You might have heard this line from your best friend, or you might have uttered it once or twice yourself. “I don’t need to workout. My kids provide all the gym-time I need.” Think again!
In a study of 58 women with children under age 6, only about a third of the mothers got an average of 30 minutes or more a day of moderate or greater intensity physical activity. And yet overall this group of women, most of whom also worked outside the home, believed they were getting upwards of an hour of activity daily.
“There was this ongoing theme of the women reporting more activity than they actually were getting,” says study author Kelli O’Neil, a personal trainer who is on the exercise science faculty at Central College in Pella, Iowa.
Federal physical activity guidelines released last year recommend that adults get at least two hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or one hour and 15 minutes a week of vigorous activity. The guidelines also recommend activities to strengthen all major muscle groups at least two days a week.
In the study, the women wore a device to monitor their physical activity for a week. They also completed a questionnaire about their exercise involvement.
Much to the surprise of many participants, results showed that running after kids didn’t account for as much physical activity as the women thought.
This poses a dilemma for moms everywhere. If we’re not getting the exercise we need by chasing our kids around, how are we supposed to fit it in? Moms in the article who were getting enough exercise per week said they used the following tricks:
-Schedule your workout on your lunch break, or when your partner is home and able to watch the kids
-Step up your “playtime” with the kids. If your toddler is into music and dancing, dance with him! Lift them up and down to get a good arm workout
-Schedule your fun outings with the kids to places that require a lot of walking, like the zoo
-If you’re a SAHM, get a workout video and do it while the kids are napping.
Do you have any mommy workout tips? How do you find the time? Leave your comments below!