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Tips for Getting Exercise When You Have Kids

By Brian Acton

Whether you have kids in school or an infant at home, taking care of your family is a time-consuming job. Between doctor’s visits, after school activities, playdates and your other everyday obligations, finding time to stay in shape can seem impossible. But exercise is an important aspect of a healthy lifestyle, and you may be looking for ways to squeeze an exercise routine into your busy schedule.

There are ways to fit exercise into your routine. Here are five tips for getting exercise when you have kids.

  1. Get Exercise When You Can

For busy parents, the perfect time to work out might not exist. If you wait for an uninterrupted chunk of 60 minutes to work up a sweat, you could be waiting for a long time. Instead, you can look for small opportunities to get short workouts - 15 minutes here, 30 minutes there. If you take advantage of short chunks of time to exercise, those quick workouts can add up.

  1. Exercise With Your Kids

When you find ways to exercise with your kids, you won’t need to wait for child-free time to get a good workout. The methods will depend on the age and ability of your kids - parents of infants may want to invest in a jogging stroller to take their babies along for a run, while parents of older children may want to play sports with their kids or have a weekly family fitness night. Whatever your family looks like, find opportunities to exercise with your kids, rather than apart form them.

  1. Build a Home Gym

Don’t have time to get to the gym? Bring the gym home to you. A home gym can be as complex or as simple as you want it to be - you’re only limited by budget and the available space in your home. You may want to invest in expensive equipment like a treadmill or elliptical machine, or keep it simple with some free weights and a jump rope. Check out our tips on building a gym for home workouts.

  1. Schedule Workout Time with Your Partner

Your partner can help support your desire to get a consistent exercise routine. If they can make themselves available to watch the kids for an hour or so a few times a week, you can use that time to get in your workouts. If they want to get exercise (or pursue any other activities, for that matter) you can return the favor when you’re available.

  1. Get a Babysitter
Need a worry-free afternoon to get in a workout and handle other business? Get a regular babysitter. This may involve calling the grandparents or paying a professional if you can afford it. You’ll get a solid few hours to exercise (and handle any other pressing business as well).
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