When I was pregnant with my daughter I asked a friend of mine, a mother of three, "Don't you get bored staying home with the kids all day?" Looking amused she replied, "Oh, I find stuff to do." Now that my own daughter is a year old, I know why this question entertained my friend.
Between nursing, changing diapers, preparing meals (and cleaning up after those meals), visiting the playground, and trying to squeeze in a shower, being bored is something I wish for! Life as a stay-at-home parent isn't all about Bon-Bons and soap operas (thank goodness!). Stay-at-home parents work just as hard as those who clock in elsewhere, and often find themselves stuck in the same no-time-to-exercise trap.
Regular workouts can bring peace to your day and fitness to your body. If you're desperate for fitness but can't seem to find the time, all you need is some planning and a little creativity.
8 Ways to Work-In a Workout
- Exercise with your kids. If your kids are old enough, let them bike while you run or rollerblade. Hiking makes for a fun family activity that keeps everyone shape. Or, create a fitness course in the backyard, complete with jump rope, jumping jack, and pushup stations.
- Invest in a jogging stroller or a "kid trailer" for your bike. When you're pushing or pulling one of these, you're sure to get a good workout-your kids will enjoy it too! Another current trend is the StrollerFit class, where parents (with their stroller-age children) utilize strollers for a cardiovascular and strength-building workout. (Read "How to Choose a Jogging Stroller" for more tips.)
- Strap baby to you in a baby carrier. If your baby is too young to feel comfortable in a stroller, you can still exercise together. There are many comfortable baby carriers on the market, including slings, front carriers, and backpacks. Adding 10-20 pounds to your frame for a walk will boost calorie burn, helping you shed those extra pounds. And babies love to be held close to you. In fact, touching enhances brain development in infants, so as you get fitter, baby gets smarter!