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How I’m Working Out With Two Kids

I’m officially six months postpartum, and even though I’ve been rocking Weight Watchers for the past three months, I haven’t ventured into working out yet. Honestly, I’ve just been putting it off, because sitting on the couch is much more convenient. That, and working out with two kids is a whole different ballgame.

I’ve been coming up with excuse after excuse for why I couldn’t work out:

  • It’s too hot (totally a valid excuse since the heat index tips past 100 before noon most days)
  • My neighborhood doesn’t have sidewalks (really annoying when my neighborhood also is quite curvy and hilly—lots of blind spots for drivers who aren’t paying attention)
  • My neighborhood is full of ridiculous hills (like really, really ridiculous hills)
  • There’s nobody to watch the girls (and I don’t want to waste precious babysitter time on working out)
  • I could join a gym, but I don’t want to waste the money if I end up not being able to go (i.e. what if the girls sleep in late or if I can’t get us out of the house in time to make it for a class)
  • I could join a gym, but…I’m lazy. (Honestly, I really don’t want to wake up early, haul the kids into the car, get them out of the car, check them into childcare, do my thing, haul them back in the car, drive home all sweaty, and then get everybody out. Just typing that all out exhausted me.)
  • By the time we’re all dressed, ready, and in the car, we could just go to Target instead

Seriously, the list could go on and on. I’m basically the queen of procrastination, but “Excuses Excuses” could easily be my middle name. I mean, I just made excuses for my excuses! The thing is, I’ve sort of been craving a workout. My body is tired of just sitting around all day and not doing anything productive. So I finally took matters into my own hands—literally—and started working out a few days a week. We bought a fancy-schmancy double stroller before Maddie arrived, but up until now I’ve just been using it for random things here and there. It was time I started taking it out more so we could at least start getting our monies worth.

First things first: the gear

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The first step for me getting out there was actually getting a Fitbit Charge HR. I know that sounds pretty materialistic, but if I was going to do this, I needed motivation and I wanted to actually see that I was working out. I’ve had my eye on one for a while and I finally bit the Fitbit-bullet and bought the heart-rate monitor one. (Thanks, Mom, for the birthday money!!) I’ve had heart-rate monitors in the past, but it was annoying to have to hook up this band underneath your shirt—talk about sweat city when you finished your workout—yuck.

This little guy usually sits on my wrist, and I can even pair it with my iPhone so I can see how fast/far I walk. When you finish a workout it even give you a little motivating message. I’m all about motivation before 8am! My only issue with it, is that it doesn’t count my steps accurately since I’m pushing a stroller. I can fix that issue by attaching it to my shoe or my sports bra, but then it doesn’t record my heart rate. I wish there was a better solution, but in the meantime I’m still trying to figure out what’s more important to me: tracking my heart rate or my steps.

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My second step was getting clothes I felt comfortable wearing. Postpartum bodies are just so freaking awkward, and even my old workout clothes fit me differently. (Hello, new boobs!) Old Navy took care of that issue with their clearance section (and I’m totally kicking myself for not buying more comfy tops at a cheap price). I wear my trusty Ecco sandals, because there’s no way I’m putting on socks and closed-toed shoes with it being so hot—I want as little clothing on as possible!

I’m also totally in love with our stroller. We got a Baby Jogger City Select with the second seat before Maddie was born, and I’m really enjoying it so far. I love that the seats are interchangeable—I think we’ve probably used all of the different 16 positions so far, and the wheels are super sturdy. Yeah, it weighs a lot, but I’m wasn’t counting on it being lighter than air. It drives really well, and I feel like the girls are safe in it. The best part is that the girls seem to really like it. Julia loves using the sun visor on her own, and Maddie’s been known to take a nap in it from time to time (the top seat can go into a “recline” position).

Just Shut Up and Go!

Working Out With the Kids

The last step to my puzzle was actually working out instead of just talking about it. I can clearly make excuses all night and all day, but I need to just take the leap and go for it, so I made a plan one night, and when I woke up in the morning I followed through.

[Tweet “Stop talking about working out and just do it! “]

How I’m actually working out with two kids:

Working Out With the Kids

The plan:

When the girls wake up in the morning (typically around 7am), I change diapers, fill up water bottles, and we make our way directly to the stroller. I don’t turn on the TV, I don’t make breakfast; I just GO! I know that if we started delaying the inevitable (like turning on Curious George or pouring a bowl of Cheerios), or letting her linger in bed for too long, there would be no way we’d get out of the house, especially before the heat started becoming unbearable. After that, my only objective is to just start walking.

We go for a mile walk around our neighborhood, with both girls in the stroller. Julia usually chats about things she sees along the way, Maddie chews on the stroller straps or on some links, and I take in the fresh air (while huffing and puffing my way up the hills). Our stroller weighs a whopping 34 pounds, Julia weighs 30 pounds, and Maddie’s tipping the scale around 16 pounds. By my calculations, that means I’m pushing a total of at least 80 extra pounds, which is just bananas!

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During the walk I usually down a bottle (24 ounces) of water, and I eat a snack to give myself a little more fuel to keep going. After we get home I usually strap Maddie into her Rockaroo, and I take a really quick shower while Julia either brushes her teeth, goes potty, or watches half an episode of Daniel Tiger, Paw Patrol, or Curious George. Then I get out, quickly get dressed, and feed Maddie—if I’m lucky, she’ll take a nap after I nurse her. After that, Julia and I make breakfast (a smoothie, usually, or avocado toast), and I finally start relaxing so I can actually start my day.

I’m several weeks into this new regime, and I’m loving it. I’ve discovered that working out with two kids involves making a plan, sticking to it, and just going for it! 

[Tweet “Working out with kids involves making a plan, sticking to it, and just going for it! Read more tips here: “]

Right now, this is what’s working for us, and I’m happy I’ve found a way to start working out again. I really can’t wait for the weather to start cooling off so I can venture more around our neighborhood. It’s just too stinkin’ hot now to be outside and pushing a stroller for any longer than 20 minutes. (Yeah, that’s how long it takes me to do a mile right now.)

I know this may not seem like much to a lot of you out there, but just going on that very first outing was a huge accomplishment for me. Then, going the next day and the day after that helped make it become part of my routine. After my walk this morning I noticed I wasn’t even huffing and puffing as much on the hills compared to those first few walks, so even though it’s not much, it’s helping me get into better shape, and that’s what counts.

Okay, moms, you’ve heard about how I work out with my little ones,
now tell me how and when you work out with kid(s)!

JL_Signature

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24 Comments

  1. I totally lucked out in Alabama and found a small group of moms who met up on base 2x/week. The organizer was a former Stroller Strides instructor, but because we were all only in town for a school year she didn’t set up an official program. She just volunteered her time, rain or shine, heat wave or cold snap, to give us a great hour-long workout twice a week… with our kids strapped into our strollers! After we worked out, the kiddos were set loose on a playground while we chatted. I encourage you to look into it in your area. Having someone else drive the program was a great motivator to push myself harder than I would have on my own. (And having one who is specifically trained to instruct mamas made the environment very comfortable, with lots of encouragement to just do what you can and guidance on modifications.)

    Sometimes we just had to go for it despite our schedule. Snacks, naps, whatever; whatever got a little screwed up from the timing was totally survivable on the awesome feeling of getting in that workout (and, let’s be real, socialization).

    This same group of girls motivated me to start running, too. I’d toss the toddler in the stroller after breakfast the other mornings of the week and do a loop around our neighborhood before I had too much time to make excuses 🙂

    Good for you for getting out the door in the mornings! Way to go!

    1. So, there is something like that—or there was—but they met 30 minutes from home. That’s not horrible, but I just can barely get us out of the house some days, so to drive that far just wasn’t enough motivation for me (especially at the beginning of the summer when it was past 100* each day). With that said, I looked into that group again a few weeks ago and it’s not longer active since several women moved away. Maybe someone else will start one up, though? I’d love to start walking with more women!

  2. I don’t like to exercise, but I really want to lose some weight. I bought a Fitbit in March and it’s been a great motivator. It has made me more aware of how much I do or don’t move. I started walking in the evenings. I leave the kids with the husband and have some alone time. I normally walk about 3 miles. The Fitbit is nice because it seems like every week some invites me to a challenge, so I try to see how well I can do. It may sound dumb, but it really has been motivating.

    1. Not dumb at all, I think Fitbits are really great motivators! I’d love to go when my husband got home (just to get out of the house alone would be amazing), but he gets home too late most days. Keep up the awesome work!!!

  3. You go mama! It’s SO hard to get the motivation to get moving, but once I do…. I feel amazing for the rest of the day! Plus I know my girl loves to get out and see the sites of the neighborhood 🙂

  4. You go, mama! I definitely slacked on working out over the summer. It’s just way too hard with 5 kids. It’s going to be much easier when school is back in session, and I’m actually looking forward to it! I honestly miss my runs!

  5. Great job! I need to friend you on FitBit so we can do some challenges. Now that A is in preschool I have been going over to the mall after i drop her off and pushing L around while I walk with the senior citizens for an hour. Its fun to window shop too because all the stores are still closed 🙂 The fitbit has helped me to make it a habit to be more active and now I’m craving it more and more. Now I’m trying to clean up my eating habits. I do ok for breakfast and lunch, but its like after the hubs gets home something goes crazy!

  6. Good job Jess! You’re looking good! I need to get into the habit of working out too. One of my friends has an online FB challenge group if you’d like to try it for a month. She posts 30 min work outs daily – all types of workouts you can do at home – and it’s $20/mo, but you can cancel/join whenever you want. I like it so far but to be honest, I’ve been too busy with trying to get settled from the move and into the new routine with 2 kids in school to do any of them. They look fun/challenging though. I need motivation too… Way too good at excuses also!

    1. Hmmmm I’m intrigued by that FB group, but maybe come spring? We’re going back home for a couple months, so our routine is going to get flipped upside down soon.

  7. Sounds like you’re doing awesome! My babies are 3, and I’m just finally getting moving and the baby weight off.

  8. I want to get a fitbit but I didn’t know if it was really worth it. My friends love theirs though! I am 10 months pp and have tried several times at losing weight with no success. I am done nursing though as of this week so I can finally start focusing on me and losing this baby weight!! Keep it up!!

    1. I like that there are different levels of Fitbits, so you could always start out with the smallest one (I think it only tracks steps?) and see if it’ll help you kick-start things!

  9. Working out is SO hard without kids – much less with 1 kid – and i can’t even imagine with 2! Go you though you are doing awesome!

  10. Haha, I love how you’re so honest about your excuses! But seriously – so proud of you! that can’t be easy but I bet it sets the whole day up for success for you!

    1. You’re right about setting up the day. Some mornings I really don’t want to go out (like after it’s rained and there’s literally steam coming up from the ground), but after I’ve come back home and showered, I’m happy I went. Now if only I can get my steps to start reflecting my walks!

  11. Way to go, Mama! I have been in the same boat, and finally decided enough was enough. I have to just do it because this is life right now, surrounded by littles. I do a piyo workout at home and it’s great! Usually my kids watch me as I work out, but little by little they’re jumping in and trying it too! And that’s even by than working out – creating an environment where my kids see health as important!

    1. Yes! You’re so right; I like that my girls are seeing me work out, even if it’s just by going for a walk. Good job on getting “out there” yourself!

  12. What awesome info! I don’t have kids yet, but this is actually already on my mind- when the time comes, how will I make sure I can get back into the swing of things with fitness? We think alike- “it’s too hot” and not wanting to go to the gym are totally valid in my opinion. It’s great that you’ve been able to find a balance- I have to work on exercising even just a little, instead of not at all sometimes! Thanks for the great post and I’ll be sure to come back and check it out when my time for babies comes! 🙂

  13. Way to go to get out there! I also go running with Rhys (now 13.5 months) when we wake up. He has his bottle on the run. But, my biggest things is showering afterward…Rhys always wants to either be in the shower with me, or he screams bloody murder the entire time I’m in it, or I have to wait until his morning nap, 3 hours later. Any tips on that would be great!

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