As a mum, finding time to maintain a regular fitness routine when you have children to look after can be a challenge – whether it be taking care of a newborn, caring for a toddler, or providing endless lifts for school children.
Research from the Total Fitness Real Life Ready report revealed that 42% of parents to young children would like to be fitter, however only 19% regularly working out.
It’s important to set aside time for yourself so you can maintain a healthy lifestyle and understand that working out needn’t be a chore. Take advantage of some of the daily roles of childcare and turn these situations into an opportunity to exercise.
To explain how you can fit in a workout when looking after children, Steven Virtue, Fitness Content and Programming Manager at Total Fitness, the North’s leading mid-market health club, shares his five tips and exercises to help on your fitness journey.
MAKE NAPTIME EXERCISE TIME
For mums with a newborn baby or toddler, naptime provides the perfect opportunity for you to fit in a quick workout, whether you’re at home or on the move. Home workouts are a great alternative if you can’t make it to the gym, with a variety of fitness DVDs or online routines available – simply find one which suits your fitness level and that you enjoy. If you prefer planning your own workout, create your own HIIT circuit (high intensity interval training), using weights and dumbbells where you feel comfortable to raise the intensity.
HIIT training is an excellent calorie burner and can be squeezed into as much or as little time as you have – perfect for while your child is napping.
TURN WALKING INTO A WORKOUT
If you’re out and about, going for a fast walk or jog with your child’s pram allows you to fit in a cardio workout while they enjoy their morning or afternoon nap. This helps to strengthen your core and arm muscles whilst you push the pram and allows you to get some fresh air as you exercise.
Whether you’re nipping to the shops or taking a stroll around the park, turning your walking routine into a gentle exercise will keep you active.
COMBINE PLAYTIME AND EXERCISE
Whilst your toddler or school child is enjoying their playtime, join in and make this a time for you to be active as well. Whether it being going for a bike ride, playing football or an afternoon at the local playground, keep yourself fit by spending quality time with your children and enjoy the health benefits it has to offer.
Zumba routines are a great way to involve them and they will love dancing around the room with you – not only is it fun but you will also burn fat as you move. Alternatively, why not make working out an educational experience, asking them to count your reps as you do various exercises. This is a great way to maintain a healthy lifestyle whilst spending quality time with your little ones.
FIND A WORKOUT BUDDY
It can be difficult to find the motivation to workout on your own, so an easy solution is to buddy up with one of your family members or friends – preferably someone with a child themselves and who has similar fitness goals to you.
Plan in play dates, so whilst the children play together safely, you can both fit in a quick exercise routine to help you stay active. If you fancy going outside, take a trip to the local playground or park together. Walking remains a great way to increase cardiovascular fitness, burn calories and strengthen joints, and is easy to fit into your daily routine.
ATTEND A GYM WITH KID CLASSES
Finding the time to go to the gym is made much harder when you have children to look after, but at Total Fitness, we have a range of kids classes available – from Water Babies to Fit Kids, children can enjoy time in the pool or running around the gym giving you the time to exercise yourself.
With a range of classes and equipment to choose from, you’ll be able to maintain a regular fitness regime whilst feeling assured that your child/children are enjoying a class all of their own.
So there you have it – working out while looking after the kids couldn’t be easier. Just remember to find a fitness routine which is appropriate to your fitness level and not to push yourself to hard. Exercise should be enjoyable, and you have the added bonus of enjoying quality time with your children in the process.
Total Fitness is the leading mid-market health club in the north and provides more ways to get fit, stay in shape, and more support to keep members focused. With 17 health clubs across the North of England and Wales, Total Fitness provides a full-service fitness offering; guided by knowledgeable and supportive fitness teams, the brand works hard to meet the individual needs of its members.
For more information, please visit: www.totalfitness.co.uk