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One of the hardest things for me to figure out lately is how to workout with the kids. A gym membership isn’t in the budget which means whatever I do I have to have them with me. I had been pushing them in the double jogging stroller but I wasn’t really seeing the results I was hoping for (read- my weight plateaued). Plus, the kids are NOT always cooperative. Some days it felt like I was stopping every 20 feet to pick up a shoes, get a cracker, refill a sippy cup etc.
I spoke with my doctor about my frustration with my weight loss plateau. She suggested HIIT workouts- High Intensity Interval Training. If you aren’t familiar with the concept it’s basically working out at max effort then taking a short break and repeating again. I nodded but mostly just sighed because I don’t have a gym membership and working out with my kids just seemed impossible.
I spent the summer half-heartedly running when I had the time and my weight has stayed the same. D started preschool and I decided I NEED to make time for me a priority. Being at home with them during the day I feel so much mom guilt; like every moment should be spent either playing with them or doing educational activities. And if I’m not doing that I should be cleaning, cooking, organizing etc. This is NOT realistic nor is it what’s best for my kids. They need to learn to entertain themselves and to develop creativity. And I need to be healthy in order to be a better mom and make sure that I’m around for them later. So, I made a decision.
I found a HIIT workout on YouTube and committed to it. I dropped D off at school, put 30 min of PJ Masks on for K, and got to work. I’ll be honest; I picked this one because it seemed short. Famous last words- I only made it through 3 of the 4 cycles. But, it’s really good! The only equipment I use is a Gaiam Yoga Mat I already had. I don’t even think you need that. The hardest part is starting. By Friday I made it through the entire thing! Not with great form and I felt like I was dying but I did it!
Post workout- sweaty, no filter, and kids toys everywhere.
Here’s the workout I’m doing- shoutout to Joe in case he ever sees this!
This probably seems like a silly post; it’s not a huge deal to workout but I think I had an idea in my mind of what it “needed” to look like so I just didn’t. I thought I needed a gym with childcare. I thought I needed to not use TV screen time for something “selfish.” But the reality is what I needed was to get over comparing what other people’s ideas of working out looked like and carve out something that works for my family. The hardest part was getting started.
I guess the reason I wanted to write this post is because I know there have to be other moms like me out there who want to workout but it seems impossible when the kids are so needy, a gym is so pricey, and time is so short. I wanted to let you know you can do it and it doesn’t have to cost a dime! It won’t always look professional and you might have a 2 year old doing burpees next to you while screaming “Gecko” like I do but none of that matters. What matters is you are creating a healthier you for yourself and for your children.
I think a HIIT workout is ideal for busy moms. The one I’m doing is only 30 min- 5 min warmup, 20 min HIIT, 5 min cool down. You can squeeze it in before the kids get up or after they go to sleep (or if you are really brave while they hang out with you like I do). Give yourself permission to give this time to yourself. Release the guilt, release the expectations, and just do it. You’ve got this!