I love my children, but I confess a certain snappiness when I haven’t been able to work on my fitness or fit a workout in for a couple days. It’s a vicious circle: My kids take priority, my workout gets shoved to the back-burner, I miss that negative energy expenditure, I get snappy, I have less energy, I don’t feel like working out, so I miss another workout … Can you feel me?
Yes, that’s my son. Those blue eyes just suck me in. Working out when he’s being cute, when he’s throwing a fit – How? Well, dear parents, here’s the golden key that I’ve discovered to unlocking home fitness with kids underfoot. We have to remember that – just like taking the time to cook a healthy meal for our families – taking the time to workout also sets a healthy example. Our children need to watch us and learn from us, and this includes every aspect of our lives, including physical fitness.
Of course, we don’t let kids near the hot stove while we’re cooking, and we don’t let them near the moving pieces of equipment while we’re exercising, but they can watch from a safe distance or join in with our careful supervision. My online fitness studio offers short workouts for kids to do with their parents to satisfy their curiosity enough that they’ll likely wander off and let mom or dad get down to their own workout.
Still it’s important to communicate your plans to your children, and here are some ways you can do that. Say something like, “In five minutes, daddy is going to exercise. What would you like to do while I exercise?” If they interrupt your workout, take 30 seconds to address their requests but try to keep moving while you do it. “I’m almost done, so let me help you find something to do while you wait.” If they interrupt again, fall back on the snack option, saying “Would you like a snack to eat while I finish?” It’s always beneficial to offer something healthy. Of course, it’s always better to spend five minutes at the start of your workout setting all this up: the activity, the snack, the stations with activities so that your children are encouraged to explore their independence while you find some time for yourself.
Read more in the article I wrote for factoidz here!