My daughter, Elsie, LOVES nursery rhymes! She wakes up asking to watch them, and we sing them before she goes to bed. Her favourite ones are those that include actions or dancing, which I found really cute…until we had done “heads, shoulders, knees and toes” 15 times in the space of 10 minutes.
For us mums, finding time to exercise always feels like such a struggle. Keeping the kids entertained and keeping on top of chores tend to take priority. So what’s a mum to do? Find situations or moments to get active. 5 minutes here or 10 minutes there will add up quite quickly! Of course, there are the obvious options, such as getting up before the kids to exercise, or going to the gym when your other half returns from work. But not everyone likes the gym, has money for the gym or has the energy to go in the evening!
Exercise is still the best way to burn calories, and I encourage any parent to find 15-20 minutes in their day to do some. But burning extra calories can come in many different forms that don’t involve getting into gym clothes.
Keep reading for my top 5 ways to torch those calories without going to the gym!
1. Dance to nursery rhymes with the kids
Elsie makes me dance along with her to “Ring around the rosy” about 15 times. That song is 1-2 mins long, so that’s an easy 15 minutes of exercise. I came up with this blog post when I was lying on the floor breathless after doing what felt like 100 rounds of this song! Definitely a great way to burn some calories and have some fun with your little ones!
2. House Work
Did you know that 30 minutes of hoovering burns around 120 calories? Oh and you also get much closer to your 10k steps target! When I need to do a power hour of cleaning, I turn on a podcast or my favourite playlist, and I easily burn around 200-300 calories! Changing sheets, scrubbing the bath, hoovering and mopping all take serious work. So fill up your water bottle, put on some comfy clothes and get cleaning!
3. The park
Going to the park serves 2 purposes for me: getting some steps in and keeping Elsie entertained. We walk to our park as it’s so close by, but it’s a long enough walk that after playing and walking she is ready to sleep! Running around the park, pushing the swing and maybe fitting in the odd bench push up or squat jumps are a great way to get some exercise in.
If you’ve never taken your kids to toddler gym, then you are all missing out! Elsie absolutely loves going trampolining. And I love seeing her little face light up when she’s jumping around. Most trampoline parks do toddler sessions which are usually cheaper and only allow kids up to a certain age. Giving you the chance to do some bouncing yourself, you’ll get a great workout. You’ll also have a quiet afternoon, as your toddler will have a really good nap if they are still napping. Win win!
On days when it’s not raining, and I don’t feel like I’ve been active enough, I grab the pram and go for a long walk. Elsie still likes sitting in hers most of the time especially if she’s tired. I’ll make sure to download an interesting podcast and try to pick a quiet time so if she does want to nap, she won’t get woken up by kids running and shouting.
Walking has so many great benefits as we know. It costs nothing, works your body and mind and it’s a great way for you and the kids to get some fresh air. I know this might be harder to do with older kids, but I’m cherishing the time I still have to do this.
So there you have it. Some fun ways to keep active with your kids that are not exercise! Let me know your thoughts and if you have any other hacks for parents to stay active without having to do a workout!