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Thread: Exercise with kids in tow - don't know where to start! page

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    busybee's Avatar
    busybee is offline Junior Member
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    Exercise with kids in tow - don't know where to start!

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    Hi everyone, first post here so please be gentle

    I'm a bit stuck with what to do for exercise. I realise this seems like a stupid thing to say, but I haven't exercised in years. I am desperately unfit, I also have arthritis (in my hands but all my joints are VERY stiff).
    I have a baby and toddler in tow literally everywhere I go with very little help babysitting-wise so whatever I do needs to be something I can drag them along to.... gym is not an option here! I walk 20-40 minutes 3 or 4 times a week pushing a monstrously heavy buggy, but that's about it.

    I'm especially not sure about the sprinting thing - not sure the little ones would be too happy if I sprinted away from them! Does lifting a child count as 'lifting heavy things'?? Help please.

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    MissJecka's Avatar
    MissJecka is offline Senior Member
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    There are some options...

    1) Play with them! A lot! Keep the baby strapped to your chest or in the carriage while you kick/roll a ball to your toddler. Play tag. Go to a pool and swim with them. Push the older one in a swing and turn it into a singing game while the little one is in the carriage. Toss them in the air. Have crawling races (if your baby is old enough to crawl). Buy a kiddie slide for your yard, if you have one, and run around with them in your own home playground. Be a kid and play like a kid WITH your kids. Exercise doesn't have to be synonymous with sweating your butt off in a congested gym. And, yes, pushing your child's stroller and carrying your baby definitely counts as "lifting heavy things"!

    2) If you do want to go to a gym, many have daycare/babysitting on site. Drop your kids off, work out, and pick them up all in the same building!
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    magicmerl's Avatar
    magicmerl is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by busybee View Post
    Does lifting a child count as 'lifting heavy things'?? Help please.
    It ABSOLUTELY does. And the best bit is that your resistance training will increase as they grow so you will get stronger just doing the same things

    One thing I have done is bench pressed my kids, with me lying on the floor. When they outnumber you you will get tired of it long before they do. Or you can lift them up off the ground to over your head (wheeee!) and down again. Again, see how long it takes for them to get tired.

    Or you can climb trees with them.... (put the baby in a sling or front pack and make monkey noises as you go for extra style points)
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    Walking is the best starting point for any excersie programm, find reasons to walk more with the kids. After that yes lift the kids, and play, and you can start a very short bodyweight programme maybe once a week to start with.

    My OH had various health issues that meant even walking 10 mins was painful, so we started off with 5 mins a day (after adjusing her gaite so it wouldn't cause pain) now she can walk 4 miles fine. I also gave her a very basic bodyweight program, 10 wall push-ups, 15 squats, 10 2 leg assist pull ups and 15 lying knee raises just one round at first, takrs less than 10 mins with the warm up, and she says she feels stronger for it.
    Bottom line, it dosn't have to be hard or take a long time to do you good.
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    I got fit after both pregnancies through walking and playing with the kids. I should mention I spent my twenties quit heavy, so after having my first at 28 it took me 10 months to lose any pregnancy weight. Once I started walking, with stroller and eating better it just fell off. The walking made second pregnancy and return to form much easier. Within a year of second baby, I was better off than I had ever been. All just walking and doing leg lifts with kids...
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    busybee's Avatar
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    Thanks! Lots of food for thought there

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    i have used my kids as weights to do turkish getups, its pretty cool and they like it.

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    Had the ultimate workout today with my 2 and 4yo. We have several inches of wet snow on the ground. So bundled everyone up and startedwith shoveling. When that work was done I helped the kids with their snow fort. Then came inside and hung a curtain rod in DS's room. I can definitely feel that my muscles were used and I'm not that out of shape.

    You should also be able to do 3 of 4 of the movements in PBF since they require no equipment. The pull-ups you can do at the park too. My kids love trying to do the same movements and "exercising". They're getting pretty strong too.

    When the weather is nice I do take my kids to the park and sprint. You don't mention the age of your kids, but last summer when they were barely 2 and 4 we would go down to the park. They would either play on the swings/slides or follow me. They thought it was great fun and they also knew at the end they got pushes on the swing. It's somewhat amazing how flexible kids can be when we let them, and it can be crazy what they find as fun!

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    If you gotta YMCA or other gym there are many that have "kid watch" hours. If you don't wanna pay or go to the gym then there are already some excellent recs here.

    I personally take mine to the park as often as I can. While there I do all kinds of silly stuff. Play tag, climb the jungle gym, race the kids, dips and pullups on various rails... ect.

    Toddler tosses are fun too.... just be sure to catch them

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    Chanda's Avatar
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    Thanks for starting this thread. I have a one year old toddler and was also wondering how I was going to fit in getting enough exercise. This makes it a lot easier!

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