For new parents, getting or staying in shape often falls by the wayside. Being a parent is a demanding task, and many moms and dads have jobs and community roles to attend to as well. Given all that, it might seem impossible for new parents to find the time and energy to work out. These days, however, more and more parents are findings kid-friendly ways to keep fit, and they don't necessarily require infinite time or money.
Running with a Jogger
We have all seen parents who run or bike with their babies in tow. Rugged strollers, often with inflatable tires, are increasing in popularity because they allow parents to bring young children along when they head outside for a jog. These strollers accommodate kids from around eight months to four years in age, and there are enough different products on the market to cater to anything new parents could want. Some "joggers," as they're called, are specifically designed for running moms and dads, while others can double as daily use strollers. With a jogger, running workouts can be easily integrated into daily life as a new parent.
Biking with a Trailer
One drawback to joggers is that they usually only hold one child, and it would take a very fit parent indeed to run while pushing a stroller with two kids inside! Parents of two youngsters can consider switching to biking instead. Bike trailers for kids are perhaps even more popular than joggers, and many trailers can seat two children. The added weight will make the workout more difficult, but a bike makes it manageable. And with a bike trailer, siblings won't have to be excluded from the fitness fun.
Of course, joggers and bike trailers are ideally suited for quiet, safe areas. Parents should look for bike trails or other areas that aren't populated by road traffic, and they should use extreme caution when running or biking with little ones in tow. Another problem with joggers and trailers is that it can be difficult or impossible to use them during the winter months. When it's cold out, or for urban parents or those who don't have access to suitable outdoor areas for workouts, there are alternatives to consider.
Fitness Centers with On-Site Childcare
Many new parents forgo working out at a gym because it can be difficult to find childcare. Dropping kids off with a babysitter can add a prohibitive amount of time and expense to what should be a short, easy process. Luckily, many gyms and fitness centers are sensitive to the needs of new parents and provide free or low-cost childcare services on site. At these gyms, parents can simply bring their kids along, drop them off in the childcare area before they work out, and pick them up on the way home. Because kids often have access to playground equipment and playmates, going to the gym can be fun and productive for parents and kids alike.
Kid-Friendly Fitness Centers
In many areas, kid-friendly fitness centers are becoming very popular. In contrast to a gym with on-site childcare, a kid-friendly fitness center offers play and fitness activities alongside adult workout options. These facilities often have workout equipment for kids, classes and activities for parents and kids to do together, or childcare that takes place in the same room as adult workouts, so parents never have to worry whether their children are receiving appropriate treatment and care. For parents of young children, kid-friendly fitness centers are definitely an option worth investigating.
Yoga and Pilates
Unfortunately, on-site fitness center childcare services are not always top-notch. Parents should make sure to investigate childcare facilities and staff before signing up for a gym membership. If no suitable option is available in a family's particular area, they will have to find another solution. At-home workouts are within the reach of almost everyone. Investing in a yoga mat and some home workout DVDs is a good idea for parents who want to be able to watch their children while they workout. Kids can even try yoga or Pilates workouts alongside their moms and dads!
With the range of exercise options available to new parents, there should be no excuse not to keep fit or get back in shape after having a baby!