How to fit in exercise around children and inspire them to love fitness
In October, I joined a health club and I absolutely love it. Despite the fact I love being outside (and I still train outside a few times a week!), it’s a great option for someone like me who’s a single Mum of twins and has them every weekend by myself.
Recently, I’ve signed them up for swimming lessons every Friday night and we’ve been swimming together for fun around three times a week on top of that. It’s great for them as it keeps them active and it’s great for me, because it gets me out of the house and kills some time. I can also put them in the kids club for an hour if I want a workout before hand. Win-win for all!
What dawned on me was how many women just sit in the cafe whilst their kids swim, drinking a latte and eating a flapjack, when they could be in the pool having a workout as only one lane is used for lessons! As a busy Mum, I’m all for killing two birds with one stone and being as efficient with my time as possible. I’m also one for not wasting calories on things you don’t really need and trying to burn as many calories you can in a day without too much effort! I’m not criticising these women as such, it’s just that I don’t think they’ve necessarily thought of a plan B!
So as my boys have their swimming lesson, I get in that pool and swim as fast as I can for thirty minutes. Many people think you need to have an hour to train, but you don’t! It’s far better to do something for half an hour than nothing at all! It’s a great way for me to end a busy week with a nice swim in a pool, especially now the weather is colder. On the very odd occasion I might have had a really busy week and perhaps feel like relaxing rather than training on a Friday night, I sit in the Jacuzzi for 30 minutes and chill, as oppose to having sugar and caffeine to pick me up or make myself feel better or relaxed.
In our other fun swimming sessions, I realized that the boys are really happy jumping in and out the pool now, diving to get their rings, and playing games together.. Yes I love to play with them and encourage them too, but I make a deal with them that I swim four lengths really fast against the clock whilst they play, then I stop for a few minutes and do things with them. Now obviously this is a big break through for me now the boys are old enough to play together and swim well (YES! One advantage to having twins!) and I probably couldn’t have done this before now (and there is a life guard on duty the whole time). But look for those opportunities to move more and when they arise grab them!
The boys love playing with the noodles and as a former aqua aerobics teacher, I decided that whilst they are playing on the noodles next to me, I could be doing my own abs workout on my noodle! So on Sunday nights, we go for an hour and for at least half of that I can get a great abs workout done, It’s Tuesday as I type this and my obliques are ruined from it! We also play the shark game where we have to chase each other – great for all of us as we do short sprint swims whilst having an absolute ball!
I love doing my online videos from the Sugar HIIT and the Best Body – my current favourites being the Pilates and HIIT videos, I don’t even have to leave my house! So I set my alarm to do a couple before they get up, or I even do them as they watch a film or play a game.
The point of me sharing these examples is that we can all make excuses that we don’t have time to train. But look for fitness opportunities around you. Even last night as I was playing football with my twins in the garden, I was doing some jumping jacks and sprints around playing with them, just because I hadn’t managed to train myself on Monday. We walk on average 26 miles less a week than we did in the seventies, that’s the equivalent to a marathon! How scary is that?!
Get involved with your children’s fitness and health, inspire them with your examples and actions. Get excited about moving as much as you might baking cakes.
If you complain about exercising, they will pick up a negative message from you about keeping fit. If you complain about the size of your bum, they will pick up negative body image. If you complain about eating rabbit food and being on a diet, they will associate healthy eating with something that is a chore not a joy.
Many of my Fit for a Princess clients who are new Mums bring their babies along to class and see getting back into shape as a positive and fun thing to do. Their children will associate being in the park and getting fit as a happy experience and will grow up seeing their Mums move and have fun at the same time, what a great message to pass on
Even on holiday, I was thinking the more I run up and down the slide stairs and whizz down fast with my twins, the more I can enjoy some nice food and wine, guilt-free at the end of the day! Yes holidays are for relaxing, but when you make activities fun, they can be relaxing too. I was also astounded just how many Mums wouldn’t even get on the slides or jump in and get their hair wet (that’s a whole other blog!). The best thing about activities like this is that it doesn’t only burn calories, it makes you feel so good for reverting back to being a child and my god will you create some happy memories as a result!
I believe in the ripple effect of health. It’s starts from you and it starts from the home out. Women are the nutritional gatekeepers of homes all around the country, and I believe that they are the exercise inspirers too, particularly for girls.
Be the change you want to see and make it easy for yourselves along the way too!
Our online bootcamps run all year round and up and coming dates include, Monday 6th June, Monday 4th July and Monday 12th September. For more info and to book your place visit HERE.
Hope this blog finds you happy and healthy!