How do we fit in a workout without childcare during these times?
If two parents are home, one great option is each spending 30 minutes to an hour by ourselves to get that workout in. But for many right now who might be working from home, possibly with older children remote learning or those who have partners who are essential workers, this may not be an option.
So here’s a few tips for getting in your workout when you have small children at home:
1) Wake up early
If you can get your workout in first thing in the morning you will feel accomplished for the rest of the day. It may not be appealing to set that alarm clock an hour earlier but you will be glad you did.
2) Break up your Workouts
Small children generally have small attention spans and may not give you a full 30, 45 or 60 minutes straight to workout. So instead think about breaking up your planned workout into 15 minute chunks to get it done. For example: Your workout plan called for 3 sets of 15 repetitions of 5 exercises. Try to get set 1 done in one chunk of time, set 2 in during someone’s nap, ect…
3) Be Dressed and Ready
If you have to break up your workout during the day, or if you are planning on trying to fit it in during a nap time then make sure you are ready to workout before that time so you don’t have to waste that precious workout time preparing. This can also mean pulling out any weights you might need, unrolling the yoga mat and having water ready. I suggest planning your space either the night before or first thing in the morning.
4) Involve the Kids
Sometimes this is the only option. Young children and babies may not be sleeping through the night so setting your alarm early may not be feasible and that precious nap hour (if it exists) maybe better used prepping or preparing a meal, attending a Zoom meeting for work or for another pressing task. So think about ways you might be able to include your kids in your workout safely. I tend to do Reverse Lunges when I am pushing the kids in their swings. My three year old likes to climb on my back during pushups (I can safely handle her weight so it is safe). What ways might you get your workouts in with your children and what workouts do you need to use one of the other tips to get them done?
5) Be Flexible
Right now with a spouse who is an essential worker and not home very much I try to use all these tips and still sometimes it just doesn’t work out as planned. My three mile run might turn into a family walk with the dog. I may have had my workout heart set on Corrine’s Body Weight Strength class but we end up doing Stacey’s Kids Zumba. It’s still movement and we are still living a healthy lifestyle even during these atypical exercise times. Be flexible and go with it!
Works Training Academy Personal Trainer and Coach