As I've grown into, and out of, another pair of fat jeans, I've become even more determined to make fitness a priority in our home. If you're like me, exercise is the first thing to go when your schedule gets busy. Here are some simple ways you can add physical fitness to your routine:
- If you're out of shape, begin slowly with a short morning or afternoon walk. As your fitness level increases and you pick up the pace, your toddlers can ride in a stroller or wagon, and your older children can roller blade or ride their bikes.
If you're feeling adventurous, try this Couch to 5K running plan. This free, 9 week program will get you ready to run a 5 K by training as little as 20 to 30 minutes, 3 days per week. For all you i pod users, here's the program on podcast.
- Visit your local indoor pool. While you watch the kids splash around, you can walk or jog in shallow water, and do simple arm exercises with webbed gloves, a noodle or Styrofoam weights. Water boosts your workouts by providing added resistance without placing stress on the joints. It also wears the kids out, so you can come home and take a nap!
- Sign up for a fitness class. I don't like leaving my children in the child care facility of our gym. So last fall, I signed up for a Baby Bootcamp that allowed me to bring my children to class. My youngest rode in his stroller, and my older children exercised or played alongside me.
These classes are also referred to by the names Mommy and Me, Stroller Fit and Strollercize. To find a course near you, run a Google search or call your local recreation center, YMCA or private gym.
- Working out at home will save you time and money. Perform a simple routine of push ups, sit ups, squats and other simple resistance exercises at a set time every day. Invest in a set of arm bands, hand weights or an exercise ball, or use your favorite workout video.
We have an elliptical machine and weight bench in our garage that allows me to squeeze in a 20-30 minute workout on days when our schedule is busy. Before exercising, I back the car into the driveway so my children have room to ride their scooters or play games. To add variety, I sometimes tape paper to the floor and let them color, paint or play with play doh.
This fall, I'll be using the above strategies to whip myself into shape. For accountability's sake, I'm following Terry's lead and adding a weight loss ticker to the footer of my blog.
Wish me luck!