Working out with kids around can be difficult. As a fitness instructor, there has been countless times when a quick exercise routine turns into half of the day after tantrums, snack breaks, and other demands that no one saw coming. It can be hard, but not impossible.
In fact, this one of my most asked questions among the community- how the heck am I supposed to exercise with kids around???
I have three kids- ages 5, 4, and almost 1- I have experienced it all when it comes to working out with kids around. I think the most important thing to remember is that you and your family deserve this. Mama’s health is EVERYTHING- right?
Here are a few quick tips and tricks that have worked for me to workout effectively and with kids around.
Disclosure: Us Mama's are busy, and we have the gift of home delivery, so for your convenience I have included some links of my favorite things from Amazon. I may receive some commissions for any purchases that you make through those links, making it possible for me to give you more tips to be a healthy and happy mama. Thank you for your support!
I do NOT do early morning workouts- despite being a morning person.
Sorry- it doesn’t work for me. It’s too loud and waking up my kids at 5:30 just isn’t worth it to me. When I have tried early morning workouts, I find that I am too stressed out over waking up everyone that it just isn’t a good use of my time. Maybe when I have the space and I am not working out in my living room, or when the kids are older and don’t want to be involved in everything that I do.
I still wake up early- I think that it is such a gift and I still encourage you to try to do it. I would rather use that time to relax, drink coffee, set the days intentions and pray. For me, that is a better use of my time.
Set real expectations and know that the first week will be tough
Whenever you try out something new, whether it’s a new exercise routine or knitting, your kids will want to be a part of it. Its science or nature or something. Just know the first few workouts that you do your kids will want to be a part of it.
The first week is for establishing a set of rules like ‘don’t sit on Mama during sit-ups’ or ‘ask mom to get you a snack until she’s done’. You’ll find that your family has their own unique set of rules so be patient. I always include this part in my workout programs that I design for Moms because its important for everyone to be on the same page.
My latest workout program Mama's Muscles has an entire page dedicated to having a conversation with your family to help everyone understand that each workout is fast and Mama needs to be left alone to complete them. I always recommend this program to moms for when they are establishing healthy habits because the workouts in Mama's Muscles are all under 20 minutes. I know it sounds crazy, but this workout program has helped a LOT of moms establish healthy habits in their own living room.
You kids might want to join your workout and that’s okay
There are some days where they wake up and have so much energy, they are bouncing off the walls. On those days, I try to do more high energy cardio-type workouts like kickboxing or a HIIT workout with lots of jumping. That way, they can jump in and burn energy while I am increasing my own.
Play it by ear the first couple of workouts and see what your kids enjoy. We also encourage a lot of yoga through our favoritechildren’s yoga instructor Cosmic Kids on Amazon Video.
Another option is to go on a walk! You can go to the local store, a church parking lot, anywhere! Just get them (and you) moving so that way they can burn all of that energy. A great trick that I have to help my kids get excited about walking with me is a scavenger hunt! It's super easy and fun to get kids moving and observing nature.
Your kids also might want to sit out and that’s okay, too
For the days your child doesn’t want to join in on the fun, I try to keep certain activities just for then. I have alist here of activities that are great for independent play for young kids while you are doing an upper body workout.
When I created Mama's Muscles, I created it as a tool for real moms to be able to workout with or without kids around in a quick, efficient way. All of the moms that I train need need workouts with minimal equipment and less than 20 minutes, so I created this program so moms could maintain their sanity in every season of Motherhood.
Mama's Muscle's is an at home, 4 week exercise program designed for moms.
All workouts are quick, efficient and are perfect for helping you get into healthier habits for the year.
Everything here is designed for real moms, by an actual mom of 3.
You deserve this, Mama!
Sometimes kids need a change in location to find a new game and leave you alone. That means you might need to get creative and workout at the local field or playground (you can find my go-to park workout here that only requires body weight).
That’s okay! Remember, the goal is to feel healthy, and that can happen anywhere- even the local elementary school.
Mama- you can do this. You are worth it! Give yourself the permission to exercise even with kids around and you will not regret it.