I recently joined Instagram. Well, I think I may have joined it years ago but I never touched it. I decided to download the app again and see how it is. I just started clicking and eventually found myself on the profile of what seemed to be a new mom. She had several photos of her breastfeeding her little one who seemed to be about 3-4 months old. One photo bothered me. It was her on her ELLIPTICAL breastfeeding her baby. The caption said how her baby needed to eat but she didn’t want to skip out on her time of working out so she was just going to breastfeed while using the elliptical.
I am all for breastfeeding. I breastfed my two kids and am currently breastfeeding my third. I am all for multitasking (although Shane wishes I would stop multitasking while cooking supper lol). But that was a very dangerous situation that woman was putting herself and her baby in. And I could add here, for every 1 oz of breast milk I produce I burn 20 calories. So JUST by breastfeeding I can burn at least 500 calories in a day. Anyway, all that to say that I have put together a little list of ways I exercise and get active SAFELY with my kids.
1. GO FOR A WALK. Isn’t that clever? Seriously though, it’s our favorite way to get active. Sometimes I pile all the kids in my stroller. I have a sit and stand stroller so I can fit three kids in it. Sometimes I wear Pepper and let the older ones run all over. Sometimes we have a destination in mind like the park, library, cafe, or church. Sometimes we just walk until we are ready to find a road that leads home (one of the reasons I love Inuvik).
2. DANCE. I put on some classical music or maybe some Pride and Prejudice and we dance our hearts out. I have done this with William since he was a tiny guy. We still love it. This is a great way to get your heart rate up. The kids take turns being held and swung around by me. It’s a lot of fun.
3. PLAY TAG. I guess you have to have at least one older child to enjoy this, but the kids can’t get enough of it. I usually carry Pepper so she can get in on the fun. But sometimes I let her watch while I chase the kids all over the house. It’s a lot of fun to act like a kid again!
4. PUSHUPS. Pep LOVES this. I lay her below me and everytime I go down I give her a kiss on a different part of her face.
5. SQUATS. Just hold baby in your arms as you go up and down. Better than weights!
6. LUNGES. Same as squats!
7. PLANK. Basically the same as pushups. Just lay baby beneath you and talk to her/him. It helps the time to go by faster,too.
8. CRUNCHES. This depends on the age of your baby. But I lay Pep on my legs so every time I come up I give her a funny face. But once baby is a little more mobile this wouldn’t be as safe.
9. RUSSIAN TWISTS. This one is sort of confusing to explain, but I will try. Get in the position like you are going to do sit ups. Bring your upper body 3/4 of the way up and hold there for the duration of the exercise. Now hold baby and move her from one side of your body, up, then to the other side of the body.
10. MARCHING IN PLACE. Easy enough. Just hold baby while you march in place.
I LOVE working out with my kids. They always like getting their “workout clothes” and sneakers on when they see me getting ready. Jenn even has a shirt that she only wears when she does push ups haha. I have never required my kids to workout but I do require them to be active. I am trying to teach them that being active is fun. Try this list, and let me know if you have more ideas to add to it!