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Working Out at Home (with Kids) in 25 Easy Steps

Image Source: Thinkstock
Image Source: Thinkstock

Like so many others, I vowed to exercise more in the new year. And like many others, I had a great record of attendance for the first few weeks of January.

Then my toddler got a gnarly cold with an endlessly running nose and a thick cough, so I wasn’t able to take him to gym childcare for several days. So I was at a crossroads. Do I let this keep me from the gym all week or do I find an alternative?

I dusted off some of my old workout DVDs from 10 years ago and I tried working out at home. It was great for getting my heart rate back up, and a few laughs from the cheesy leotards and aerobicizing muzak.

Despite a cold, my child was acting as normal as ever, and it made working out at home all the more adventurous. Here is my guide to working out at home with kids:

  1. Insert disk into DVD player. Smile and roll your eyes when you see the host and the perfectly sculpted hard bodies in the background.
  2. Have an instant flashback to your childhood when your mom used to work out to Gilad on the beach and Jane Fonda. And maybe Sweatin’ to the Oldies a time or two.
  3. Observe your perfect angel child with his big eyes sitting on the couch watching you, wondering what you are doing.
  4. Politely answer his standard five questions in a row of, “What doing, Mommy? What doing?”
  5. Get a bottled water and a towel, as instructed.
  6. Start the video and march in place. Stretch arms and breath, as instructed.
  7. Let the toddler use big brother’s tablet on the coffee table, and pray for a good 35 minutes of distraction so you can complete your workout.
  8. Runner’s stretch. Breathe in and out. Feel relieved at a lot less self-consciousness working out at home.
  9. The tablet froze. Assist child with resetting the tablet and restarting the game. Get annoyed that you can’t find the DVD remote and missed the first set of instructions.
  10. Join in on the cardio segment. Wonder, how on Earth did I survive all of these jumping jacks 10 years ago? So much jumping. Oh right, no kids yet.
  11. Listen to instructions on pushups: “If I can do 10 pushups, anyone can do 10 pushups.” Yes I know, I can push pause if I need a break, good grief stop saying it.
  12. Attempt pushups while your toddler crawls under you saying “Bridge!” and lays across your back like a sack of potatoes.
  13. Realize that the extra weight, on top of not having done pushups for the last 10 years, is a no-go. Instruct child to get off of your back.
  14. Redirect child to stand next to you so they can do the workout, too.
  15. Realize that the child took you at your exact words and stood right next to you to do jumps.
  16. Spend the rest of the entire workout with extremely controlled movements, being careful not to accidentally kick, punch, step on, or run into said child.
  17. During the heaviest part of cardio, look behind you to realize the child with the endlessly running nose and thick cough is repeatedly drinking out of your water bottle.
  18. Run to the kitchen and hurriedly fetch a glass of water with your toddler right behind you.
  19. Turn up the ceiling fan on your way back into the living room. You’re really sweating now.
  20. Wonder if you are getting such a good workout because the DVD is that good, or because you’re working so hard to avoid nearby children.
  21. Resume workout. Cross your fingers that your toddler, who is now running back and forth diving head first into two padded chairs in the living room with a runny nose, remains injury-free.
  22. Finish out the cardio with a series of intense jumps and once again, feel your long-lost abs.
  23. Thank your lucky stars that you made it to the cool-down phase and wonder how you ever got through this on a regular basis 10 years ago.
  24. Eventually lay on your back for a full body stretch as your toddler jumps on you, wanting to play.
  25. Embrace them in a hug, celebrating the fact that your made it all the way through the tape, and realize that it was good for your child to see you working out, no matter how ridiculous it looked.

I remember how fun it was when we would work out alongside my mom many years ago, so I am grateful for this Plan B.

You probably get a much better workout at the gym, but working out at home and getting the kids involved can be a lot of fun too, despite the never-ending hassle. Cheers.

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Article Posted 4 years Ago

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