What to do when you need to get into an exercise routine, but have a preschooler with you?
He is 4, and when he was younger I could put him in a stroller and walk or run, no problem, but now he is older I can't seem to think of anything to do so I can get some exercise. I do play with him outside, we play tag and soccer and such, but for every one step I take he has to take 2 or 3 and I don't feel like I get a good workout.
We also go swimming, but I can't really do laps in the pool with him there. I'm usually trying to instruct him on how to swim.
Any ideas would be appreciated.
My first thought is: child care. Not because you shouldn't exercise alongside your kid (it's wonderful in many ways), but because you clearly have a workout goal and time alone to achieve it would be an ideal way to take care of yourself.
- Join a gym with child care.
- Perhaps your partner/friend/neighborhood kid could hang out with your child while you work out.
- Exercise before everyone wakes up in the morning, assuming you've got another grownup in the house (asleep or awake).
If child care isn't in the cards, how about:
- You do a workout video while he plays, naps, or watches TV.
- You get a more heavy-duty jogging stroller and see if he's still willing to go for a ride. Perhaps a friend has one you could borrow?
- You do shorter but more intense workouts (I'm thinking with weights, bands, a jump rope) so you can get your heart pumping while he's with you.
These ideas are all from my head…the fact is that I let having little kids be my excuse for not exercising. I applaud you, Jessica, and everyone else who's making time for health and self-care.
Parenthackers who are exercising with little kids…how do you do it? When do you do it? What do you do?
I'm not asking for stories of perfection here…it's a constant state of adjustment. Anything you have to offer is wonderful.
Need some advice? Ask the Parenthackers! Here's how.