Once kids come along, it can be a challenge getting out the door for a bread-and-milk run, let alone an actual training run. Evening yoga classes give way to bathtime and lullabies, and boxing is more likely to refer to the fight to think of what to put in lunch boxes than anything involving gloves and a punching bag.
But that’s not to say that you never get a work out. As my friend Tez, a mum of three, put it:
Hanging up laundry = stretching
Picking up toys = squats.
Carrying, lifting and putting down kids/groceries/pram from car = weights.
Rescuing 8-month-old from consuming small toys/insects/sticky tape off the floor = lunges. (innumerable reps in a set)
Trying to ensure 3 children don’t get lost in shopping centre within 5 minutes = ….cardio!!!
But what if you’re after a more traditional way to exercise? Getting your sweat on may require a bit more forethought and creativity than it used to, pre-kids, but it is possible. Try these mum-approved tips:
All hail the gym creche
When I put the call out to my parent friends to share how they balance kids and fitness, the resounding response was “find a gym with a creche”. And it has definitely been my own solution, too. The kids love the outing, the toys and TV, and playing with the other kids and the amazing carers. I love the exercise endorphins, showering alone, and the on-site coffee shop. Everyone’s a winner.
Enlist the help of friends and family
Tag teaming with an equally active partner or friend, or calling in some babysitting favours can be a great way to find the time to get your heart rate up.
My mate Carly, her husband and their toddler daughter have found it works to make exercise a family affair, running together in the park or doing cardio sessions at home. Little Olive loves copying mum and dad doing their high knees, skipping and stair sprints!
Go early… or late
If your kids aren’t the type to rise too early, then an early-morning session before they wake up is a way to go. As a bonus, working out first thing gets your metabolism running hot for the rest of the day.
Says my buddy Jenn:
I tag team with hubbie to be home while I get up early for a work out. Those 5/6am sessions are a great start to the day! Alternative is to download an app that steps you through exercise at home. Fitstar is a good one I used, I just jump out of bed and work out in my PJs!!
On the flip side, maybe you could find half an hour or so after bedtime to lace up the sneakers.
Do what you love, love what you do
Whatever you do, make sure it doesn’t feel like a chore — a recent study found that people lost more weight when they viewed exercise as fun. So find something you love and enjoy that “me” time! Stuck for ideas? Here’s 7 ways to get your exercise mojo back.
And you might as well look good while you’re at it. Grab these and get ready to pump some iron:
These sneakers will help you get your kicks — whether that means kicking a ball around with the kids, kicking back at home or kicking up your heels in a hip-hop dancing class.
Stretch your body and relax your mind in these yoga tights. Plus hello “Perfect Butt”: the name says it all.
Fitting in exercise requires a good support network — as well as support in the form of a good bra. This one will make sure the only thing bouncing is your post-workout energy levels.
Have you managed to include a fitness regime in your post-kid life? How do you do it?