I’ve come to embrace the fact that I’m not going to pack up the kids to go to the gym. Packing bags, putting on all the shoes and jackets and what-have-you, buckling seatbelt—then unbuckling, getting everyone out, getting bags, and ensuring my children are each signed into the right rooms . . . and then focusing on a workout? Not going to happen for this mama. (I applaud the mamas who can get all that done!) I’ve also realized that I’m not waking up earlier or going out after my partner gets home and the sun is down. It’s just too much hassle. So I’ve sought out the fifteen minute workouts.
While I love Shannon’s post on Letting Herself Go (and it’s Awesome!), instead of declaring “self care be darned!” (like I want to), I know I need to exercise. I’m happier after I get my blood pumping, and I’m way more patient with my kids if I take a little time to focus on me. The best way I’ve found to do it recently is to sneak in 10 fifteen minute workouts throughout my day. Look no further—I’m sharing them with you—ten ways to get started or new ways to shake up your routine:
Ideas for the Kids: Take advantage of those times when the kids are entertaining themselves—with a fort or legos or playing family. (Ok, ok – or screen time!) Another idea? Set up a sweat swap, and take turns with a friend; you work out while your kids play, swap, repeat. Give them a snack. Give your kid a camera, and tell them to take pictures while you workout. (It works! See evidence below.) Lay the baby down for a nap—or next to you—and go for it. Try any—or all—of these!
Yoga on Youtube – My favorite yoga channel right now is Sarah Beth Yoga. She has videos with routines from 10 to 30 minutes long focusing on different goals (flexibility, power, restorative).
New York Times Efficient Workout – Got seven minutes? This workout will get you sweating. They also have an advanced version as well as an app that will take care of the timer for you. All you need is a chair!
Crossfit in a Hotel Room – Want to focus on strength and cardio? Here’s a list of 100 hotel workouts with no equipment needed. Avoid the sprint workouts—unless you’ve got a treadmill or are at a playground!
Pilates Routine – After my first child, I inherited a book featuring gentle postpartum pilates moves (that you could do with you infant on/near you). I’ve given away or lost the book in the past five years, but I still have the list of exercises that I pull out when I want to focus on my core. You can WikiHow or Google any of these moves you don’t recognize and create a list of your own!
Nike Training Club App – A few of my friends love this app of workouts from Nike.
Out and About
Stroller-Crossfit Endurance WOD – In a previous life (i.e. before I had little kids and when I still had the energy and time to devote to working out), I was pretty into Crossfit. One of their spin offs is called Endurance, and they have a Workout Of the Day (WODs) geared specifically for runners/bikers/swimmers, etc. Check out this site and look at the “Single Sport Endurance Workout.” You can get a lot of ideas for run/walk workouts while you’re pushing your little one in the stroller. My favorite is to run 60 seconds, walk 60 seconds; run 60 seconds, walk 50 seconds; run 60 seconds, walk 40 seconds, and so on down to walking 10 seconds—then working your way back up again.
Stroller-Tabata Sprints – Only have a short time to walk around the neighborhood? Try strolling Tabata style! In short, it’s sprint for 20 seconds, rest or walk for 10 seconds. Repeat seven times for a total work out of four minutes. Rest or walk for two minutes—then do it again. Guaranteed to get your heart racing! If you want an extra challenge, push the stroller up a hill for the “work” times and roll back down during the “rest” times. There are all kinds of Tabata timer apps you can download to watch the clock for you. (We know how much that can help!)
Playground Workout – Kids busy playing on the playground? Do a few rounds of these playground exercises, and you’ll be set for the day! Here’s a bodyweight workout for you. Personally, I love theses 10 exercises too.
Park ‘n’ Walk – Tons of errands to get done after school pick up? Find a central location, park the car, strap on the baby (or get out the stroller), and walk your errands with kids of all ages. In East Nashville, I like to park on the street near my kid’s school, then walk to the post office, Cumberlad Hardware, the library, or any other errands I can knock out in the Five Points area. If you have a list that can be done at a shopping plaza like Nashville West, park your car at Target, walk down to the furthest shop you need to go to, then walk back with your purchases as you go.
Workout WITH your Kids
So, I haven’t quite mastered this other than with immobile babies (see Pilates and Yoga above). I’ve just found that someone loses focus (often times that someone is me), and the workout falls flat. But this mom is totally killing it, and you can always try something like this stay at home dad: