As a busy mom, my to-do list feels infinitely long. Some days workouts fall to the way side in favor of spending more time with my kids or getting just one more task done. Other days I feel as if I have ignored the kids so that I could work out. This morning my 4 year-old reminded me that exercise can be fun and that it can be shared. We spent nearly an hour today playing Tag and Follow-the-Leader through the house. We did lunges, crabwalks, bear crawls, hops and a number of unnamed activities. By lunchtime I was tired and sweaty and my daughter was smiling and giggling, basking in the undivided attention.
Increasingly, studies are finding that such activities are better for us than hours spent in a gym. The term experts are using is – functional exercise. This is any exercise that mimics how you use you body in daily activities.For moms this may would include lifting weights (i.e. our kids), sprinting (game of tag),balance/core stregthening and whatever else we need to live our lives withouth worry of fatigue or injury. Playing is a great way to strengthen your body while spending time with family. Next time you are at the playground with the kids do a couple of squats while you wait at the bottom of the slide or push the swing while standing on one foot. Perhaps you could play hide-and-see or frisbee. Exercise doesn’t have to be boring and it doesn’t have to feel isolating. Not only will playing help you stay in shape, the laughter that you will share will feed your soul.
-A note for those of you who want some adult time along with your work out, check out the Fit4Mom organization which specializes in helping moms get their bodies back without having to leave the kids at home. This is a great way for both moms and kids to have social time as well as for moms to get a workout.