Thursday, November 26th, 2020

Kids and Exercise: Fitting it in

By Nicole Yamanaka on May 03 2010 • Filed under Health

I meet a lot of busy parents that ask me if I can help them get in shape or how to exercise with a busy family schedule.  I tend to hear a few common themes, important to moms:

  1. “I can’t seem to fit in exercise in my parenting routine.”
  2. “I want to be able to keep up with my kids.”
  3. “I want to set a good example for my children.”

Did you know that a survey of children between 9 to 13 years old demonstrated that 60% do not participate in any organized physical activity outside of school? The desire to set a good example for your kids and taking care of your health and fitness is a fabulous way of fighting those odds.

Some guidelines to help you, mompreneur / business woman extraordinaire, out (and even for those wonderful women that babysit when you need it):

  • Establish a regular schedule for physical activity and stick to it.
  • Incorporate activity into daily routines, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Keep it fun, so you can count on your child to come back for more.

Many exercises in this chart have a lot of crossover ability (up, down, left right, diagonally). Use your discretion as to which activity you feel best suits you and your situation. The point is, there are options…options….options!

** A quick word about sit ups / crunches for new moms just getting back into routines – be aware of separation of the abdominal muscles and its inability to “repair” itself.  Please talk to your doctor about the timing of resuming or starting a fitness program soon after giving birth.

Hopefully by this point I’m preaching to the choir, but just in case I’m not, here are a few other benefits for your children by working out with them:

  • Reduce their stress levels (yes, kids get stressed these days. Monkey see, money do, I suppose.  Not only are they less stressed and have a better outlook on life, and they are better equipped to handle physical and emotional challenges that regular life will throw at them)
  • Bonding through play time
  • Encourage a positive attitude around fitness and activity
  • Strengthens their muscles and bones
  • Decrease their likelihood of becoming overweight and developing diabetes
  • Ahhh, they sleep better (and so will you!)

Regardless of the activity you choose to do with your child, a sense of playfulness and connection really is the bottom line.  The engagement, interaction, kisses, giggles and high fives will go a long way to making this really work for you.  Ensure with each activity, you are more than the sideline parent cheering their play time on (you were asking how you could get fit, weren’t you?).  Make sure they see YOU initiating and having fun, sweating, breathing a little harder and never giving up.

Statistics also show that the biggest decrease of exercise seen in women were those that were first time moms (married and single).  Conversely, men’s exercise routines didn’t seem to change after becoming parents!  Hmmm, let’s pause for consideration, shall we?

Let your kids help you succeed in fitness!


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