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Once you have children or a busy career (or both), exercise and fitness become a whole new ballgame. Unless you’re lucky enough to have a full-time nanny or nothing to do after work, you may not have time for those Pilates and Spin classes you used to love. But having a busy lifestyle doesn’t mean you’re doomed to be sedentary! Check out the following ways to mix family, work, fitness, and fun.
Work out with the kids. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em! When you take your kids to play at the park, get off the park bench and run around with them. You’ll rediscover the joy of climbing ladders and going down slides, and your kids will have more fun too. You can even do pull-ups on the monkey bars, and swinging is actually a pretty good workout.
Take a hike. Rather than watching TV all day on Saturdays, take the kids out for a hike in a nearby state park. The outing can double as an educational experience, as you take turns identifying trees or looking for unusual varieties of mushrooms.
The early bird gets the… exercise. Set your alarm clock a bit earlier than usual and go for a run before work in the morning. It can be a difficult change for the first week or so, but you’ll soon find that you look forward to their morning exercise time when you can be alone and clear your head at the start of the day.
Work out at home. You don’t actually need a fancy gym membership to get in shape. You can do push-ups, crunches, lunges, and squats using nothing more than your own body weight as resistance. Invest in a couple of 10-pound dumbbells, and add bicep curls to your regimen.
Take the baby for a walk. If you recently had a baby, pushing him up hills in a stroller makes for a great workout. To mix up your routine, you can wear baby in a carrier, and carrying the extra weight will give you a greater calorie burn. (If you have a baby and a toddler, combine these methods and you’ll be ready for an Iron Man competition in no time!)
Try a family video game night. The days of sitting on the couch, twiddling your thumbs while staring at a TV screen are long gone in the video game world. With new systems like Xbox Kinect, you use your body as the controller. Many popular games include dancing, running in place, jumping, and other full-body exercises. Compete with the kids and combine family with fitness!
Regardless of your lifestyle, marital status, living arrangement, job situation, or children, there are plenty of ways for you to move and stay fit even if you don’t have time to make it to your favorite gym or workout class.