLyn? We’d love to hear!

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64 Comments

  • Chelsea says:

    I am really loving all of the workouts available on Pinterest. This morning, I was able to do a 20 minute cardio workout in the privacy of my home during “quiet time.” It was a simple workout- jumping jacks, marching in place, etc but it was effective and doable. There are so many to choose from too. 🙂

  • As a fitness professional and a mom, I think you nailed it! The most important pieces of advice are your first and last paragraph…Make it a priority and give yourself grace! Do that every day and most days will be a “win.”

    This is My Gym (and they kids that come with it) http://www.strongfitmomma.com/1/post/2013/08/this-is-my-gym-and-the-kids-that-come-with-it.html

  • Rachael says:

    When my children were really little, I was actually more consistent about exercise because I just put them in the stroller and walked for an hour every day (weather permitting–we lived in North Dakota!) I had a walking buddy which really helped the motivation, as well. Now that they are older, we belong to a health club that has a child watch. The kids love it so much they ASK us to go to the gym so they can play on the awesome equipment. I also sometimes get up early and do free weights at home when they watch a show on PBS Kids.

  • Cris says:

    When I had ONLY little kids, I found it easier to fit in the workout time, not easy, but easier. I would cart the 3 kids to the gym or work out during nap time at home. Now with 5 kids between ages of 1-11 & needing to get certain things accomplished with homeschooling the older ones and keeping track of the 1 & 3 yr old, it’s VERY challenging to fit it all in. But I agree. Gotta make it a priority…sleep & comfort food I have to admit have been higher on my priority list as of late. Trying to do better….

  • Laura says:

    I find when all else fails, we can crank up some tunes and have a dance party. It is a good workout, the kids love it, and it improves my mood greatly.

  • Karen c. says:

    prior to children- i never considered a gym membership. I happened to live near a gym with childcare and it is wonderful — i can even get an uninterrupted shower!!! was worth the investment. most gyms will run fantastic deals every so often or will have some free preview days or guest passes– the deal i got was buy one year get two free! (equaled about $10 a month!!!) think it was a once in a lifetime deal!

  • Beth says:

    My double jogging stroller is my best friend! I make a daily jog just part of the routine so now both the girls and I expect it and feel weird if it doesn’t happen. I think that’s what made exercise work for me – making it part of the daily routine.

  • Elise says:

    I’m a huge fan of short, high intensity workouts right now as the mommy of a toddler and an infant. My workouts go something like: 20 burpees, take toddler potty, 50 kettlebell swing, change a diaper, push ups, give baby a new toy. Lol. It’s an adventure for sure! But I find hat it usually goes pretty well I the baby’s been fed and isn’t tired – my jumping around keeps her entertained! 🙂

    • Tara says:

      We got a gym membership about six months ago, and it was a GREAT decision. I had put it off for so long because of the money. I also felt guilty because my husband’s company has a free gym for us to use, but their childcare hours are really spotty, and it’s a half hour drive away from our house.

      Our new gym is less than a mile away, has an awesome daycare (my three year old asks to go every time we drive by), and after calculations, I figured up that we save over half the membership in gas just because it’s closer. The other half is definitely worth the extras–drop in childcare at a much larger set of hours, lots of classes, etc., and people to wash your towels!

      I find that this makes me so much more motivated to work out because it has turned into “my” time. I never understood that before, but now that I have two little guys, I definitely need the mental break. For an hour or so, I don’t have to worry if my 1 year old is playing in the toilet or if my 3 year old is stealing yet another cookie…good times! It’s definitely a good investment in my mental health, in addition to the physical health benefits.

  • Kellie says:

    I am no good at getting into a routine, especially with three kids under 5 right now…but when I remember and am up for it, we have a “dance party.” I just put on some fun music, and we go crazy. At least I get some cardio in! The kids think it’s great fun. And it’s something I can do while holding the baby if need be.

  • Shelly :) says:

    I have been involved in a local Stroller Strides group for almost a year and LOVE it! It is a 60 minute strength and toning workout (with cardio!) There are songs and activities for the kiddos while they are in the stroller. Here is a link to see if there is a location near you: http://fit4mom.com/programs/stroller-strides

  • Erica says:

    I have this problem as well, but I found a local Stroller Strides to join. The only equipment you need is a stroller (it doesn’t have to be a jogging stroller,) resistance band, and yoga mat. You meet with other moms and workout for an hour and the kids get to socialize with each other during and after. There is a monthly fee but it’s pretty comparable to having a gym membership with daycare.

    • Shelly :) says:

      I totally agree! My son and I have been doing Stroller Strides for a year and LOVE it. It’s a great work out and he gets play time afterwards. 🙂

  • Summer says:

    When I was pregnant with #2, I would do a prenatal yoga DVD before bed. It felt so good to stretch, helped with core strength, but was also very relaxing. With two kids (3 & 1) we go to the gym (they like the children’s area a lot). I do Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred and similar DVDs. I do these while my kids are awake; the workouts are short enough that the kids will join me for parts and play with toys nearby for the rest. Weather permitting I also use my jogging stroller to get a run in. Variety helps. I do something even after a bad night of sleep, because I find I sleep better when I’ve worked out.

  • Traci Anderson says:

    So what DVDs do people do that their kids will tolerate? Admittedly these are excuses but mine wake at the slightest hint of someone being up and although my youngest just turned 2 I’m still somewhat practicing “sleep when the baby sleeps” and generally try to sneak in a brief nap myself once they’re both down and I’m caught up. I’m just so wiped out! I’ve thought about how exercising regularly might actually do me more good but don’t know what to start with.

    • Crystal says:

      I’d recommend going to the library and just checking out a stack… you could start with something like Leslie Sansone. Or, if you wanted to step it up a notch (or 10), try Jillian Michaels’ DVDs.

    • Stephanie says:

      You Tube has a ton that you can sample too. Like Laura London or Tiffany Rothe. They have 10 minute workouts that you can do. Only have a few minutes, do it once, more time, then do it 3 times.

    • Amber says:

      I use Beachbody DVDs. I’ve had the best success with Focus T25 as it is only 25 mins long plus a 2-3 min cool down. I lost 20lbs the first time I did it. 🙂

    • Amy says:

      Fitness Blender workouts are free online, and there are tons of them.

  • Katie says:

    When my kids were really young there was a period where I just couldn’t exercise. It was way too cold out for a newborn and my middle child really wasn’t up for walking along side of me so I got a jump rope. I’d take 5 minutes through out the day and go outside and just jump rope. It de-stressed me and gave me some good cardio. My dad got me a pull up/chin up/sit up bar for Christmas. Also a big yoga ball is great b/c kids can play w/it and you can stretch!!

    • Rebecca says:

      As a single mom with a limited budget (no gym membership) and no babysitter available I fit in exercise by investing in a double jogger. For the cold weather I did order some dvd’s for us to do together. Denise Austin has one that includes kids. There are others (Amazon is a good source). Not relaxing but better than nothing. They may not be great but they got me some time. As the got older, I added time to them by dancing with the kids. Jillian Michael has some that offer a decent workout in 20-30 minutes which is the most I can get with kids around. From a young age I stressed that this is mommy’s time to be healthy so she can be a good mommy. My 11 year old and I recently did a contest to see who could do the most exercise minutes in 2 weeks. Good luck!

  • Victoria says:

    If one is not sleeping properly night after night I would stay away from intense exercise and just try get out and walk. If getting out isn’t possible I would look for a low intensity exercise DVD you could do during nap time, but if nap time comes and you feel like taking a nap I would take the nap.

    • lydia says:

      You might want to try to get a good sleep schedule going on before you focus on your workout schedule. Your 2 yr old should be slydialeeping all night and should be taking a healthy nap by now. After their sleep schedule is leveled out, you will find it a lot easier to squeeze in exercise time! Good luck! You got this:)

  • Jen says:

    Join the Y! The Y has great programs for children and families. Most Y’s provide free childcare while you are in the building exercising. When my children were little, I relished those days when I could get my workout in and they could play with their Y friends.

  • lisa says:

    I have found upbeat educational music on Pandora and we dance around. My 18 month old loves it! We dust or fold a load of laundry during this. We do go for walks and go to the gym. We are blessed to have a reasonably priced gym with childcare. I try to do something everyday even for 15 minutes.

  • Anitra says:

    When I’m pregnant, about all I can manage is to go on walks. This was more effective when I didn’t have a toddler to wait for or could push the toddler in a stroller, but it still works. It’s a win for everyone – we get outside in the fresh air, and everyone gets _some_ exercise.

    If you’re more motivated than that, but can’t find some uninterrupted time, how about doing “playground workouts”? Take your kid to the playground, and work in a few lunges, pull-ups, etc. using the monkey bars and other playground equipment.

    Most importantly, give yourself grace. Growing a person inside you is a lot of work, and so is chasing a 2-year-old! If you just don’t have the energy, focus on getting rest and good nutrition for now, and exercise once your energy comes back.

  • Sometimes a friend in the same season of life can trade times with you. You run while she watches kids and she goes to the gym while you watch the kids. Doesn’t even have to be on the same day of the week if you are bartering times. Love what was said about an accountability partner! We have a health and fitness club at church so even just one time accountability a week is a guaranteed exercise day each week. 🙂

  • Shelah says:

    If I had to do workout at home, I’ll fall off the bandwagon quickly. 🙂 (And I’ve consistently worked-out for 25yrs.)

    My best discipline is to sign myself up for classes; then I will leave the house no matter what state it is in and when I’m there no one will ask me for anything! 🙂 This does require my DH to have a consistent work schedule (or a gym that has childcare). Getting out also doubles as my alone time.

    I did this through 3 nursing babes….I’d feed them right before I left and be back in an hour+half.

    My kids only sleep 2 more hours each night than I do….I reserve those two hours (whether taken morning or night) for things that refresh myself and my husband. That time is NOT for dishes or looking up homeschool curriculum or laundry or even workouts (which I even enjoy and is my main hobby). All those things are the things of the day….if that make sense.

  • Jo says:

    Give fitnessblender.com a try! You can choose a number of workouts and as little as five minutes.

  • Jennifer says:

    Find a family-friendly gym. We also live in a northern climate where our nice, outdoor weather is limited. Our gym has a walking track with strollers to check out – singles and doubles :). It also has a great childcare facility, but the track makes it nice to go with your children. We also enjoy family time in the swimming pool.

  • Christine says:

    Taking your child (children) for a walk in their stroller is one of the best! Especially if you have two little ones and are pushing a double stroller – you get a full body workout in (even your core). Also when you have a new baby and time and sleep are limited – even doing small things like house cleaning and yard work can really help to burn some calories and get you moving and started in the right direction.

  • Jennifer C. says:

    When I was pregnant, I found a great dvd to workout to early in the am – and it didn’t wear me out most of the time. It was called GlOW – I bought it on Amazon. I also loved the Lindsay Brin prenatal DVDs. They were easy and could be done in 30 minutes or less.

  • carrie says:

    I still have littles but when my older kids were younger I would load two in the tandem stroller and walk. The older kids would walk beside me. There is always a way! When I take my crew to the park I work on my pull-ups on the monkey bars. I walk with my toddler in a backpack now or sometimes she walks too.

  • Jessica says:

    I get up early and do the elliptical while I watch the news. I have to take thyroid medicine on an empty stomach and wait to eat, so I get up, take my medicine, do my workout, then I can have breakfast.

    When the weather is nicer (I live in Ohio), I walk to and from the bus stop to pick up my first grader (I push the stroller with the baby; the 3 year old walks). I also try to increase my steps by parking further away from the store entrance, by walking the entire perimeter of the store (I find clearance markdowns this way too!), doing extra sets of the stairs around my split level house, I walk around while I brush my teeth or talk on the phone also.

    My kids are ages 7, 3 1/2, and 1, so I feel for ya!

  • I have a site. http://www.thehealthyandfithomeschoolmom.com. I am a homeschool mama to 6 kiddos and my site is dedicated to great workouts under 30 minutes and you will feel it! The best part it is all free and you will have great workouts and encouragement to keep you moving!

  • susie says:

    I walked everyday when I had toddlers and was pregnant. It is the less stress on your body and then the 2 year old won’t mess up the house when I was doing a DVD!

  • Hi Crystal, I just found out about your challenge this week (not sure why, I get your emails, I guess I wasn’t ready to hear about it, ha!)
    Anyway, is this your Friday check-in post? I’m wondering if you’re still going to do a link-up in connection with this challenge.
    Thanks for always inspiring me to be my best!

  • Cathy says:

    I altered my idea of what a workout is and tried new ways to fit it in.

    Right now I am doing squats and push ups for one month, and that is it.

    I can fit them in during the day in spare minutes.
    What has also worked well for me is when I watch TV I get up during the commercial and do squats or push ups till the show comes back on.

    I did what they say you should do for goal setting–a reasonable goal.

    Also, i had a hard time accepting that this was ‘good enough’ when I used to run on a treadmill for 30 minutes and drip in sweat. I thought this couldn’t possibly be acceptable. To be honest, it took me a couple of years of motherhood to accept that a little workout like what I mentioned above was enought.
    You’ll get there 🙂

  • Jlyn says:

    Such great suggestions!!! Thanks for featuring this question, Crystal. I have realized over time how much my exercise routine is tied to my mental health. And as I said in my original question I had a lot of trouble because my kid doesn’t sleep through the night, despite all the methods that we’ve tried. My husband and I have talked about this extensively and I think I’m going to renew my gym membership, hopefully with childcare, after this new baby comes. I will definitely look into stroller strides groups or try to enlist a friend with kids the same age to walk with me. I think that mentally I need to get used to the idea that the intensity of my workouts won’t be the same with kids as they are independently. I took some of these suggestions to heart & did the chest and back P90X workout this morning during naptime. It wasn’t quite as intense as I’d like it to be, my pregnant belly tends to get in the way, but it was a work out nonetheless. 🙂

  • Cathy says:

    I meant to add the myfitnesspal app.
    What I liked about it was you could see that cleaning and doing laundry are exercise and burn calories, so it made me feel better.
    You can put it cleaning, how long, and how strenuous (light cleaning, heavy cleaning).
    Whenever you go up and down stairs, any walks, etc.
    All those little things helped me see I was doing better than I thought!

  • WL says:

    You have hand weights in kilograms? How very international and exotic 😉

  • Kathy says:

    Thank you for sharing…..will post this up and remember!

  • Becky says:

    I’m SO lucky! There is a group of ladies that works out at a nearby church (in their gym). The kids play on one side & we do hand weights, zumba, or aerobics 5 days a week for 45 minutes on the other side.

  • Katie L says:

    I find that exercise, especially outdoor exercise, improves my physical health and really improves my mental health. Here are things I’ve done to exercise with small children:

    Spouse/family/friends help me. It’s been a huge blessing that my spouse prioritizes my workouts. We alternate days, and I work out in the morning before he leaves for work, or (if I oversleep/choose to get more sleep in the morning), I do a workout video (hulu and amazon prime both offer a lot of workout videos that I like).

    During his deployments, I spent some time with family, who graciously watched my children so I could work out. When I wasn’t with family, my church offered a weekly “Mom’s Morning Out.” I used that time to go for a run. This isn’t so much for the person who originally asked as it is an encouragement to people who want to know how to help moms of young kids, especially when they don’t have spouses or extended family who can help out.

    I participated in a mom & me stroller class. I had two kids in the double stroller and was pregnant with my third. The class was kid-friendly (lots of moms stopping to care for kids) and outdoors (so the kids could run around in the big field and still be nearby. I usually came prepared with a drink and a snack for the kids while I did the class.

    I’ve taken small kids in the water at the pool while slightly older kids have swim lessons. Even just moving around in the water helps me relax and improves my mood for the day. It also helped relieve back pain when I was pregnant. I’ve been able to leave very, very small, napping babies buckled into a bucket seat along the wall while I swim the lane close by. Not everyone would be comfortable with this, but it’s worked for me.

    I’ve done many, many walks with strollers and sometimes with older kids on bikes or scooters.

    I 100% agree on giving yourself a break from guilt. Sleep is an important part of health, too, and you have to get it when you can. But exercise (even stretching!) for 10 minutes or 20 minutes can really help me feel better, too!

  • Katie says:

    I’m in a similar situation. I jumprope 5 minutes at a time on crazy days. Those 5 minutes add up throughout the day. I also do circuits of jumprope, squats, push-ups, jumping jacks one minute each for 10 -20 minutes. I do this with my two kiddos next to me. Walks around the block and “dance parties” are popular with my kids too.

  • Cynthia says:

    Got any suggestions on how to work this out when you work 4 days a week, gone from home 11-12 hours on those days, and then come home exhausted and want to spend time with my 2 year old that I haven’t seen since last night when I put him to bed?

    • Meagan says:

      I’ve been in that exact situation, and that’s where you should consider giving yourself grace. If you get breaks at your job, take a brisk walk, do squats, lunges, or planks during those times. Then on your days off, you could spend time with your son going on walks, having a dance party, or running crazy at a park. Sleep and time with my kids were more important to me than exercise after I returned to work after each of them were born, and that’s ok. Plus, my husband goes to work by 5:00 am each day so getting up early to go to the gym or run was never really an option for me. Now that my kids are a bit older, I have found ways to incorporate exercise into my routine during my workweek. Give yourself grace and do the best that you can!

  • Heather says:

    I sat down just yesterday to do yoga with an online video, and my two year old thought I was on the floor to be a jungle gym. I didn’t get much yoga done!

  • SusanR says:

    I also agree that you have to make it a priority. I had preemie infant twins and I could find all kinds of excuses to not fit it in (at first). I always had a gym membership, but when my girls were 9 months old I paid extra to join a Team Weight Loss group at the gym that met at 6am. I had finally realized the weight was not going to magically melt off me. The extra money was the motivation for me to stick with it when I just wanted to roll over and go back to sleep.

    Once I got going, I have never stopped. I’ve always been an exerciser, but pregnancy, 15 weeks of bedrest, and twinfants did kill that motivation for a long while. Once I reawakened it I really had very little trouble dropping that baby weight and keeping to my workout.

    Up until my girls started in kindergarten (they are now in second grade) I always worked out early mornings (5:15 or 5:30am classes). My husband and my daughters were home peacefully sleeping away while I fit in my workout “me time”. I’d shower at the gym and arrive home just as everyone was stirring.

    Nowadays I do work out in the early am sometimes (if work is crazy, I work FT from home). But if time permits I just get up and start working at 6am, and do a lunchtime workout instead.

    My workouts are scheduled on my calendar always. It is a priority for me, and everybody in my family knows it and cooperates. 🙂

  • Angie says:

    Hi Jlyn, so glad you asked this important question and hope you are encouraged and inspired by all these great answers from Moms who know and have been there. 🙂 It is very challenging to find “me time” when little ones and life (especially growing a new life) demand so much of your hours and energy! I applaud your want to find a way. You go mama!

    I agree with Crystal and others who said to make it a priority, however it works best for you, have a workout partner and/or accountability, be creative and incorporate play/dance/chores etc., and above all, listen to your body, reduce your intensity as needed, get rest whenver you can, and definitely give yourself grace. This too shall pass. As a mom of 4 (the youngest now 16), I did really well at exercising when my first two were young, not as well when #’s 3 and 4 were added 18 months apart, then got serious again (had to for health reasons) when my youngest was a toddler. It has become even more important as I’ve gotten older and life got busier. Good wellness and lifestyle habits formed early (as well as the good example you are setting) tends to stick with, and benefit, both you and your children, in the long run.

    I’ll never forget when my oldest was about three, we were living in a 2 bedroom, 900 square foot place and the only place I had any space to work out was in the crowded living room. One day I was doing my favorite step aerobics video (dating myself here, Jane Fonda days!) when I heard a clattering in the bathroom. I was about to pause and go see what mischief my busy boy was up to when suddenly he emerged carrying his little bulky plastic Fisher Price stepstool.

    As I resumed my video, he plunked the stool down and started stepping in place right beside me, arms pumping and all, with a huge grin on his face! My little enthusiastic “workout partner” grew into a young teenage athlete who set records and excelled in sports. He’s still a gym rat to this day and also went on to do some of the most physically and mentally challenging military training in this country. I believe God designed him to be that way and accomplish those things, but I like to think that I had a part in starting it all, with my example of making my health and exercise a priority and allowing him to join me. 🙂

    Btw:I never joined a gym or did group exercise classes, or ran, until about 5 years ago. My Dad always said that where there’s a will, there’s always a way. I found it in many different forms over the years. My younger ones used to all come running in on Saturday mornings or whenever they heard the intro to my Pilates videos begin. Only one athlete/avid exerciser developed out of those three, but they all know how to stretch out well, have strong backs and great abs! Lol

  • Leigh says:

    I’m the same as JLyn. I’m in my 2nd trimester with baby #2 and have a 2 year old who is potty training so he wakes up at least once a night. I also work full-time outside the home. I’m completely wiped out all the time. I am doing my best to squeeze in some cardio. My 2 year old “works out” with me since my husband works at night. We dance and I try to do squats and lunges, jumping jacks, etc. He doesn’t watch TV or movies more than 5 minutes at a time (and I’m not complaining) and he hates the stroller and climbs out of the playpen. My workouts are a work in progress, but I do what I can when my morning sickness that comes at night isn’t keeping me in the bathroom. I agree with Crystal, do what you can and don’t beat yourself up about it. That’s what I tell myself every day 🙂

  • These were all very good suggestions. I understand how hard it can be. I have four kids and it seemed to get harder with each one, but for me it was all mind over matter. Even though I was exhausted from lack of sleep I made myself exercise in the morning (usually before the kids were up) and then reward myself with a nap in the afternoon.

  • Susan I. says:

    I loved doing mommy and me yoga classes when my girls were younger.

  • Christy says:

    I have not read all the comments, but I have ALWAYS worked out (kids now 6.5 and 3). I belong to the Y. It is expensive — $55/month, but that includes childcare. I also walk and/or run with jogging stroller. 6 year old rides bike, 3 year old does tricycle–tires out and we swap for jogging stroller. I am also a working mom. I do the Y 3 times a week–more in summer (I teach). My kids love the Y. My oldest does his own Kid Fit class on Sat. mornings while I am in my Chisel class.

  • Kamila Straker says:

    Check out Stroller Strides a kid in the stroller workout with other moms.
    Get a bicycle with a trailer and go for a slow ride around the block.

  • Jenn says:

    I have a 3-year-old girl and an 8-month-old baby. When the baby was first born, I’d put on a ballet class for DD, and it’d keep her busy for 30 minutes at a time. You can rent some things on Amazon for $2 for a week and do it as many times as you want in that week’s time. We get Petite Feet by Liz Vacco, and she loves it. Now since the weather is colder, I can put it on and do it with her. Granted, it’s not Jillian Michaels, but it gets both of us moving a little bit. And it’s fun to do together.

  • Michelle says:

    i used to work out fairly regularly before I had children but now I have a 2 yr old and 4 yr old and was having a hard time finding the motivation. What I’ve been having a lot of success with, personally, is group classes. I found a gym with great child care and tested out some classes til I found a few I loved and now they’re on my weekly schedule. Just 3 classes a week, my workouts are led by an educated instructor so I know I’m getting a good workout, rather than mindlessly being on the elliptical for 30 minutes. It’s easier to be motivated to go do a workout I know I’ll enjoy.

  • Kristal says:

    When my kids were little, I got one of those seats for the back of the bike. They loved riding around this way. When they got older, they loved playing the wii game, just dance. It is really good exercise and it was fun for them to try and beat me!

  • Khaliann says:

    I currently have an 11 month old and it is really really hard, I miss harder and more satisfying exercise so much. Here are a few things I can do though- little sets of exercises throughout the day, even if it’s just a minute here and there. When we are on the trampoline, I do some sit ups or hold the baby and slowly bounce around. (A 2 yr old would give even more flexibility on a trampoline!) When we are having floor time, I will do a few quick sit ups. When I’m holding his hand and practicing his walking skills, I will do a few lunges and squats. And taking him for a stroller ride a few days a week is about all I can manage! When my other two kids were toddlers and preschool aged, I also found that we all liked to watch and do the Just Dance video games. Believe me those are a great workout! And before you know it, an hour has passed by.
    One last tip I love for summer time …if you take your child to a pool and feel confident they are safe (wearing floaties and near you etc), I learned that treading water is also an excellent exercise. You can tread water while your child is right there in their floaties, just inches from you, and you can even do it in shallow water. Of course safety for the child comes first but I loved doing this.
    Dont underestimate the value of a good walk…when i was pregnant, all I really did was walk but I stayed in good health with good blood pressure etc all throughout.
    Blessings!

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