Most of my life I have exercised because it helps me physically and mentally. Once I had kids I needed it even more, and I knew I wanted to make it a priority. It was something I was doing for me! Fast forward to being a mom of three living in a town where the cost of a gym membership with childcare is very expensive -- instead of forking out a fortune, I decided to make it happen at home!
At first I tried to work out before my kids were awake every morning. I saw so many blog posts recommending that you get up early to work out before kids were even out of bed, but this was just not realistic for me. Depending on the morning, I had some seriously early risers, so I decided I was going to have to make it work with them around.
Here are a handful of tips that helped me get started and stay motivated to get my workouts done with my kids:
Just Go For It
I started slowly investing in the workout equipment I wanted. I used a lot of free resources and free workout plans that I would find on social media, and I just went for it. I can do yoga or Pilates videos and the kids can participate too. There are so many that are kid-friendly.
I have found that including my kids in the workouts is easier than trying to get them to leave me alone. I also feel like I am setting a good example for them of living an active and healthy lifestyle. On days that I lift weights, they will help me keep count of my reps and picks songs that they think are fun. It lets them feel included and keeps me motivated too.
Some days I have to keep my expectations low. I try not to be disappointed when things don't go perfectly as planned, and I get creative if I don't get as much time to workout as I wanted. If my goal is to be active for an hour, I sometimes need to break up my workouts into smaller segments throughout the day. Even a brisk walk after lunch with the kids can count for some cardio!
Take it outside
I've saved my favorite way to stay active with kids for last: work out outside! Stroller exercise can be done while some of your smaller kids are contained inside the stroller. I love my Bumbleride stroller, but there are so many great strollers that can facilitate jogging! I can go on jogs with kids in the stroller or they can be active, too, and ride bikes along with me as I run.
Another great outdoor workout is to take baby in a carrier for a walk or hike! I feel so strong when I am carrying that extra weight. With every hike that I carry along baby in their Ergobaby, It gets a little easier as I get stronger.