It is unfair that swimsuit season collides with summer vacation. You have established a workout routine since setting a New Year’s resolution to look great in your new bathing suit. And boom! School ends, the kids are home and suddenly that exercise routine must take a vacation.
Well, maybe not.
Your weekly exercise routine might go on hiatus for a few months when the kids aren’t in school, but that doesn’t mean you have to entirely abandon your commitment to physical fitness just because the school bell stopped ringing. These nine ideas can help you incorporate the kids into your weekly workouts.
1.Get the right gear to prepare you for being on the go.
To help plan for an energetic summer, invest in the right equipment, from shoes to storage units. Chasing after a toddler counts as a workout, so be sure to purchase a decent pair of walking or running shoes. Want to kick your daily walks up a notch? Add some ankle weights. Keep a water bottle at your side.
Remember, you might not have access to your gym locker room for a few months. But that doesn’t mean losing track of your phone, keys, and ID. The Armpocket makes a great gift for any parent on the go. Keep your cell phone, keys and other important items at arm’s reach but allow your hands to be free so you can tend to the little one at your feet.
2.Check the childcare at your gym.
You may not have utilized your fitness club’s childcare services during school, but it will come in handy now. Ask about available services. Your kids can finger paint and color while you continue that kickboxing class you started in January.
3. Incorporate the stroller into your exercise routine.
If your kids are still in strollers, look for Stroller Strides or similar workout programs in your area. Instructors include songs and activities in the routine to keep babies entertained while moms experience a program that incorporates power walking and body toning exercises.
4. Don’t forget that family time burns calories, too.
In addition to trips to the ice cream shop and lunch outings at favorite restaurants, make sure quality family time includes quality fitness time. Go for a hike, ride bikes, or take the dog for a walk. Rainy days? That’s what the Wii is for!
5. Paddle baby around the pool.
It’s tempting to place the baby in a boat float and stand in shallow water while chatting with other moms. But walking around the pool and lifting your little one up and down burns more calories. Are your kids old enough to sit by themselves for a few minutes? If so, swim some laps, especially if your swimming pool offers an adult swim every hour!
6. Turn chore day into dance day.
Crank the tunes and turn up the cleaning pace a notch. Housekeeping burns 75 to 125 calories per hour. Dancing burns calories, too. Create a fast dance playlist, hit play, and go to work. Music makes you move faster — and burn more calories. Show the kids that chores can actually be fun.
7. Get outside.
You don’t need a gym to work out. What outdoor chores can you and the kids enjoy around the house that keep you moving? Weeding the garden and washing the car come to mind.
8. Introduce your kids to some “oldie-but-goodie” games.
What do Hopscotch, Four Corners, Freeze Tag, and Hide-And-Go-Seek have in common? All are games from our youth that exhausted us after hours of play. Don’t just explain the game to your kids — show them how it’s done!
9. Keeping fit while keeping still.
You might find yourself keeping watch at various soccer and baseball fields. That doesn’t mean you can’t tone your body at the same time. Consider some shape-while-you-sit stretches and exercises to get the muscles moving.
Summer vacation provides the chance for quality time with the kids. But family time needn’t replace workouts. The right planning allows you to enjoy a physically fit and amily-friendly summer all at once.
By: Kelli Robinson
Kelli is a freelance writer and career counselor whose articles have been featured in local, regional, and national print publications. She specializes in parenting and family topics. Her parenting column, “My Big Top World” is featured in North Carolina newspapers. A Pittsburg native, she now lives near Charlotte, NC with her husband, kids, cats, and dogs – and all the insanity that comes with them.