As an experienced physiotherapist and founder of BeActive Physio, Shira Kramer encourages parents to live a fit and healthy life, to be in the best shape for children. But as a mum herself, she understands that time is often a major barrier for getting back on track with a fitness routine.
“I don’t have the time to fit exercise in” – this is a comment I hear a lot. If you feel like you can’t spend an hour at the gym, organise child-care and buy fancy new equipment to work out… the good news is that you don’t have to.
There’s a simple solution for exercising as a parent: just get your kids involved!
There are loads of benefits to getting your children involved in your exercise regime. There’s no need to be anywhere at a particular time –which can be stressful in itself– and you can get your exercise done anywhere, at any time! Being active with your children is also a great opportunity to set them up for healthy life habits, as they’ll see how much fun it can be.
Here are 4 Easy Exercises Parents Can Do With Kids/Babies!
Before you start, be sure to warm up with a pram walk or jog next to your toddler whilst they ride their bike or scooter… or better yet, why not try an adult scooter or something else that might be fun for both you and your child.
1. Push-ups with a kiss: 12×2
Have your baby in lie front of you or toddler by your side. Engage your core then lower your body towards the floor (with your elbows facing slightly out). Push into the floor as you return to the starting position. Ensure you are maintaining good posture, with shoulders positioned down and back. Modify this to make it easier by starting from your knees. Give your little one a kiss at the bottom of the push up, of course!
2. Squats with a cuddle: 12×2
Stand tall with shoulders positioned back and down, while holding your baby either facing in or out. Engage your core. As you lower into a squat, move the weight back into your heels. Return to standing, as you give your baby or toddler a cuddle. Release your core, reset and repeat. Ensure you keep your wrists neutral throughout.
3. Hip lifts with a giggle: 12×2 each side
Rest your baby or toddler on your hips. Engage your core and raise one leg out in front. Avoid arching through the lower back – slightly tuck under with the pelvis to counteract this. Keep your hips level and avoid rotation, then lower and lift your hips. Once completing each set, repeat on the other side.
4. Shoulder raises with a smile: 12×2
Stand tall with shoulders positioned back and down, while holding your baby facing in towards you. Engage your core as you lift your baby up with a smile. Release your core, reset and repeat. Ensure you keep your wrists neutral throughout.
Being healthy and active is a gift to you and your children, so make it a priority and have some fun along the way…
What other exercises do you do with your little one?
Shira Kramer is the founder of BeActive Physio in Melbourne and an industry leader in exercise programming (Restore Your Core 8-week online program) for pre- and post-natal women. She has a passion for empowering mums to cope with the physical demands of motherhood and inspiring women to live and breathe active lives.