With your children off school, you may be finding it difficult to get to the gym. Siobhan Byrne has you covered with these tips to get the whole family working up a sweat in the fresh air
If lockdowns have taught us anything, it’s that we can still actually work out from home. In fact, we learned that we can do most things from home and training is no different. Now that the kids are off school, you may find yourself run ragged trying to keep them entertained, possibly trying to work from home, running your household, and also trying to work out yourself.
What I’ve learned from training over the years is that it’s just important to get it done. You don’t always feel like training, you don’t always have the time, there’s always something else that you may think is more important to be done, but actually putting training first should be your priority. I’ve always said the only workout you will ever regret is the one that you don’t do.
I always feel better for working out. It gives me more patience, energy and stamina. Basically, I’m an all-round better mum when I train. It’s so important that I find the time for training three to four times per week. However, this is not always an easy thing to do when there is a three-year-old and an eight-year-old on their school holidays looking to be entertained. Depending on what age your children are, it’s never too early to start introducing them to sport, fitness and training. It’s important that it needs to be fun for your kids. The thing I’ve learned about my own kids is that they just want to have fun.
Being active is a massive part of that, so I’ve picked five ways that you can incorporate getting some training in but also have great fun with your kids at the same time. If your kids are old enough, you can opt for fun activities close to your home such as swimming and other water sports, tennis and other ball games. The list is endless, but here are some simple ways to include your kids to get some extra workouts in.
This is my sneaky way of trying to get in some bodyweight exercises if I can’t hit the gym and I have the kids with me. You can also do them indoors or in the garden so you don’t need to rely on the weather. I will set up some circuits that the kids can copy. They’re simple exercises but very effective like squats, press-ups, plank, star jumps, mountain climbers and sit-ups. Basically a full-body workout that the kids can enjoy. Complete three to five rounds. The kids might only stick out three depending on their age.
Getting down to the local park is a great option for increasing your heart rate. Look up a map of your local park and print out and plan your route with the children. My kids love exploring and the map is great for letting them figure out routes that they want to take and giving them options. Plan for a good hour in the park, and if they have exercise stations on the route, put in the exercise stations on the way.
If you have hills or mountains near your home, then any type of incline or uphill walk is a great fat burner and cardio workout. One of the best calorie-burning exercises you can do is stair climbs and an uphill walk is not far behind that. So, if nature has provided this on your doorstep, use it to your advantage.
My kids are very competitive, so setting up games in the garden that you can take part in is a great way to keep them entertained and to keep you fit. You don’t need much, just some balls, cones and a little bit of imagination. You can create ball-throwing sections, sprint sections going from start to the first cone and back, then to the second cone and back, and so forth.
Until my children came along, I had forgotten just how much kids like games and chasing is one of the big ones in my house. Chasing is a good option to get your heart rate up. It’s almost like an interval because it’s very start-stop. Any games like tag, chasing, or sports day games are a great way to get the heart rate up and can be great fun and good for tiring out the kids.