What Is Your Favorite Way to Exercise When Young Kids Are in Tow?

Updated on November 04, 2015
V.S. asks from Coatesville, PA
13 answers

I both enjoy exercise and need to exercise in an effort to ward off some health issues. I always enjoyed taking classes at a gym but that fell by the wayside once I started having kids. My gym membership is currently on hold since having a new baby a few months ago. I am thinking about resuming it vs. cancelling and trying to make exercise work for me at home. I have a lot of DVDs and equipment at home but always have a tough time devoting uninterupted segments of time at home to really perform strenuous exercise. On the other hand, the gym is a 25 minute trip one way and is pretty pricey due to needing a family membership in order to use the nursery area, however, it is nice to know you can complete a workout fully without a baby starting to cry or someone asking for a snack, etc. Just curious - how do you prefer to exercise to really get your heart rate up? .

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answers from Washington DC on

When mine was little we had an aerobics class at the YMCA for mom and baby. Great workout and really fun! Older siblings just went to the babysitting area.

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answers from New York on

Have you tried the 10 minute fit videos by crunch. Sometimes several small chunks is the way to go.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I liked walking/jogging with the kids in a jogging stroller, riding my bike with the kids in a bike trailer, but I also used the nursery at the gym.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Our gym offers babysitting. A lot of moms seem to trade babysitting hours for free membership, but some of the instructors also make extra money (in between personal training sessions) by babysitting. The babysitting room has a view of the treadmils and the general gym floor (where the other machines are), and the classrooms are separate. It seems to meet the needs of a lot of moms.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Williamsport on

It's really hard at home with babies and toddlers. I did it-mixed with gym membership also-but it was HARD! I had to be strategic with timing and prepping kids to let me workout a solid 45mins-hour without interruption. And there was usually still interruption. But you know, if your heart-rate is way up and you have to take a break to clean up a spill or whatever, no biggie, you can still finish workout. Pack-n-play is your friend and sometimes they cry for last ten minutes of DVD or whatever...

But even with that possibility at home it's REALLY nice to supplement gym too if you're serious about health and able to afford it. A balance between at-home workouts and gym workouts is the best. At-home workouts only can lack effectiveness and gm workouts only can be too hard to make it there so often, so mixing both is perfect. And stroller jogs around town now and then if the older kids are big enough to keep up. If not, all the more reason for gym AND home workouts.

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answers from Portland on

When mine were little we had a walker/treadmill linked thing that I would hop on when I had time. Little ones would be entertained on other half of room so I could watch them. Or they would nap and I would with the monitor next to me. Or I'd walk everywhere with them in stroller at quick pace. That was my main thing. But my friends had gyms with free babysitting so maybe look around if that's your thing. There is one here locally where the ladies who babysit get free gym memberships to watch kids so it's no extra charge.

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answers from Portland on

My daughter runs a computer group that emphathizes good health. She has a Facebook page. The company supports her in planning goals and how to achieve them. She exercises everyday using their videos. The women in the group keep in regular contact encouraging each other via a private Facebook group. One does not have to pay anything to join. The dads do cost but the cost is reasonable. Being a part of a group helps keep everyone on tract.

I've forgotten the page name. I'll ask her and add it to this post. She is I'll now and not active. There are other online groups that help keep mom's focused and successful.

My daughter's girls, ages 2 and for help her exercise by doing the moves as best they can. My daughter says that sometimes they all end up in a heap on the floor laughing.


answers from Norfolk on

Our first house had laundry downstairs and we lived mostly up stairs.
Just going up and down those stairs all the time was plenty to get my heart rate up.



answers from Oklahoma City on

Why not check out the Y? We have tons of things we can do and they have a wonderful nursery.


answers from Washington DC on

i took my first baby to the gym. the daycare was decent (or at least i thought so at the time- i was a new mom, what the hell did i know?) and it allowed me to get through at least a good half hour to an hour workout.
by the time i had baby #2 we lived too far from a gym to make it work. i'd either do a brisk walk with kids in strollers or backpacks, or take 'em to the barn and put them in playpens while i rode. not as efficient, but did the trick.
never had much luck with the at-home workouts when i had tiny people, but then, we had tiny homes then too.
if your gym has a good trustworthy daycare i'd use it. if the drive is overwhelming (and yours is pretty far) then get one good machine- for me it's the elliptical, but it might be a stationary bike or climber or treadmill- and use that, but do change it out with weights and yoga and going for good fast walks when you've got someone else there for the kids.
if you go for, say, 40 minutes a day, but don't expect to get it all in one chunk, you can probably make it work. it's okay if it happens in 10 minute segments.


answers from Santa Fe on

My favorite was to use the YMCA. The kids went into their child care and I took classes there. I think it was $40 a month. I have BCBS for insurance and I was told that insurance will basically pay for it, so we looked into it and at the time it DID! They don't announce it, but if you call and ask about it you can get them to pay for it. It sounds like you don't want to use a gym though. I was never good about exercising at home because I would just put it off or get distracted by other things. I have friends who stick the kids in a chariot thing and go for a nice long bike ride. Oh, the other thing I did was an exchange with another mom. We'd take turns going to each other's houses each week and watching each other's kids while we both went for a run. We did one hour runs one after the other. So, the kids all got a 2 hour playdate. It was perfect.


answers from Springfield on

i would put my 2 kids in a double stroller and go for a brisk walk and even jog or run a bit. i also enjoy playing the wii fit. my 3 and 5 yr old love trying to beat the game too and we all take turns.


answers from Chicago on

I do it all at home. Over the years I've built up a full gym in my basement, but I started with the basics for the type of workouts I was doing. I've been a fitness junkie forever. It's just part of my life. I prefer HiiT workouts (short and super effective) and HEAVY weights to keep the lbs off. It works for me. There are HiiT workouts using only body weight that you could You Tube in your kitchen while the kids eat a snack or lunch.

For me, if I can't just walk downstairs and get it done - either in 15 minute pieces or a full 1.5hrs - I won't do it. I simply will not go to a gym. That's me.

Find an instructor that you like, take kiddos downstairs with you with a DVD player, game, favorite toys...whatever. And get done what you can for as long as you can. Rinse and repeat!

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