Before I became a mom, working out was something I did at the gym, and only at the gym. Excerise was a chore, not a part of my life. After I had my baby, workouts were done with a baby strapped to my chest, right there in my living room. Now that my 2-year-old son is too big to wear (and I’m too tired to go to the gym) getting excerise is even more challenging.
Parents know it can be hard to find time for fitness when you’re busy with the kids, but Carrie Underwood is one of many moms taking to Instagram to prove that working out with your kids is possible.
The singer posted pics of 2-year-old Isaiah on Instagram in which he uses a resistance band with his mom and tries push-ups with his dad, hockey player Mike Fisher. "My boys make workouts fun (and a bit less productive, but that's ok)! #staythepath" she wrote in her post.
Incorporating Isaiah into workouts isn’t just great for Underwood’s schedule, but great for Isaiah, too—as other mamas also prove.
Take kinesiologist, personal trainer and lifestyle blogger Zehra Allibhai for example: She says exercising with your kids can help teach them that physical fitness doesn’t have to be separate from everything else in your life—it can simply be a part of your life.
“I think involving the kids in it is a great way for you to get your workout in, and a great way for you to instill these values in them,” says Allibhai. (Her 75,000 Instagram followers also love when she posts snapshots of her kid-friendly workout sessions!)
By making working out something you can do at home or on the playground instead of only at the gym (and when you have a babysitter), you remove one of the obstacles that keeps so many parents from getting active: alone time.
Allibhai admits that, yes, sometimes working out with your kids in the room may mean you’re not doing exactly the routine or circuit you had in mind. But it also means you’re building a bond while building your muscles. “It’s tough when you have a certain workout you want to get,” she says, suggesting that having kid-friendly items like skipping ropes and balls in your workout area can give your kids something to focus on while you get your reps.
Of course, fitness isn’t limited to workouts. Any time you can get physical with your kids—whether it's playing basketball or going for a bike ride—is good for your physical health and the health of your relationship.
“I grew up being active with my dad especially, but with my parents in general, and it’s just so nice to have those memories,” Allibhai says, explaining why she thinks all parents should make fitness a family affair.
Obviously that’s what Underwood is doing, and it’s likely little Isaiah will have plenty of good memories of getting active with mom and dad (and his parents won’t have to try to find time to hit the gym).