As soon as that baby comes, it's difficult even to find time to sleep much less exercise. But if fitness was a priority for you before your kids, it's important to keep that routine going for your physical and mental health. Even if you weren't into exercising before, picking up an activity now can help you teach your kids the importance of staying fit. Here are some reasons why fitness is so important for you and your kids.
It Can Keep You and Your Partner Close
Did you and your partner meet in a gym? Run races together? Don't give up your mutual passion after having kids. Just as some couples schedule "date nights," you can schedule a time to go to the gym together and get a workout in. Include your kids on the weekends to make it a family workout. Everyone will get the benefits of exercise, but your kids will also get to see their parents doing something they love.
It Helps You Spend Quality Time Together
Older children especially have busy schedules. From school to homework to other after-school activities, you may feel like you never get to spend time with them until the weekend. Plus then there's work, making dinner and running your kids around on your end.
Fitness can help you spend quality time with your kids. Try sleeping when your kids sleep, so you're up and active when they are. Once they're awake, take them on a jog in a jogging stroller or go on a hike, visit a local park or take them to the gym. You get a workout, and your kids get to spend quality time with their parent.
It Gives You All an Opportunity for Fresh Air
Spending time in nature offers numerous health benefits including stress relief, improving blood pressure and decreasing the risk of cancer. When you take your workout outside, you get the benefits of exercise and being outdoors.
Take your kids outside so you all can enjoy the fresh air together. Try running with them in a jogging stroller, biking together or even swimming. Older kids will also love going on family hikes together. You can even start a garden together to not only teach kids about the importance of physical fitness but eating healthy.
It Can Teach Kids About Sharing
Younger kids who aren't necessarily ready for an organized sport can get the benefits of fitness while playing on a playground. Focus on playground equipment that's appropriate for your child's age and motor skills to avoid any injuries.
Taking your kids to the playground isn't an excuse for you to push your workout aside. Try a fun playground workout where you can get in some exercise while still having fun with your kids.
It Can Spark a Lifelong Love
When kids get older, more demands pull at their attention and exercise may fall to the wayside. Maybe they have a packed schedule at school or a lack of active role models. Whatever the case, you can step up and show them the importance of staying fit.
Find an activity that you can all enjoy together based on your child's personality type. If they're a natural athlete, look for a sport they may want to play for the rest of their lives. If they're not an athlete but interested in physical activity, try hiking or even yoga classes. The activity your child chooses could turn into a lifelong passion.
It Helps Cognitive Development in Kids
If neither you or children want to go to a gym or go for a run outside, try dancing it out together. Music helps with cognitive development in children, and dancing will get your heart rate up and help you laugh together. Small kids will also love dancing because it helps them get used to exploring their bodies in motion.
You can also try signing up for a Zumba class or other dance class for both parents and children. You'll sweat it out, and your kids can learn the important lesson that fitness is fun.
It Can Keep You on a Schedule
Schedules are rough whether you have a new baby or a 12-year-old middle school student. However, exercise can help you all stay on a consistent schedule throughout the week and the weekend.
Block out a chunk of time during the day where you'd like to work out. Then check with your children's schedules to see if they're also free. When the times line up, schedule a group fitness activity for the whole family. It can be going to the park or hiking along a new trail together. This helps your children learn the importance of scheduling and exercise while you get a workout in as well.
Don't Stress if Things Go Wrong
At the end of the day, it's important to remember that you still have kids and things can still go wrong. If you don't get that 30-minute jog in one day, don't sweat it. Make a commitment to exercise with your kids, and it will eventually happen.