Workout Wednesday – Why Parents Don't Need a Gym

by DavalosMcCormack on February 3, 2010

So our great friend, and English correspondent, Vicki told me the other day that many of our blog postings are clearly not written with parents in mind because many of the things we talk about or encourage people to do are things that parents just don’t have time for.

And after taking care of baby Emma Danger I can really understand what she is talking about. We took care of Emma recently – while her parents were in Europe catching up on culture and sleep – for 9 days and 28 nights, at least that’s how it felt!!

Actually, Emma is a gem of a baby; she’s pretty good at sleeping through the night. Once you get her to that point. Up till then it’s a team operation feeding, cleaning, clothing, calming her. Which helped me understand exactly what Vicki was talking about.

You see, unless you have kids you don’t really get just how much work is involved in taking care of them. I never had kids myself, I skipped that stage and just went straight to being a grand dad – which I love. But what’s fascinating to me is just how all consuming having one kid is. It takes two of us to get Emma up and fed and ready in the morning. It’s incredible.

My mum had five kids under the age of ten, at one point four of us were under the age of five. I have absolutely no idea how she did it. To beĀ  honest, neither does she, she simply says “ah well, you just get on with it.”

And she is right, you don’t have a choice, or time or anything. So, when Vicki says this blog doesn’t always take into account parents she is right on one level, we make assumptions about people having the time or making the time to exercise or go to the gym.

But to be honest if you have a young family you probably don’t need to go to the gym, because there are more than enough opportunities to use the kids as exercise equipment!

  • Chasing them around is aerobic.
  • Carrying them around is weight training – particularly as they get a little older and try to resist just being carried around all the time, that is weight and resistance training.
  • Playing with them is both aerobic and weight training – kids love to be lifted up and tossed up in the air. Do that a few times and you’ll know you are getting a workout. But the best bit is listening to them laughing like crazy when you do it – that’s the best incentive to work out that you will ever get.
  • Lie on your back and use your baby as a bench press. Lift them up and down. Up and down. It’s great fun for baby and bloody hard work for you.
  • Hold baby in your arms and do squats. The kid won’t have a clue what you are doing but your thighs will. Oh boy will they!

See, the only limitation to your workouts is your imagination. And when you are around a kid you quickly realize, it’s time to let your imagination run wild.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Vicki Wiles February 5, 2010 at 12:50 am

Hello from England. I’m really feeling for your Mum right now Kevin. 4 kids under the age of 5! I thought two under the age of 2 was pretty lively but I knew my limitations and stopped there.
Can I just add that walking miles with children in a buggy ( do you use the word ‘walker’ in the US) is great too, particularly if its also loaded with shopping (groceries). You work out every bit of the body. I know walking is harder in the US because you don’t have pavements (sidewalks) along some roads but its great exercise and is the way that many UK women get back in shape after having babies.


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