It’s not easy to work out with kids around. So much time is taken up by housework, employment, and spending time together as a family. But here are ten ways to work out with kids, you’ll be sure to find one that works for you.
10 ways to workout with kids
1. First thing in the morning
I know not everyone wants to wake up early in the morning so that they can work out. But it is a great way to fit a few more things into your day.
I like to get up, get dressed and get out the door for a walk. I don’t eat, have a coffee, or even brush my hair. It’s often early enough that there aren’t too many people up and about in my neighbourhood. Plus, I doubt I will see them again anyway! Often, there is enough time to have a shower before the day really gets started.
Naptime is a magical time when you have younger children. It’s the two or so hours of the day where I get the most done. And if I know there isn’t another chance for a bit of exercise later in the day; nap time is perfect.
3. When they are asleep at night
Just like nap time, I get a lot done after bedtime. I know sometimes it isn’t ideal to work out after dinner, but being done is better than nothing. And these days many gyms are open 24 hours, so if you have a partner at home now is the perfect time to sneak in a workout.
4. Go for a walk
As new parents, going for a walk is one of the best exercises you can get. You get some fresh air, vitamins D and
A short or long stroll is better than nothing. On a nice day, I like to walk to the shops when I need to pick up a few supplies. I also find a walk is a great way to go at my own pace and get some alone time. Plus, it helps my mental health.
5. Make use of a playpen
If you’ve got younger kids that are still small enough to be contained by a playpen, set it up near where you want to work out. You can get your workout done and keep an eye on them at the same time.
6. Gym with crèche
Some gyms offer a creche or childcare facility which can be a lifesaver for many people. A gym with a crèche allows parents to work out and maintain an active lifestyle which also promotes overall health and wellness for the whole family.
It’s convenient, allowing you to work out while knowing your child is well cared for.
It provides socialization and free play which can aid in child development.
It can also provide flexibility with a range of childcare options like drop-in care, half-day or full-day care.
A personal trainer can also provide information about proper form, minimising the risk of injury and foundational skills to get you started.
7. Workout with you
While it’s not always practical, get your kids working out with you. Often when I do yoga or a HIIT workout from exercise videos, I have a little copycat next to me trying to copy all the moves.
It’s one of the best ways to teach body awareness and healthy habits. Plus it’s something you can do in your own living room with just a yoga mat or small weights, no workout equipment required.
Find a YouTube channel for free workout videos with simple exercises:
- Blogilates for pilates style workouts
- Fitness Blender for high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts
- Alo Yoga for yoga and kids’ yoga
- Matthew Wood for fun games for fitness
- Workout Hotel for sport-specific workouts
8. Dance party
A dance party might be a bit unconventional, but it will still get the heart rate up, the blood pumping and the muscles moving. I’m not ashamed to admit I know the dance moves to some of The Wiggles’ songs and a few from Playschool.
9. Go to the park
Do not underestimate a trip to the park. As well as giving you a chance for some exercise, it’s also a great way to help wear out the kids. You can get the body moving by running around after them and playing on the equipment too. Bonus points if you walk or ride to the park!
The park is a great place to take turns creating an obstacle course with your kids.
As well as riding to the park, you can also take equipment like a soccer ball or frisbee, or play a game like red light, green light.
10. Find a partner
Find a partner, but not a workout partner! Enlist the services of someone you trust, like a family member, to look after your children so you can get in a workout.
11. Bike ride
Riding bikes with school-age kids is a fun workout for the whole family, that doesn’t feel like a workout.
Bike rides can provide an opportunity for families to spend quality time together, engaging in a shared activity that promotes teamwork and communication.
12. Play video games
It doesn’t seem like a productive habit to gain. But exercise and fitness are not what you would generally expect from a video game. The most important thing these games provide is fun exercises that give you a good workout with different fitness activities. On top of the physical benefits, video games can improve coordination and reflexes, problem-solving skills and stress relief.
These fitness-improving games are perfect for aerobic exercise:
- Ring Fit Adventure (Nintendo Switch)
- Just Dance (Nintendo Switch, PlayStation5, Xbox series X/S)
- Pokemon Go (iOS, Android)
- Nintendo Switch Sports (Nintendo Switch)
- Knockout League (VR)
13. Join a sports team
Do you remember how much fun it was to play a team sport when you were a kid? Well, there is no reason why you can’t still do that. By joining a sports team, you will be exercising on a regular basis. But the best benefit is the socialization that comes with teamwork toward a common goal – winning. You’ll build social connections, and communication skills, gain some stress relief, as well as help to improve cardiovascular endurance, strength, flexibility, and overall physical fitness.