Fit children of all ages into your fitness routine

Published 11:32 am Saturday, March 12, 2016

Everyone is so busy these days with work, school and raising a family. How is it possible to fit fitness into our busy lives?

Here are five ways busy moms can fit fitness into every stage of your children’s lives:

Kathy Johnson is the creative director for Albert Lea magazine and the Albert Lea Tribune. During her spare time she is a group fitness instructor at the Albert Lea Family Y.

Kathy Johnson is the creative director for
Albert Lea magazine and the Albert Lea
Tribune. During her spare time she is a
group fitness instructor at the Albert Lea
Family Y.

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1. When children are babies, this is super easy: Use them as weights. Sit-ups are perfect for this. Have your baby facing you on your belly and resting his or her back on your bent thighs. When you come up for a rep, give the baby a kiss and then go back down, keeping your shoulders off the floor. Lunges are another wonderful way to work out with a baby. Holding your baby close to you (and facing you), he or she will help with added weight as you do lunges! Your baby will love going up and down with you and will think its a fun game! Push-ups would be another great workout to do with a baby. Lay your baby on his or her back and get yourself into push-up position. This can be on your knees until you feel stronger. With your hands shoulder-width apart, go down to the floor, kissing your baby and then push back up. You can change up the push-up by widening your arms.

2. As your child gets older and is more mobile, you can change up your workout a little. Children love to copy what their parents do. Set a good example by working out with them. Do simple exercises that they can do right beside you. Squats are good, as well as skipping, jumping rope and anything that will get you and your toddler moving and their heart rate up. Toddlers also love yoga; pop in a yoga video and do the workouts together.

3. The pre-teen years can be challenging to incorporate exercises that are fun and beneficial for their growing bodies. Lift weights with your child. This is a great time to teach proper lifting form and a good time to bond with them. You can either do this at your local gym or buy weights for your home. Either way, spend time doing these together. Set goals with your child and watch their confidence grow as they achieve the goals. Make sure that your preteen’s workouts stay varied and fun. They will be more likely to stick with it in the long haul if they enjoy it.

4. Working out with a teenager can be fun and good for both of you in many ways. There are days when you just can’t get your teen to open up to you about life. Working out together can help break that silence that sometimes happens between a parent and a teenager. Running, walking and biking  together are great ways to get your heart rates up. Also, this is a wonderful time to chat with your teen about their life. Add music that your teenager loves to your workouts and just make the time together fun and a great way to bond with your teenager.

5. Yes, even as adults, your “children” still need to workout. You can both join a gym and take fitness classes together. This is a good way to hold each other accountable for your workout and a great way to spend time together. As we get older and busier, time is a rare item that is gone way too soon. Spend as much time being productive with your workouts and incorporate your kids as much as you can.

Bottom line, just make being active and working out fun at any stage in your child’s life. They will be much more likely to stick with it through their life and hopefully pass on those good habits to their children.