It is a priority of mine to get at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise 5 days a week.  It is my way of keeping myself fit no matter how much weight I’m carrying.  Exercise is a sure fire way for me to fight depression as well.  I have heard that is true for many people.  I’ve been someone who has exercised or been an athlete my whole life.  Since having kids, it has had to involve a bit more invention and planning.  The following are my suggestions on how to get exercise in when being the primary caregiver of small children.

  • For those with infants and small toddlers, purchase a mei-tai carrier.  I have mentioned where to find them in other posts.  This will allow you to at least walk or hike with your child in tow.  It is also good for increasing your fitness level because as the baby grows (weighs more) it provides more of a challenge as you will have the need.
  • Check out Spark People on YouTube.  There are several cardio exercises that last no more than 10 minutes each.  There are also strength training and toning exercises.  Do these either as interval work, or when you need a quick workout.  Keep in mind it is okay to break up your exercise time.  It is still beneficial.
  • Buy some Parent and Baby exercise DVDs.  There are two made by Parents Magazine that are excellent.  One is for Babies and one is for Toddlers/Preschoolers.  I also have really enjoyed Dance Baby Dance by Infantastic.  I don’t believe they are in business anymore, but you can still find the DVDs on Ebay.  Gurmukh Khalsa has a great postnatal yoga DVD as well.  My girls have enjoyed all of these DVDs.  Not only am I exercising, but I get some quality play in with them as well.
  • Ask your partner, friend or relative for help.  Making exercise a priority may also mean you need to ask someone else to entertain or watch after the children while you exercise.  My husband watches the girls once a week so I can do the 1 1/2 hours of Ultimate Taebo.

Mostly, I exercise while my girls are awake.  I have other things (like writing) to do while they are sleeping.  This is the way I get it done.  I don’t belong to a gym with childcare.  That is not in our budget.  I may never have a Madonna body, but that’s fine.  I get the results I want from my way of working out at home.  I am fit cardiovascularly, and I’m taking it up a notch with some strength training.  I am working on my first week of the 100 Push-Up Program.  I’ll report back on what that does for me.

*Now, I’m off to the fair city of Pikeville for Hillbilly Days.  Please check back in Monday to see my documentation of the festivities and our involvement in them.  It’s sure to be a hoot of a time.

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