Before I opened kd Closet, my husband and I owned a gym. We went out of business several years ago, but working out is still a major part of our lives. I’m one of the unlucky people who can exercise hours a day and it won’t make a difference unless I watch what I eat. So I’ve gained a bunch of weight since we closed the gym, even though I work out longer and harder than ever before. In fact, this is the most I’ve ever weighed and not been pregnant! So I have selfish intentions with this post, I’m publicly declaring I’m too fat and I need to clean up my eating. My hope is that now I need to be accountable to you and in a few months, I will write about some healthy, quick and easy recipes I’ve used to lose weight and feed my family.
I’m not an expert on fitness, though I was certified to teach group exercise classes for years, but I am an expert on working out with kids. Mindset is better motivation to exercise than anything else. I truly enjoy working out so I want to do it.
Here I am 38 weeks pregnant with my son, about to teach a Spinning class. I like working out so much (and hoped it would help me go into labor) that I continued teaching until the day before being induced with both babies.
I still love exercising and am a much better mom and wife if I take an hour or two to get a workout in, five or six days a week. But once I had kids that became a bit more challenging. The easiest way to exercise with kids is to workout before they wake up. A few days a week I go to a 6am Crossfit class at Crossfit Oviedo, an amazing place just a few miles from my house. If you live in the Orlando area, go check out Crossfit Oviedo, you will get an awesome workout in less than an hour! I get home just after 7 and can get them ready for preschool and out the door before doing cardio or getting to work in my home office. I have it easier than other parents because I am my own boss, make my own hours and work from home. This also means work is not really an excuse to skip a workout. If you ever see me post on Instagram at 8am, then I am multitasking and using the stairclimber while I create kd Closet social media posts. If you see me dropping my kids off at school, a sweaty stinky mess, I swear I’m not a dirtbag, I’m just on mom duty between workouts.
On weekends or days the kids do not have school, I like to bring the kids to the gym with me. They play in the gym’s kid’s club where they meet new friends, get a change of scenery and play with new toys. This isn’t always an option because the kid’s club is only open limited hours and if we can’t get ourselves together and loaded in the car early enough, we can’t go to the gym together. My other weekend fitness option is to get the kids involved in a workout. We live down a dirt road so even a short run pushing the kids in the jogging stroller is a great workout! After we run, my husband and I will set up stations in the yard so we can take turns playing with the kids and working out. We try to incorporate strength and cardio into most of our exercises because our kids don’t have the longest attention spans. And as a mom, I have become the queen of multitasking. Some of our favorite exercises are jump squats and lunges, push ups, burpees, jumping rope with a weighted jump rope, and box jumps. We try to get the kids involved, if we do suicides, we encourage the kids to run along and race. They have their own jump ropes, but they are only 2 and 4, so they don’t have the coordination to actually jump rope. We use sidewalk chalk and play hopscotch, which can be challenging if you hold dumbbells and squat in each square. If the kids play on the swingset, we mount the TRX straps on the playset or do jump squats between pushes on the swings. We even just got the kids these adorable adjustable dumbbells. They are super light when empty and can be filled with water or sand to add weight. Sometimes we even just do a yoga video in the playroom. The kids play with their toys, but wander over from time to time to do a bit of yoga.
The best way I have found to workout with kids is to do an active family activity. We drive to the state park just up the road and go on a short hike. Our jogging stroller converts to a bike trailer so we go out to brunch, go for a bike ride on a bike path, then end the ride at the frozen yogurt shop- I did tell you nutrition was my problem, right?
I know my family is more fortunate than most, we live in Florida where it is mild enough for fun outdoor adventures year-round. We were able to save some equipment from when we owned a fitness center so we did not need to invest in a home gym. My husband is nice enough to start getting the kids ready on days I am at early morning crossfit workouts. The gym I have a membership at has a great play area for the kids with sweet and caring staff. So trust me, I get that many of you may not find it as easy as I do to work out, but it will change your life. I have more energy and patience when I get to work out. I’m nicer to everyone when I take a bit of time for myself. Best of all, I know that I am setting a good example for my children. I hope that exposure to health and fitness at such a young age will make them choose playing outside as opposed to playing video games when they are older.
So what are your tricks for fitting fitness into your lives? Do your kids like to workout with you? What are some active activities you do as a family?