HOW TO WORKOUT AND KEEP UP YOUR EXERCISE ROUTINE WHILST JUGGLING KIDS ON SCHOOL HOLIDAYS
During term time it’s easy to get into a routine where we can fit our regular workouts into our day. The school run might be a stressful nuisance, but once the kids are in school, we have our daily routine and within that, we fit in a workout. When school kicks out for the summer, we have six or more weeks where our routine goes out the window. Whether we’re still at work and ferrying the kids to childcare, or we’re home with them all day, getting that precious hour to workout can often seem like it’s on hold until September.
Like all things though, if we’re committed to our exercise routine, we can find a way to fit it in somehow. Here are some top tips to help you keep up your exercise routine whilst juggling the kids on school holidays.
Make the park a workout
All kids love going to the park, right? Even if it’s raining, most children will happily put on a raincoat and head to the park to blow off some steam. Don’t just trudge along with them and sit on a bench while they have their fun; put on your trainers and join in! There are plenty of things you can do to keep up your exercise routine whilst still keeping an eye on the children playing on the slide: run sprints up and down the path; do step-ups, pull ups or push ups on park equipment; the world is your oyster! Check out this article for a great playground workout. Some parks may actually have an outdoor gym in them, which you can use while the kids are on the swings. Check with your local council to see if there’s a park gym near you.
Seize any chance
You don’t need to have a dedicated hour set aside to work out; think creatively. Make use of your activity tracker to make sure you’re taking as many steps as possible each day, and find ways to be active: walk around the supermarket instead of getting your weekly shop delivered; chase the kids around the garden instead of watching from the kitchen; go for walks; treat the kids to a trip to a trampoline park, and join in with them!
Family bike ride
The UK has a fantastic network of cycle paths, so we can take the kids out on a bike ride safely, without having to negotiate traffic on busy roads. Dust off your bikes and go out together for a long ride; you could even pack a picnic to have while you’re out. If you don’t fancy cycling, get the kids on their bikes or scooters, and you can run alongside them.
Do Shorter workouts
You don’t need a full hour spare to fit in a workout; it’s nice to spend an hour in the gym; that can be as good for your mental health as your physical health. But you don’t need all that time to maintain your fitness levels. If you can drop the kids at a friend’s house or with Granny, you can fit in a great workout in a much shorter space of time. Investigate the benefits of HIIT or burst training. This video from The Body Coach is a great place to start.
Just work out in the living room!
We often underestimate children’s ability to just entertain themselves for half an hour; they’ll happily play with a toy, colour a picture or play on the tablet while you can crack on with your workout. Also by carrying on with your workout with them around, you set a good example about being healthy and fit. If your children see you making the effort to exercise they see not only that you value your fitness, but also that you are committed to maintaining a routine, and that you can be flexible around different circumstances. These are all great things for children to learn about. Obviously, you can’t do a full on workout at the gym while your kids camp out at the end of the treadmill, but putting on a dvd or YouTube video in the house, or taking a skipping rope or resistance band to the park with you is a great way to show children, this is how we stay in shape.
Our routine can often go out the window during the school holidays, and that can make it hard to stick with regular exercise. You might not be able to make your regular lunch time spin class, but you can still maintain your fitness and exercise regularly through the summer holiday.