Exercising with Preschoolers

When my children were babies, it was really easy to throw them in a stroller and take off on nice long walks. I’d go for three hours at a time, push them up hills, and get an awesome workout by just being outside and spending time with them. If I wanted to kick it up a notch, I’d run up a hill pushing a stroller. I can tell you, it’s a great workout.

Now that my children are older, I no longer have a stroller. Since getting rid of the stroller in November, I have gained twenty pounds. It has been a struggle to find something that I can do with my children that gives me a good workout. Since getting rid of the stroller, I have been trying to figure out something that I can do with two three-year-olds and a five-year-old. I have tried yoga at home, video game Zumba (which I LOVE!), home workout videos, and walks with the kids. While these are all great workout options, I do not get the workout I really want while doing them with the kids around. Why not do them when the kids are in bed you may ask? My evenings are reserved for work and school at the moment. There is no option

This past week, I think I figured out the perfect way to work out with my kids. First, let me say that I started doing something I have spent the last fifteen years saying I would never do. I started running. I have always been a dancer, and while I love the speed and cardio workout you can get from a three-minute dance, I have never really enjoyed going for a run. I would get tired really easily and not really enjoy myself.

Despite this desire to avoid running, I signed up for an obstacle course a few months ago and I’ll be damned if I can’t finish the five-kilometer race. Becuase that is who I am. So, I have started running. What I have found, is that I don’t mind running if I am blasting fun music I know. What is even better, is throwing my kids on their bikes and chasing after them. I have done runs with just my son, and with all three of my children. I can say, it is very motivating trying to keep up with my speedy four-year-old on his bike.

As my daughters are slower on their bikes, I ended up running back and forth between my three kids, which also gave me a great workout, depite their being slow. I have learned that I seem to forget how tired I am when I am running with my kids, talking with them (breathlessly at times), and enjoying their company. I have only been running for a few weeks, and when I started I could barely finish a kilometer. Last night, I ran three, only stopping to cross streets. (Because you have to walk your bike across the street.)

I am very excited about this next phase of my life that will involve bike rides and running. I can’t believe I am excited about this, but I guess you adapt to what you have, and right now, running and bike riding is a pretty great way to exercise with my kids. So, I’ll take it.

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