I think one of the most common excuses I hear from women regarding their getting movement time in is just that - time. The lack of time to get something in, especially with the crazy after-school schedules of their kiddos. And even those of us who don't work outside of the home get buried in the day's work of chores, cooking, errands, and sometimes just that mental overload where we simply check out.
While I have been better about scheduling some movement time for me, my kids reminded me that I am often overthinking my "workouts" instead of allowing some of that movement happen organically. One thing that kids do very well when given the chance is to move. And that movement often happens just through spontaneous play. This is where we need to go back to in order to fit a bit more movement into our lives.
Last Friday I decided to set up a family date night, under the guise of celebrating my husband's birthday. In reality, it was my wanting to take an Intro to Rock Climbing class to help me get reacquainted with belaying since I really haven't done it in 15 years. The climbing gym I'm a member of had a class opening on Friday night and also hosted a kids' club that night. Perfect! The kids got to climb and play with other kids and the adults got some "alone time" to explore a new activity. Lately, I've been drawn to having more experiences as a couple than simply dinner and a movie.
And for those wondering, when we checked in on the kids they basically told us to go away. They had too much fun being active. Well, this was a catalyst for our weekend.
Join My Club
Saturday morning my 8-year-old son came up to all of us with a sign-up sheet.
"I'm hosting a Sports Club.", he said. "Wanna join?"
Now every part of me didn't want to. I was enjoying my coffee and working on my computer and I just wanted to veg. But, I knew that I needed to do this to encourage my son to continue his spontaneity and to get my lazy butt moving. I rallied the fam and we headed outside. My son had set up a variety of activities for us - ball tossing, basketball drillls, 2-on-2 soccer, and some volleyball. I should mention that he's not really a sports kid. He does Taekwondo and that's it. This was all just from what he learned during PE and playing with other kids.
Well, what I told myself would be 15 minutes turned in to 40. We had so much fun letting the kids lead the way. After my son was done with his club, little sister had to jump in and gave us a collection of random basketball games to accomplish. It all ended when mom bounced the ball over the fence and into the street. It was so fun!
But then my Fitbit buzzed me. It had actually picked up on our playing and started tracking a workout. "Sport" was the category. Perfect! I managed to get my daily exercise tracked and didn't even think about it. While the calories burn wasn't amazing, the level I was working at was optimal for women in perimenopause like me. A great moving and restorative workout. I'll take it.
Let Your Kids Lead
So while not all my fitness and movement ends up this way, I think it's important that we don't always stress about fitting the scheduled workout into our day. Instead, why not stack our movement and workouts with a little family time. Let your kids lead - don't say anything at all regarding their rules, form, etc. Simply let them decide and lead you in play and see where it goes. I'd be curious to see what comes out of it for you.
How did your kids get you moving in different ways than you're used to? What movement blocks came up during the process that you might need to work on? Share in the comments!
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