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Fitting in your exercise around kids, work and everyday life can be challenging but not impossible. If you have the luxury of being able to have a kid free workout say at the gym- awesome but if childcare is largely up to you, you’ll have to find creative ways to stay fit and healthy. What’s that old saying? If mamma ain’t happy then nobody is happy. I’m a firm believer in this when it comes to our body image, health and fitness level- So let’s get cracking!
1. Playground Workouts
You are probably aware of how much energy kids have, right? Why not join in with their park fun- jump on the swing set, have a see saw ride or take a few turns on the slide. All movements are really functional not to mention fun and help you burn extra calories.
2. Stroller Lunges
Next time your place your baby in their stroller, get a leg workout in. Tone and strengthen your legs by holding onto the stroller bars and perform walking lunges. The added resistance of the stroller helps with strength and balance. To perform a lunge make sure you keep your legs parallel and bend both knees to 90 degrees.
3. Russian Twists With Baby
A strong back requires strong abs! Take your baby by holding them close and under the armpits as you are seated with bent legs, feet flat on the floor. Leaning back slightly, slowly and in a controlled move twist your torso to one side and then the other. This russian twist move is effective for shaping your waist and keeps bub occupied, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Perform 20 twists in total and repeat 3-4 times.
4. Monkey Bar Ab Workout
Next time you are at the park, grab hold of the monkey bars. Make sure your feet aren’t touching the ground and bring both your knees up to your chest and repeat for 10 reps. This is a fantastic lower ab exercise for flattening and strengthening your lower abdominal muscles. Repeat for 3-4 sets with a rest in between each set.
5. Paddle Boarding
Such a fun activity for the whole family to enjoy. Kayaking is another safe water sport for the whole family. Your upper body and torso get a total workout.
6. Modified Beach Flags
Next time you hit the beach, try a game of beach flags. A popular Nippers drill. Mark out roughly 30m, using a line in the sand at the start and leave a marker (such as an empty water bottle) at the end. You’ll need 4 water bottles for 5 players- it’s similar to musical chairs, always taking a bottle away till a winner remains). Have everyone line up facing away from the start line, lying flat on their stomachs with their heads resting in the their hands. Blow a whistle or just use a countdown of 3, 2, 1 everyone must explode up onto their feet and sprint the grab a water bottle. This games helps build speed, agility and is a fun way to exercise.
7. Shoulder Press With Baby
Want to tone your arms? Grab your baby or toddler! Hold them securely under the arms whilst standing or seated. Lift them in front of you to above head level. This pressing motion is great for shaping your shoulders.
Skipping workouts burn a truckload of calories and the kids will love it too. 10 minutes will average out approximately 120 calories- that’s 2-3 squares of dark chocolate
9. Toddler Weighted Push Ups
Toddlers can make it difficult to exercise at home- they never seem to stop moving. So, incorporate them into your workout. Start with a push up on the knees with them straddled on your lower back and butt. Resting on your knees, have your hands spaced wide and bend till 90 degrees at the elbow. When you get stronger try them on your toes with your child on straddled across you. Try to perform 20 in a row for 2-3 sets
10. Hip Thrusts
A common theme I see working with woman, is poor glute and hip stability. This often leads to the appearance of a “flat butt’, lower back pain and/ or hip instability. A quick fix for this is to perform hip thrusts. Simply lie on your back, knees bent and squeeze your butt (glutes) and raise your hips to the ceiling. Hold for 3 secs and slowly lower down. When you can perform 3 sets of 20 reps, your toddler/child can straddle across your hips for added resistance. This improves the shape of your butt and the stability of your hips.
11. Piggy Back Squats
Many people think you need fancy expensive equipment (hello late night infomercials!) to have an effective workout but you really don’t. Your children are the perfect training partner. If I’m ever doing sessions with clients that have their kids around, I always like to integrate a few moves with the kiddies. Piggy back squats are one of my favourites. Pop your child on either your front or back and perform squat by bending at the knees and lowering your butt to the ground. The lower you can go the better. Try to work up to 10-12 repetitions of 3
12. Family Bush Walk
Kill two birds, walk and pack a picnic. It’s just nice to get outdoors. There are interesting spots all over the place- google national parks in your local area or simply venture out to your local park. 1 hour of brisk walking burns over 500 calories. 3 sets of 20 reps, your toddle/child can straddle across your hips for added resistance. This improves the shape of your butt and the stability of your hips.
Have the kids draw up the hopscotch board with chalk and get hopping Hopscotch benefits your balance and hand eye co-ordination
14. Bike Ride
Kids learn about an active lifestyle from those around them. Get on your bike and start their healthy body image off on the right foot. On average a 70kg female will burn 450 calories riding for approximately 45 minutes.
15. Bounce Your Way To Fitness
The trampoline is a fun way to add exercise into your day. Either kick the kids off or have a jump together. Mix you your jumping style with running on the spot, single leg jumping, jumping jacks, straddle jumps and tuck jumps. If you don’t have your own tramp try an indoor trampoline centre.
16. Rock Climbing
I haven’t met any kids that don’t love climbing! Incorporate some indoor rock climbing into your school holiday regime or if you have older kids try mastering some small rocks on your bush walks. Great for developing hand eye coordination and upper body strength.
17. Get Splashing
Have a pool? Yes, swimming laps are a great low impact fitness idea but if you need to spice things up try something a little different! Steps ups in and out of the pool using your pool steps, leg kicking holding onto the side or onto a pool noodle and threading water are all easy exercises to add to a swimming routine.
18. Hula Hooping
Get that core workout in with your child’s hula hoop. A great way to training your tummy muscles and strengthen your back. Just don’t be surprised if you child totally upstages you!
19. Sack race
Use old pillow cases or the traditional burlap sacks. The bounding move builds strength in your legs and gets the heart through the roof. Even if you don’t win, you’ll have a good gut laugh and that’s a workout in itself.
Whats your favourite way to incorporate your little ones into your workouts? Or are you all about the creche/babysitter