The new year has officially been wrung in. And for many of us that means new fitness goals. Being a mom adds a whole new set of challenges to working out, and a whole new set of things to work out. Getting our kids involved in our workouts not only makes it easier for us to find the time to work out, but it also is really great for the kids.

As a homeschooling family I have found that if my kids get a good work out in, they tend to focus on their school more. Days we don’t start with some physical activity are more likely to be interrupted with many distractions.

My kids are 6, 3, and 18 months. Not exactly an easy bunch to work out together. Every morning, my older kids enjoy challenges that I set up for them. Some days we do a obstacle course made of cones, pillows, or whatever else we can find. Other days it is a dance party for 15-20 minutes. Better yet, have them go as long as they can. We like to see who can do the most jumping jacks (or push-ups or squats) in a minute.

Of course there is always the good old fashioned game of tag. Grab a hula hoop, or jump rope. Think about all the games you enjoyed playing at that age. Red Rover anyone?

When my kids are older, I’d say around 12 I plan to start including them into my workout routine even more. Taking them on runs or bike rides or even a swimming class or two. I cannot wait until we can do a family fun run together.

It is no surprise that our bodies change when we are pregnant, and therefore it should be no surprise that our work out routines might need to change too. One of the most obvious places mommies need help is their core, so core exercises become more important. So if you have little babies you are in luck. It just so happens that babies are perfect work out partners. You can do your crunches with your baby on your chest. The added weight works your body harder. The same goes for doing squats. My kids all loved being in their Baby Bjorn carriers, and when they were snuggled in there I could do some squats. The best part, is as you get stronger your baby gets bigger and offers more resistance.

-Stephanie Wright

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