I’ve heard tons of moms sing the praises of in-gym child care. Drop off those littles, get your heart rate up (on purpose for a change), take a nice, long shower and maybe check some email in the cafe. I can totally see why that works for so many mamas and I wish I could get on board with that program.
Regular exercise has been a steady part of my life for as long as I can remember. But I’ve tried the gym and it’s not for me. I strongly prefer working out at home or hitting the neighborhood streets to get my cardio on. This was the case before and after my boys came along and turned my routine (and life) on its head.
I exercise for 30-45 minutes Monday – Friday. I’d like to make it 45 – 60 but it’s just not happening right now and I’ve learned to love the body I’m currently rocking. I do this because I am happy with my physical shape and want to maintain it, but more importantly, I do it because exercise helps me maintain a healthy mental and emotional state.
Without regular sweat sessions to reduce stress and increase dopamines, mama ain’t happy and you know what they say about when mama ain’t happy…
I stay (my version of) fit at home and no, it’s not when my boys are asleep. I have one in school so that helps a ton but I’ve also been doing this for both of their entire lives and the youngest, now 3, is finally catching on that when I’m exercising, I’m (mostly) not to be bothered. Do I have to stop sometimes to go potty or grab a toy that’s out of reach? Yes. Do I have to remind him a whole bunch of times to let Mommy finish and then we will play? Yes. Does he drive cars down my legs in down dog? OMG, yes. But it’s totally fine and we make it work.
And you can, too.
Yoga For $8-$10 per month you can subscribe to an online yoga channel and access enough content to keep your practice fun, refreshing, and rewarding. I have an account at mat2mat.com, where you will find tons of different teachers to choose from. What I love about this kind of subscription is that it’s very reasonable and if you want to change it up, you can cancel anytime and pick a different channel. I’ve also used Black Swan Yoga TV and Yoga with Adriene.
Stroller Walk/Jog/Run This is an obvious choice to get you and baby child out of the house while working up a sweat at the same time. With my first I was able to do this well into his 4th year but baby numero dos was not about it. He tolerated my long walks until he was about 2.5 when, sadly, my stroller cardio days came to an end.
Spinning Last year, right after my days of fast walking ended, we bought a stationary bike to put in our playroom. I needed a way to do some cardio that didn’t directly involve my son and figured this may fit the bill with the added bonus of being useful no matter the weather. And no, I did not buy a million dollar Peloton. We spent $250 on this puppy right here and after a year of use by me and my built-like-a-linebacker husband, it’s still going strong. We do spinning sessions on You Tube. My favorite is the Global Cycling Network, but there are tons of options to choose from.
Biking We live very close to the White Rock Creek trail which runs all the way to White Rock Lake. My little one hates the stroller but positively LOVES riding on the bike with me. When the weather is suitable for riding, which for us is a solid 9 months a year, we hit the trail for a 45 minute ride and both feel better for the effort. We have a WeeRide Kangaroo that attaches to the bike in front of my seat and we love it. Our youngest is almost too tall for it but we are ready with the WeeRide Co-Pilot we bought for our older son when that day comes.
YouTube After the birth of my sons when I wanted to kick-start my exercise routine, again I turned to YouTube to give me a little extra cardio that I could do while the baby did tummy time or played in the Exersaucer. I found so many quick 20 or so minute sessions that were effective and required no equipment at all. From pilates to HIIT to low impact…there is something for everyone. I have bad knees (thank you 6 years of cheerleading) so I can’t do burpees and all that hard core stuff. Shucks. But I found great workouts at Fitness Blender that worked well for me and my rickety knees.
It’s January. We all ate and drank our way through the holiday season and are likely looking to tighten things up. No, you don’t need a “new you” because you are great the way you are. But if you are looking for a way to reduce stress and get the blood pumping without a gym membership, you can certainly make working out at home work. Your kids will get used to it and after a few weeks, so will you.