I made two New Years’ exercise resolutions that so far, I have failed miserably at attaining. The first one was to try and work out more with my daughters. The second one I won’t even tell you about because I’ve made no attempts to do it.
So let’s talk about working out with kids. It’s not working out (pardon the pun). My girls are 2 and 4. I can’t think of much to do with them except run to a neighborhood park, and then let them run around while I do some kind of leg lift or attempt a pull up on the monkey bars.
Also? I learned that I don’t want to work out with them. Don’t get me wrong. My girls are a hoot. But exercise is something I do for myself. I don’t want to worry about what they’re doing because honestly, I do it all day long. The hour that I work out five days a week, is the only hour that I’m really not focused on them. And I need that.
So having come to terms with the fact this resolution of mine isn’t attainable right now, I revised it a little bit. It’s important that our children have a chance to run around, get their heart rate up, and have a chance to use their muscles a little bit. But what do you do in the winter in DC when it’s cold and not really fun to be outside?
We went to Lakeforest Mall . This is a place where your kids can run around and get their sweat on without spending a nickel. We started with a warm-up:
Climb on the cars, helicopters, etc., and pretend to ride them.
Once we’ve decided we’re warmed up, we move over to the more serious part of the workout – the mall playground. This area used to give me the heebie jeebies. All those runny nosed kids running around knocking into each other kind of freaked me out. But now? Look how happy:
The trick to going to these kinds of places is to get there early. And bring lots of antibacterial soap. Perhaps a change of clothes.
Back to the workout.
There’s a place to work on your core stability:
Or hang on for dear life:
Or perhaps you want to just stop and enjoy the moment for a minute.
Kids can let out a lot of energy at this play area. And parents? We get to sit down. SIT DOWN! When does that happen in the daytime?
My only complaint about this set-up is that we aren’t allowed to bring coffee into the play area, and there is a Starbucks about 5 feet away from it. However, watching my kids run around and enjoy themselves, I decided it was OK to break my resolution this year. They’re getting exercise, I got a workout in that morning too, and everyone’s happy. Maybe I had this idea that we all had to do exactly the same thing for it to be good and worthwhile, when the real trick to motherhood is figuring out a way to give your kids what they need while taking care of yourself at the same time. That’s my new resolution. That morning, as I watched my girls’ cheeks turn red from running around, and smiled at the other mothers who were watching their kids’ cheeks do the same thing, I think I accomplished just that.