With winter looming quickly for us Southern Hemisphere residents, it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to manage the work/life balance in the nanny life. Because I for one know with certainty that you won’t be seeing me out pounding the pavement at 4.30am when it’s cold and raining out. Just not going to happen. But I do know how important it is to maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle during the winter months, if not for the sake of fitting into my skinny jeans, but for my mental health. Thanks Abby for sharing these exercise tips, I’ll be taking notes!
5 Easy Ways To Exercise At Home With Kids Whilst Nannying
(For When You’re Really Not In The Mood) After working long hours, sometimes the last thing I want to do is go to the gym. During those times, Netflix and yoga pants are my best friends and the treadmill and battle ropes are more foe than friend.
But the truth is, we still need to exercise. It’s important for our health and wellbeing, and it keeps us happy and patient with kids whilst working long hours. So on those long tiring days, how can you sneak in some exercise?
The most obvious way to get in some exercise is by taking the kids out for a walk. Depending on the ages you care for, you could even take the jogging stroller out and pound the pavement. But, what if it’s winter and you’re caring for three hyperactive children?
Here are 5 sneaky yet easy ways to exercise at home with kids (even when you’re not in the mood) so that you can feel less guilty about those full-fat mochas.
1. Calf raises
Calf raises is an activity you can do when preparing lunch, or whilst helping the kids with their homework.
2. Walking Lunges
Walking lunges are an easy way to work your quads, hamstrings, glutes and core. Do you need to get a book from the top shelf? Add a little jump in between. Make sure you have enough room. When you’re down in the lunge, use your hamstrings (or thighs) and spring up, quickly landing on the opposite leg, or the leg that was just behind your body and bring it to the front. This is an easy activity to do wherever you have the space. My charge drinks water like a fish so I’m always doing these as I go back and forth to the refrigerator.
3. Wall Sit
How often do you find yourself with an extra 30 seconds through the day? While we as nannies are incredibly busy, I’m sure you’d have an extra 30 seconds (or even 15) more often than you’d think. For this exercise all you need to do is find a wall with enough room and a clear space. Put your back against the wall and then slide down so that your thighs are parallel to the floor. This exercise is easier if your feet are shoulder width apart and your knees don’t go over your toes. Hold it for as long as you can. If the burn gets to be too much, straighten your legs to break up the build-up of lactic acid and get right back to it!
4. Get up on your feet
Instead of sitting down with the kids while they’re doing an activity, stand. Smithsonian Mag says that there is a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and a reduced risk of obesity for the people who are active and on their feet more than those who sat at a desk. Even though we’re nannies and constantly on our feet, it still helps to take advantage of those times where we can make a more active and healthier choice.
5. Make use of nap-time
If you happen to enjoy a glorious naptime hour, you should use to your advantage. Nap-time could be an hour of uninterrupted exercise. Providing it actually happens of course. Clear a space in the living room or playroom. If you can go online, pull up different exercises on YouTube or go to the health and fitness page on pinterest. From there it’s very easy to find some short exercises that you can do whilst your charges are snoozing.
Not limited to home workouts? Here’s 8 more ways to squeeze exercise into your day with kids.
Yes, as nannies we’re busy. We’re busy on our feet, lifting kids, chasing kids, preparing bottles, dancing to Raffi. We’re with our charges for so many hours of the day that it’s easy to lose count. However, given we’re with our charges for such a major part of their early upbringing, we have the unique opportunity of being able to influence their actions, and also to be seen as a positive example.
We can show them that even when the hours get busy, it’s important to make exercise part of the routine. Many of these things are easier said than done, however even if you’re able to put just a little bit into your day it will make you feel a lot better than if you didn’t, and that’s a guarantee!
>>> How do you squeeze in exercise at home with the kids?
original image photo credit Lorna Jane
Abby Sneddon is a professional U.S based nanny. She currently works with two gorgeous toddlers in a nanny share arrangement and has a professional background in private Montessori preschools. Abby believes the best way to teach a child is to lead by example and carries this notion through every aspect when it comes to health, wellbeing and fitness, raising well-developed children, and education. Abby blogs at The Nap Time Nanny.