When you become a new parent, the exhaustion and lack of sleep can really get you down. For some, it is hard to find the time to shower, much less get a good work out in. It is possible to find time for you, even when it feels like your days are blending together into one big mess.
Work outs are a great way to get your body back, and get your old stamina back. You may think you are getting enough exercise by running up and down the stairs with loads of laundry. But a good healthy work out can make you feel better for the rest of the day.
Take Time for You
It is very important to take time for yourself, even when you have a new little one. When my first son was born, I did not even consider working out. My days seemed like a whirl wind and at times. I did not even know what day it was. My life was like this until I figured out a schedule for myself. Planning is very important when a new baby is present. Here is how to find “you time.”
Your baby has a similar schedule each day, it may not feel like it, but they do. Write down what time your child eats and naps each day. You will see a similar trend. Plan your time around this. When your child lays down to take a nap, take advantage of this time.
Plan small work outs at first and build up as your child takes longer, less frequent naps.
When Your Children Get Older
It is just as important for your children to get exercise. Finding an exercise program that incorporates you children into it. To get your children to help work out with you. Keep it fun and light hearted. Kids think that any physical activity is fun.
Keep the workout within your child’s physical limitations. For instance, a four year old cannot understand a 10 step count. Break step counts down to two or three steps and do them in repetition. Example:
My four year old loves to kick and punch. We do Tae Bow together. If there is a Kick, punch, knee, touch the floor, kick, punch, knee, touch the floor. We break it down into the simple kick, punch, knee touch the floor. We leave it at one set and then start again until he gets the hang of it. Once he gets the hang of it, we move up in the number of times we do go through it before we stop.
Our Exercise Routine
My children have ADHD, so we try to keep our exercise routine active and fun, something that will keep their attention. We do jumping jacks, run in place, and jog around the yard. I build their attention span by changing up the routine daily to keep it fresh and make them pay attention. Adding exercise balls, and small weights can draw their attention in more. Weighted exercise balls make a perfect choice when bouncing a ball back and forth. Due to the sand in the bottom of the ball, you never know where the ball may go. Also, it helps build their arm muscles because the ball weights two to three pounds more than a regular bouncy ball.
Benefits to Your Child
The health benefits to your child do not end at physical fitness. Working out with mom and dad teaches hand eye coordination and large and small muscle control. It teaches focus and shows them a healthy outlet for excess energy.
Make working out fun, do not make it feel like a chore. Keep your children engaged by switching it up on occasion. Using an exercise ball is a great way to make exercise fun.
When Not to Exercise
Do not let your child exercise at least four hours before bedtime. I have made this mistake and it does not result well. Exercise tends to get the blood pumping and increases oxygen to the muscles. This can lead to you having a very excited child when it is bed time. This could cause them not to be able to rest well.