5 Ways to Work Out with Your Kids

When kids enter the picture, fitness often exits. Keep it in the picture with these 5 workouts you can do with your children, no matter how old they are!

Working out is hard enough on a busy schedule, but add kids into the mix and it sometimes feels impossible. When there is a little someone constantly calling for your attention, it’s easy to put your fitness on the back burner. Nine short months ago, I brought my first child into the world and I’m still figuring out how to keep a solid exercise routine. There are some weeks where I find myself working out almost every day; other weeks, I’m just lucky to have dinner made for everyone on time. But having children doesn’t mean that you have to kiss your health goodbye—instead, incorporate them into your fitness routine! It may seem counterintuitive, but kids can actually be the perfect complement to an incredibly effective workout.

Here are a few fitness ideas for each age group that will help you incorporate your child(ren) into your healthy lifestyle:

Newborn Babies

I want to start by saying that if you are new mom, please wait for your doctor’s okay before starting any crazy workout routines. Your body has just been through its own marathon and needs some time to recuperate.

  • Go for a walk. This was the first effort I made to exercise after I was given clearance from my doctor. Walking is a nice and easy way to start back into your fitness routine. My recommendation is to wait until naptime—they are far less likely to throw a tantrum if they’re snoozing in the stroller while you’re out pushing it.
  • Work that tummy. Your newborns pediatrician will stress just how important tummy time is for your growing little one. While they’re down on the ground strengthening their stomach muscles, so should you! Get right down next to your baby and do some planks, abs, and pushups. To make it a little more challenging, try to get as many sets in as possible before your baby lets you know tummy time is up.

Infants/Toddlers

  • Get moving while they’re bouncing. As your child gets older and more mobile, you’ll need to find more ways to keep them entertained if you want to sneak in a quick workout. Queue my favorite toy: the bouncer. When we set my daughter in her bouncer, she would bounce so much—and loved it when you bounced with her. This is the perfect time to do some high-intensity aerobics. Put them in their favorite jumping or moving toy, and get moving with those jumping jacks, pop squats, or even burpees. Your child will love seeing you moving fast—just like they are!
  • Kids make great weights. Incorporating your kids into your workout at this age can be a huge hit—both for your child and for your body! Common strengthening moves such as squats, pushups, lunges, sit-ups, and even planks can be intensified by using your child to add weight to the exercise (while giving them a fun ride). Just make sure that if you are holding onto them for exercises such as lunges and squats, you move slowly and keep a firm grip on your little one.

Older Children

  • Make a game out of it. Older kids love to play with you, so why not make the best of both worlds—the kid world, and the fitness world, that is? Doing races, relays, or active games (such as Simon Says) allows you to incorporate multiple kids and adults, and is sure to get your heart racing!

In general, it’s important to remember that working out when you have kids doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. If you only have 15 minutes, don’t wait to have a full hour--just go all-out during the time you have. It’s better to have worked out a little than not at all. Raising children to see that exercise is an important part of being healthy gives them a tool that they can use for the rest of their lives.

Make it WayBetter

Get the whole family involved! If you have some older kids and some younger kids, enlist your partner to work out with one while you work out with the other! It's family togetherness + fitness in one!