Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Fammily Fitness with Young Children

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Fammily Fitness with Young Children

Article excerpt

For parents of babies, toddlers or young children, fitness often takes a backseat to late night feedings, chasing an exploring little one around the house or cleaning up what seems to be a never-ending mess of toys or spills. Parenting is certainly an adventure, but you may still feel like you could use more fitness in your routine than acting out nursery rhymes or carrying a baby in your arms. Instead, you may find parenting to be the perfect excuse to put your fitness on the back burner. Wherever you are starting in your fitness journey, it's important to make it a priority for you and for your family. There are plenty of fun ways to get the whole family involved so that you won't have to feel guilty about choosing whether you should devote time to your health or your children; you can do both!

Even with a brand new baby you can get back to fitness as long as you have your doctor's permission. Give your baby an opportunity to see the neighborhood while you push the stroller on a brisk walk, either just the two of you or in a group with other parents. If running interests you, you may want to invest in a jogging stroller. Your baby may grow to love the time spent outdoors while you can also enjoy the outing and a little exercise. Upcoming races, fun runs or walks sponsored by Morale, Welfare and Recreation or offered in your community may even be stroller friendly.

Walking or running with your child might be a simple option, but if you are looking for something more try hiking while wearing your baby in a carrier or safely attaching a children's bike seat to your bike. Make sure that you have the proper safety equipment for your child, like a helmet, before you set out on your ride.

If you're stuck indoors, you may also be able to simply exercise around your new baby. Your baby may appreciate a little free-play time while you exercise nearby. As your baby grows, he or she may even begin to imitate some of your motions. If you're looking for something with a little more structure, your installation fitness center may also offer a mommy and baby fitness class. These classes typically focus just as much on bonding as fitness so you may leave each class feeling closer to your baby and your fitness goals. …

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