Before Harper was born, TJ and I were always looking for ways to ramp up our fitness routines. We’d train for half marathons together, often waking up early on Saturday mornings and heading out for long runs at the beach (only to be followed up by a delicious mimosa brunch). Or, we’d set the goal of doing a mini triathlon on our own: we’d run 3 miles, bike 20 miles, and swim 0.5 miles. As crazy as that sounds to some, it’s something that we always felt made us closer. Setting a goal, encouraging each other through it, and finishing, was a bonding experience for us; something we truly enjoyed and looked forward to.
All that to say, when we talked about what we wanted as a family, and the values we wanted to instill within Little Miss, fitness and self care were amongst them. We had a multitude of thoughts as to how that would look, and when she arrived all those thoughts -while well intended- seemed slightly grandiose (I mean, what toddler wants to tag along on their parent’s 2-hour training run???). Through a lot of trial and error, we found a groove that has ultimately allowed us to make fitness and self care, a key part of our family: through appropriate activities, the right equipment, and a good mindset, we are able to get our fitness on and spend quality time together as a family. Today, I’m sharing the 4 ways that we have been able to make fitness a regular part of our family routine.
1. Time Of Day: Figuring out which time works best for your family is key. We’ve found that the morning works well for our little family. Right after Harper has had breakfast, we typically head out and complete our workout. Finishing it first thing in the morning assures we don’t get derailed by whatever may come the rest of the day (because, you know something is going to come up with a toddler!). The temperatures are usually pleasant and cool, and Little Miss is typically in a fantastic mood.
2. The Right Equipment: Over the years, I’ve come to realize that nice jewelry + working out do not mix. I’ve had a history of either leaving my wedding band (and engagement ring) behind in a SoulCycle locker room (luckily, honest people have returned it) or somehow damaging it to the point that it needed repair (i.e. a loose diamond falling out, or TJ’s ring scratching from lifting weights). I recently stumbled across QALO, a brand that makes functional silicone wedding rings to match your lifestyle… they’re great for women and men, come in multiple color options, and are stylish and functional (always key for me). TJ opted for the men’s flat ring in black, and I chose the new stackable styles in all white. We can easily workout, play with chase around Little Miss (without worrying about scratching her), and then head out to a delicious brunch, all while wearing them – and not having to worry about damaging our wedding bands (or, in my #MomBrain case, forgetting it….).
We’ve also found that bringing toys for Little Miss that resemble those we are using helps as well (like a ball and a yoga mat). It gets her in on the action too, since she loves mimicking what we are doing. If we’re going on a hike, we are sure to use the baby carrier, lather on sunscreen (well, we always do that), and bring along our hats. A long run requires a few novel toys to keep her occupied in the running stroller.
3. Location, Location, Location: When we’re incorporating Little Miss into our workout routine, we always choose a park. She can easily and safely play, and we can keep a close eye on her as well. We choose parks that have grassy areas, and are big enough to allow us to workout without impacting anyone around us.
4. Flexibility: This is typically my number one piece of advice for anything baby/toddler/child related. In reality, 9 times out of 10 things aren’t going to go exactly as planned, and you just have to roll with it. Example? Just last Sunday I was in the middle of a HIIT routine, and Harper came over wanting to take my hand and show me something. Instead of seeing it as an interruption, I simply took her hand and did walking lunges as she guided me around the park (I’m sure I looked silly, but, oh well… it worked). There have been times where TJ has put her on his shoulders and done squats (great resistance for him, and she loves the up and down motion). We’ve found that being open let’s us have more fun and get in a better workout.
I’d love to know the ways that your family spends active time together, whether that’s a brisk morning walk or a bike ride with a little trailer behind it for the little one. Simply comment below on how you incorporate fitness into your family’s life and you will be entered to win a QALO prize package. See below for sweepstake rules + details.
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Thank you to QALO for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.