Teaching Healthy Habits: How to Get a Workout in Everyday, With Kids

Getting a Workout in with Kids

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“WHY?? Why would I want them with me while I workout?!”

Well yes, I do love some me-time at the gym! However working out sans kids as a mom can be challenging to say the least. Nap time doesn’t always last as long as it should, and sometimes you’d rather take a hot poker in the right eye than do anything physical once they go to bed. Kids wake up in the morning before you expect them to, and plans for playdates and childcare don’t always pan out. So if some days you can’t workout without them, don’t skip it, have them join you. It’s worth the effort, it will benefit them in the long run.

With childhood obesity at an all time high, it’s obvious that keeping kids fit and active is becoming more challenging. Even children who eat a healthy diet can find themselves in the overweight category if they’re spending their time in sedentary activities. Kids will do as you do, not as you say, meaning telling them to go outside and play is all well and good, but if they’re not seeing you being active, they are far less likely to want to be active themselves, and far less likely to adopt an active lifestyle later in life.

I learned from watching my father transform himself in his 40s from being overweight to being fit and incredibly toned that it took effort in all areas of his life, from eating and working out to changing his lifestyle entirely. I learned not only the hard work it takes to be fit and active, but that no matter where you are in life, you can change it by making a goal for yourself and setting your mind to reaching it.

There is no better way to see effort result in gains than through physical change. So I find it important to include E in my workouts from time to time, just as I do in household chores, so she understands the how and the why. Just as there’s no cleaning fairy who shows up and takes care of our messes, there’s also no magic pill to make you healthy and fit, it takes time and effort.

Now running, I can do that with E, no problem. She likes the jogging stroller, and I’m used to running with it. Though I’m still coveting a BOB. Toning, strength training and full body workouts, now that’s a little different. She really wants to do it along with me, but there are only so many planks I can do with a toddler on my back. I’ve been trying all sorts of ways to get E in on the action, while still getting a workout in myself.

Then I came across Hand Kites on Etsy. Rings, large enough to hold onto, with ribbons attached. I immediately flashed back to my circa 1980’s Get in Shape, Girl! set and the large ribbon for rhythmic movement.

Get in Shape Girl

Yup. That one.

I remember loving swirling that ribbon around, and thought, maybe E would too…

So I made some hand kites.

Hand Kites for Kids

They are so ridiculously easy. All you need is a shower curtain or drapery ring, and some pieces of ribbon.

How tie the hand kite ribbons

For satin ribbons, once you’ve looped it on tie the ends together at the top as otherwise they tend to slip out of the knot.

Once I had our hand kites made (I made one for me and one for E so I could model how to use it) we went for a run then came home and got moving!

For all the pictures and posts I have with me made up and styled, here I am sans any glamour. Sweaty, makeup free, and in tight clothing. It’s a rare event here on Me and Baby E. Take note. 

Walking and swinging the hand kites


We did some walking and jogging around yard, twirling and swirling our hand kites all the way…

Lunging with the hand kites

Followed by some lunges…


And even some squats. At this point E had traded her hand kite for a water bottle, but either way, she was joining in, bouncing up and down and laughing, and I’d gotten a set of lunges and squats in.

I don’t imagine we’ll be doing this every day, but it will definitely be repeated in the near future as it was fun for both of us, and E now knows how to stretch up high and what a squat is. Proud mama.

For more At-Home Workouts you can include your kids in, check out these from Fitness Trainer Ashley Lebrecht!

Full Body Circuit 

Sun’s Out, Guns Out: Upper Body and Cardio 

As for the hand kites, take them with you to the park and the beach as well and “fly” your kites!







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