4 Strategies to Exercise When the Kids are Home

Hi Lisa,

I love your blog and I’m hoping you can give me some suggestions.  My kids are home for the summer and it’s really hard for me to exercise.  I’m busy (and full of excuses too.)  My children are 7 and 4 years old.

Dear J,

Thanks for reading my blog!  First, let me validate you:  yes, it is hard to exercise when the kids are home.  Second, let me commend you for calling yourself out about making excuses.

“I have no time to exercise because I’m a mom” is an excuse (and a really, really good one!)  Heck, I held on to that one till my oldest was almost five years old.  Any excuse that is semi-plausible for a half decade is an awesome excuse in my opinion.

But just because you have a valid excuse doesn’t mean you have to use it, right?  So throw out the baby mama drama and get your workout on.  Here are some tips for you.

Honey, the kids are home and they took over your exercise equipment
Honey, the kids are home and they took over your exercise equipment

4 Strategies to Exercise When the Kids are Home

1.  Exercise while the kids are sleeping.  This is the least painful way of getting the job done with minimal disruption to anyone’s routine beyond your own.  It requires you to wake up earlier.  This is a bummer, for sure, but after you get used to it you will crave it like you crave air.  Early morning is quiet, you don’t have to worry about anyone’s needs beyond your own, and you get to check exercise off your to do list before even having the first cup of coffee.  Go you!

2.  Figure out your kids’ currency.  In my house computer games and TV time are a privilege and not a right.  Every time my kids do a chore or extra homework they get cotton balls for their jar.  Each cotton ball is worth five minutes of game time.  When they reach an hour, I let them cash them in so they watch TV/play games and I can do cardio.  Win-Win.

Find out your kids' currency
Find out your kids’ currency

So my suggestion to you is to figure out which activities will keep your kids engaged, safe, and within earshot while you do an exercise video.

3.  Exercise with your kids.  My friend, Meghan, does a yoga class with her son and they love it.  You can check your local YMCA or community rec center to see what they offer.  You don’t even need a formal class; you can simply go to the park.

Admit it: This looks pretty fun to climb
Admit it: This looks pretty fun to climb

Play tag, climb the monkey bars, jump up on rocks, and do push ups on a park bench.  You’re kids will like the idea that you’re a “cool mom” playing with them and you’ll like the idea of getting in a quick workout.

4.  Get them to play coach.  My daughter, Rylee, has a nickname: The Enforcer.  She loves rules and calling you out if you break one.  She is my trainer at home.  After I do cardio I finish with toning exercises for a set time, like 2 minutes of dumbbell curls, 2 minutes of stomach crunches, etc.  Rylee is in charge of holding the timer, and boy she doesn’t let me miss a second!  One of the exercises yesterday was to do push ups and I started on my knees and she was like, “Mom, why are you on your knees?  That’s not a real push up!”  (She’s also the kid most likely to nark me out to my trainer if I cheat on my meal plan.)  My son is an easier coach.  “That’s okay, Mommy, I still love you even though you can’t do a push up.”

My personal trainers
My personal trainers

Whether you exercise with them, while they are sleeping, when they are engaged in other activities nearby, or have them act as your coach, the point is that you can find ways to exercise even when the kids are home.

Beyond your own benefits (exercise helps you sleep, calms you down, and makes you stronger,) you are also modelling for them healthy behaviors that they will hopefully incorporate into their own life.

Hope that helps!

Do you have any fitness questions you’d like to ask me?  Send me an email at sheslosingit.net@gmail.com and it might become a blog post!

Lisa 😉

Lisa Traugott is a Mom’s Choice Award winning writer, fitness blogger, wife and mom of two.  Her book, “She’s Losing It!”  is available at Amazon.com.High Resolution Front Cover.4837209

ShesLosingIt.com (c) 2015 Lisa Traugott. All rights reserved. No portion of this blog, including any text, photographs, video, and artwork, may be reproduced or copied without written permission.


2 thoughts on “4 Strategies to Exercise When the Kids are Home

    1. If you think I’m a genius you really are lacking sleep, lol. Insomnia always comes and goes with me, but at this point I’m looking at it as a self discipline thing and it’s really tough for me too.

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