I do it because I love the way it makes me feel and it’s my “me time.” An hour dedicated only for me, where I can watch my shows on the treadmill, lift weights listening to my music or podcasts or just get lost in my world while jogging.
As a mother of three, there are days when I cannot make it to the gym in the early mornings and my precious “me time” becomes mommy time where I am juggling the children’s different needs.
It’s within these crazy moments where I had no control of my circumstances that I realized I didn’t need a gym to perform my workouts; I didn’t have to have weights or a treadmill to burn calories and gain muscle. I could use what I had in front of me and achieve my goals… all while keeping my children close by. This especially helps now that we have a baby in the house.
Nothing good ever comes easy. I started out really slow with them. As a way to get my whole family to join me on my healthy living journey (see my post from May 2017- 'Getting my Family to join me on Healthy Living Journey' on why/how we started), we came up with a weekly schedule of activities we can do together with my older kids so that they would get used to the idea of working out with me and I let them pick the workouts they liked.
One of our very first workouts together was a yoga session. Boy was it funny watching the children trying to do the poses. We also used various Shaun T’s Rockin’ Body DVDs and burned lots of calories dancing in the family room. During this time, Novena (my youngest) would stay in the room watching us, or I would hold her and attempt to perform a moderate version of the workouts.
In the beginning, on strength workout days we used Bikini Body Mommy’s YouTube videos A LOT . I like how she explains her workouts, and she is a mom of 4, so she understands that working out with children can be very difficult. Her exercises are short and sweet and can be done anywhere. The children usually do the moderate version and even pick up weights when needed. It’s been a while since we’ve worked out with her and nowadays we tend to create our own strength workouts, using similar patterns: Three or four different workouts for a total of 3 times each. The kids typically do smaller reps than I do, but we typically start and finish together.
On the days where the weather is nice outside, we play tag or go for long walks as a family. A couple of times, the kids have enjoyed riding their bikes outside while Novena and I went for a light jog in the neighborhood. I created jumping jacks challenge that the kids love because we all jump and see who can last the longest.
Today, I still keep a firm schedule and workout six times a week in the mornings before my children wake up, however a couple of days a week when they aren’t at their weekly practices, I will do another workout with them at home. I do this for many reasons; the most important being that my children are watching me live a healthy lifestyle and being the best version of myself possible. I want them to know and understand that their health is very important. So I practice what I preach to them. It also gives us something to do together as a family. We are creating memories that my older children will remember forever.
To all you amazing mothers out there. Incorporate your children into the things you love to do. It will teach them about life, and that you are giving them the most valuable thing out there… YOUR TIME!
I hope this helps you or someone you know. As always, I’d love to hear your stories. How are you working out with the kids around?