written by
Jessica Potts

Fitness for People with Kids

Mental Health & Self-Care 6 min read

Hey there! Yes, you. I know what you are thinking “I should workout. I need to figure out how to get in shape.” Focusing on fitness after kids is hard. I am with you.

Photographer: Boxed Water Is Better | Source: Unsplash

I have two tiny humans who need me 24/7 and a mom pooch that won’t budge. Now, I love my body. I am so proud of the body that has created two kids from scratch, carried them, and fed them for years.

My biggest issue is not the mom pooch, it’s my energy levels. I feel heavy and sluggish and just slow. I get so tired so quickly when I play with my kids. I hate it. I hate the feeling of just wanting to sit all day long.

Photographer: elizabeth lies | Source: Unsplash

I feel the desperate need to work on my fitness for strength and stamina.

Let me share my tricks on how I get 30-40 minutes to fit in a workout while my kids are awake and running.

My first tip before anything is make sure you are ready at all times. I live my life in workout clothes. I wake up and throw it on so if I have the opportunity to exercise, I don’t have to waste time getting dressed.

Photographer: Alex Shaw | Source: Unsplash

1. Throw some snacks and TV at them

Put them in a stroller, wagon, bike trailer, anything that will contain them and give them some snacks. Put your headphones in and go on that run, walk, bike. I promise you can do it. Don’t fuss about toys and entertainment. Go with easy and fast. I make my workout a priority now and give my kids each a tablet to play with so I can get 30 minutes of uninterrupted exercise.

Photographer: Emily Wade | Source: Unsplash

I feel so good after and my kids are so happy that they got TV. Do not feel guilty about this. I know how easy it is to get caught up in what you think you should do but throw all that out the window for those 30 minutes and focus on you. Make your needs #1. Moms deserve happiness too.

Smiling Family
Photographer: Edward Cisneros | Source: Unsplash

2. Include your Kids

I try to do this with my kids a few times a week so it’s fun and new. If my kids aren’t showing any interest, I go back to throwing snacks and TV at them.

My kid’s favorite exercise is any of the Cosmic Yoga videos on Amazon Prime but there are so many different workout with children on YouTube. A quick search yields thousand of results, including Cosmic Yoga, so you can play around and find some you like, save them, and have them ready.

A morning yoga session peering into the jungle in Ubud, Bali.
Photographer: Jared Rice | Source: Unsplash

I would recommend doing this prior to showing your kids if you want some control. If you want the kids to choose, by all means go ahead and enjoy! And stay tuned here for another upcoming blog from one of our ambassadors who loves to work out with her kids!

3. Workout at the Park While the Kids Play

My kids love to swing so I usually put them on the swings and do lunges in between pushing. This method doesn’t allow for a full uninterrupted workout but it is still super fun and it is good to get creative. I have also done push ups, sit ups, squats and even the dreaded burpees while my kids play.

Photographer: Johnny Cohen | Source: Unsplash

I also try to get in the playground and climb up with them to get my body moving. Bonus is my kids love watching me jump around or playing with me. I can absolutely tell the difference on days where I sit back and watch my kids play (Nothing wrong with this by the way. We all need chill days.) and days when I climb and do random workouts because my kids have more fun and honestly, so do I.

4. Switch off with your partner

I won’t lie. This is my least favorite only because my husband’s work is not consistent so somedays he comes home at 3 and others at 7. This makes it really hard for us to switch off.

Super cool family that goes to my gym, she was taking pics of her husband as the baby chilled in his pack.
Photographer: LJ Lara | Source: Unsplash

We have done it before though and it is so fun but would work best for those with more consistent schedules. It is a pretty straightforward concept-- basically one day you get to workout and your partner gets the next. If you want to switch days, that's cool too! Find whatever works best for your family.

5. Wake up early or go to bed late

I am 100% a night owl. In a perfect world, my kids would wake up at 10am to allow me to sleep in after a long night of trying to get stuff done in between wake ups when I am at my most productive. Alas, this is not the case. My kids wake up like clockwork at 6:30 every single day. Waking up earlier just isn't possible for me. I barely function on the 3 minutes of sleep I do get so I cannot physically or mentally afford to take any time away from that precious sleep.

Once she stopped rushing through life she was amazed how much more life she had time for.
Photographer: Kinga Cichewicz | Source: Unsplash

Night time is my jam though. My kids are not super consistent with their sleep times regardless of routine or non-stop play to exhaust. There are days I am certain they will fall asleep early and 9pm rolls around with two kids jumping and dancing and refusing to stop. On days when they are asleep before 8pm, I get myself ready and get to work!

Photographer: Jonathan Borba | Source: Unsplash

I usually just wear whatever I wore all day (usually I am for workout clothes but that is not always the case), throw a sports bra on along with my socks and shoes and call that a win. I have definitely worked out in pajamas before and that is okay because I still did it and I felt incredible after.

6. Dancing it Out

I want to be very clear on one thing-- you are perfect.

Your body is incredible.

Fitness doesn’t have to mean a “workout.”

It means moving your body in any way you enjoy. My absolute favorite way to move my body is through dance. I try to play music all day because I enjoy it and I find that when I sing and dance, my body and mind feel so good.

I am not doing a beautiful choreographed dance. More often than not, I am jumping around like I am trying to catch a mosquito and singing for my kids. They think this is the most hilarious sight ever and cannot stop laughing. They usually join in.

Photographer: Junior REIS | Source: Unsplash

Dancing is such commonplace in our home that if I start saying “dancing dancing dancing” in a playful tone, my kids bust out their moves. Those moments make my heart explode with happiness and I try to absorb every second of it before it’s gone.

A quick note: Working out does not make you more worthy or beautiful. Your body is perfect. You are perfect. You are worthy and beautiful in any size you are wearing. Your body is a vessel that carries you day to day. Don’t forget to thank it. Let’s also remember that our clothing sizes do not define us. We are all worthy of love even if we sat on the couch all day watching TV with our kids.

What are some of your tips and tricks for sneaking in some physical activity? Do you include your kids?

In the comments, tell me your favorite thing your body did for you today.

I’ll go first; Today, my body allowed me to babywear a heavy toddler who is teething and all around miserable. It carried his body while he rested and I am so thankful for this body.

About the Author

Jessica is a Latinx mom to a boy and a girl. She currently lives in California with her husband, babies, and a super cuddly pup. She has many hobbies but her favorites include dancing, hiking, and true crime podcasts.

Mental Health & Self-Care