How Did I Manage To Workout At Home With Kids

After pregnancies, most of the mothers gain a lot of weight and with their new baby they don’t get the time to work out, go to the gym or even for a walk. I didn’t gain much weight in my first pregnancy but after my second, I did put on a lot of weight. After my daughter was 2 years old, I tried to join different group training sessions. But then they were expensive and obviously it was difficult for me to leave her at home and manage it with the other house chores and commitments. By the time she was 3 I found out that I was expecting again with my 3rd child. So I started to gain weight again…along with the previous weight which I was never able to shed!

I decided to workout at home when my son (my 3rd child) was 2 years old. I googled how to workout at home and I joined various support groups on Facebook which gave me a lot of motivation. Following are some tips which can help you work out at home and save some money instead of going to the gym which can cost a lot!

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Fix the time

Fix the time which is most suitable for you to work out at home and stick to it, so that you will be able to manage and finish your house chores accordingly. I schedule my time from 5pm to 6pm when I am usually done with all the cooking, cleaning and dishes. This is generally the time when my children are always busy playing in their room or when they are allowed their screen time.

Always change into workout clothes

You will never get the motivation in your lounge wear or in your pjs. When it’s time for your work out always wear your gym clothes. It also improves your confidence and performance.

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Follow YouTube and workout apps

There are lots of YouTube videos through which you can search for any type of workout; whether it’s simple cardio or aerobics, zumba or strength trainings. I started with Leslie Sansone’s “walk at home”. If you are new to work out and don’t know how to start, I suggest you begin with this. It’s a low intensity cardio and very easy to follow. For a little high intensity, you can checkout popsugar fitness on YouTube.

Also,  there are different apps available like ”women workout at home”, “workout for women”, “home workout for women”. These are some which I downloaded and found really effective. You can search for more which are applicable for you.

Cardio vs strength

When working out, both cardio and strength exercises are essential for the body. With cardio you can burn those calories and strength training helps you to burn the body fat and makes lean muscles. Try to do strength trainings twice a week.

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Involve your kids

If you think your kids won’t let you work out (and if your kids are older than 2 years,) you can ask them to follow you. Children love to imitate their parents. They will try to copy you in their cute little ways, and you will love it!

Early morning/ late night

If you are a mother of an infant who keep you busy the whole day, then you can work out early in the morning before your baby wakes up or at night when you put him/her into bed at night. Just 30 mins will do the work. You know… a little workout is always better than no workout at all. I used to wake up 30 mins before my husband woke up for office and I would leave the baby with him. It was going good until the pandemic happened.

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Ask for your partner’s support

If you are a mother of an infant, you can always ask your partner for support to look after the baby while you can do a little work out at home. You can select your time when your spouse is available to take care of the baby. Sometimes when I am doing exercise at home, I ask my husband to play with our son otherwise he comes to me again and again and asks for his milk or candy or cookie or toy .. or any thing at all… you know kids! Lol!

Work out at home is not difficult and it can be done very easily. It just needs a little determination and planning. I am a mother of 3 kids and if I can do it, so can you. I’ll be honest here. I do become lazy sometimes and don’t work out for days but it’s okay… it’s okay to take a break. Because tomorrow is a new day and you can start again. Don’t forget…consistency is the key!!!

Encouraging children to maintain a healthy lifestyle

by Zara Razzaq

Being a teacher has made me realize one thing. I’m not just a teacher. I am a mentor, a friend to the little ones, a nurturer and almost a mother to roughly 40 kids. Why do I say this?! Because I am responsible for their mental and physical well-being for those 8 hours of school every single day.  

It’s been 4 years to my teaching experience. I am an elementary teacher and it has been nothing but a roller coaster ride. It’s exhausting, it drains me out to the core, there is so much work that sometimes I feel I’m unable to manage my time. But there is one reason why I chose this profession; because it makes me happy. It makes me feel rewarded. When those curious minds ask the most interesting questions, it makes me realize that these children have so much going on in their minds, and we need to give them all the chances to let their creativity flourish. This can only happen through us adults as their facilitators. And that makes me proud!

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Many parents have told me that they would like me to guide their children with specific do’s and don’ts of the daily routine because I have a major influence on them. They listen to me more than their own parents! This makes me even more accountable to everything they do, say or feel. 

Recently, I’ve been teaching the kids about having a happy and healthy lifestyle and its impact on our well-being. But before getting into the details of this, I would like us all to understand what being healthy really means and what our well-being is all about.  Our well-being is the state of being happy, healthy and comfortable with our lifestyle and surroundings. How do we achieve that? And more importantly, how do we instill this very thought within our children? The thought of being content, happy, complete and pleased with wherever you are, with whatever you have…

As a teacher, I’ve noticed how flexible and open-minded children are. I deal with 7-year-olds and even though they do not exactly know the meaning of mental health or depression, they know precisely how to define happiness, and that is exactly what we need to keep our children’s mental health intact to develop a constructive future for them.

I’d like to share an in-class discussion that was recorded in the form of a virtual mind map. This was the starting point of our discussion about what our health and well-being is affected by. It is important to note here that every single point added in this mind map was stated by the students… which means, we are pretty much on the right track as far as our health is concerned.  

The above mind map clearly goes to show that life is pretty basic and simple. If the kids adhere to all these factors from a young age, it is certain that they will never have health issues, whether they’re mental or physical.

When my students were asked about why our health and well-being is so important, their responses amazed me. 

It might seem basic, but all of this came from the minds of 6-7 year olds. I was stunned when one of my students said, “When we are happy, we feel like visiting our family and friends.” I perceived this as the opposite of isolation. If you think of her statement in its exact opposite, what she was trying to say was that when we are unhappy or unhealthy, we don’t feel like socializing; and that’s where mental health comes in. So even though they don’t really know what isolation and loneliness is, they definitely understand the effect of a happy lifestyle on our minds and our bodies. 

When asked, “What makes you happy?”, I got the usual responses: “my family, friends, toys, going out, playing games, school, etc etc… There was one student who said, “Rain makes me happy.” How beautiful! How simple! I realized that it’s the simple things that matter most. The more we delve into unnatural things, the more complicated our life becomes. We start taking nature for granted.

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Teach your kids to appreciate the simplest things in life. Connect with them on an emotional basis. Encourage them to organize themselves from a young age. By organizing, I don’t mean just cupboards and shelves, rather manage their basic routine, like waking up on time, taking a shower every day, feeling fresh and maintaining cleanliness personally and for their surroundings too. Make them count their blessings. Let them be grateful for being able to live a new day, everyday. Take them out on a nature walk. Make them understand how lucky we are to be able to see four different seasons of nature. Ask them to look at the sky and observe how beautifully God has painted the clouds. Count the twinkling stars at night. Hear the chirping birds. Look at the different types of plants, animals, trees. All of nature’s beauty; because if nature doesn’t bring peace, then I am not really sure what does… 😊 

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Zara Razzaq is a dedicated elementary school teacher in a well-reputed school in Lahore, Pakistan. She is a good listener, a sincere friend and she loves to spend time with her family and friends. She is also a big foodie and loves trying and exploring new things.