From three months after having my second daughter, I picked up home exercise. It was convenient, flexible and helped with time management to be able to turn on a video to follow from home. It gave me the opportunity to fit in a worthwhile, heart rate raising session without having to worry about childcare or a specific time for a gym class.
Between 3-6 months my daughter sat in her bouncer with some toys as I sweated through a 20-minute HIIT work out, every so often making her laugh along the way. From 6-9 months she sat up with her toys whilst I did the same. I continued through like this and now she is 5, she watches or joins me whilst I work out, shows me her far more flexible lunges and corrects me when I am not doing exactly what the video is showing me! My 8-year-old daughter wakes me up on a Saturday morning, asking when I will exercise and now regularly joins in my weekend sessions (and again tries to correct me or show me what she can do better!).
I have loved having my daughters watch me exercise. They have grown up seeing that exercising is an important part of my day and week and the reasons for this. We talk about what is hard to do and not, how to learn to listen to your body and they have seen the impact on their own fitness and flexibility.
It’s interesting what I have learnt too! I have been able to get involved in some of my daughter’s activities (however it’s not specifically called ‘exercise’). I have joined them with some yoga which they did through watching Cosmic Kids videos by Jamie Amor and some super fun dancing around following Just Dance. It’s surprising how hard the yoga is and how much energy is needed in the dance!
With such a focus on healthy lifestyles and fitness now, we are so lucky to have so many options available to us based on our interests, time demands and costs. Some other ideas include the below however this isn’t an exhaustive list:
- A walk or cycle around your local area, park, river or woodland
- Climbing at the local climbing centre
- Cricket at the local park
- Lots of local parks have tennis courts that can be booked for free
- Roller skating
- Hula hooping
- NHS Couch to 5k
- Park Run organise free weekly 5km runs at various locations across the UK
- Anything that your children would find fun!
We have done some of the things in the above list as a family, however there are lots of things still to try. What my children have really enjoyed is partaking in sponsored events. Over the past two years we have organised 10km walks, they have scooted 5km through Hyde Park and dived and dashed the mud in a Tough Mudder like obstacles.
They have done this alongside their friends and family and have enjoyed seeing how their efforts are raising money for worth while causes.
Staying active as a family keeps as all accountable and aware. We have time together and time in our own bubbles as we focus on our own fitness goals. We compete against each other, and show compassion. We grow together.