10 Ways to Sneak in Exercise Without Going to the Gym

Summer

If it’s important, you will make time for it. Um, okay; disagree. I find that sleep is important, but with kids in the house it’s not always something you can make time for. I find that exercise is important, but I also find that if I take the time to dress four kids, myself and drag everyone to the gym, endure the endless, “OMG! Twins! OMG! You have four kids! OMG! Why are you even at the gym, you look amazing! OMG, better you than me!” comments I get every single time I leave the house, my one hour gym trip has taken closer to 3.5 hours – and that, I do not have time for. So until someone else keeps the kids, someone else cooks and someone else keeps my house clean, someone else works for me and someone else does all those nice wifely things for my husband (and you better not, ladies), the shopping, the errands, the cuddling and everything in between, I can assure you that I haven’t the time for the gym.

The good news for me, however, is that I do work out. I find creative ways to work out every single day – without paying for a gym membership. Some of my workouts are quite easy and obvious, and others are a bit more creative and a bit more entertaining. If you’re like me and you find the gym very important but can’t find time to go, maybe some of my daily exercise routines will help you to find time to exercise at home, too.

Coach My Kids’ Cheer Squad

This year I’m not coaching, for the first time since my oldest daughter became old enough to cheer (I won’t tell you that while some of the parents are amazing, others make you want to run away from home and make it a lot less fun for me to coach) but it was a great way for me to exercise. When I gave birth to the twins in March 2014, it took me a good week to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight, but we can all imagine that NOTHING was tight anymore. It wasn’t easy to get it tight again, but when cheer practice began in August, my body began to tighten back up and by October I no longer had that awful soft skin roll when I sat down. Three nights a week coaching for an hour and games on Saturdays made for a great exercise routine for me.

Practice Sports in the Yard with the Kids

My husband and I both played baseball growing up, and that means we love to go out in the yard and play catch. We pretend we’re teaching the kids, but we will spend hours out there while they give up catching with us and begin playing other games in the yard. We’ll throw the ball for hours, and I cannot tell you how much our bodies feel it the next day. But it’s awesome exercise. Do the same with basketball, golf, tennis….

Swim

It doesn’t feel like exercise, it’s fun and it’s cool; that’s what makes this the best way to exercise. You can work just about all the muscles in your body swimming, jumping, diving and having fun in the pool, so get to it. Also, it’s hot; that’s all the reason you need to get in the pool and swim some laps, have some fun with the kids and just enjoy life.

Ride Bikes

We have a gorgeous nature trail that’s completely covered by beautiful live oaks along our very own river and springs in our community, and we love to take the kids down the trail to expend some of their energy. Sometimes we walk it, and sometimes we take the bikes and ride. It’s great exercise and it’s going to change your body if you do it regularly.

Climb the Stairs Repeatedly

This is my favorite form of exercise – not. But I do this at home when things are busy. I will go up and down the stairs at a run to get clothes for the twins, to put laundry away, to get them down from their naps, to get new toys. Sometimes, when I’m feeling particularly lazy, I’ll go upstairs and downstairs with one item at a time (shirt for Carter), back upstairs for another (shirt for Charlotte) and repeat the process until they each have complete ensembles for the day just so I have to get more exercise.

Yoga in the AM

This is my favorite way to start a day. I do about 20 minutes of yoga in the morning before the kids start trickling out of their rooms to ruin my day start the fun of the day. It relaxes me, gives me energy and makes me feel exceptionally productive on a day I wouldn’t ordinarily feel so productive.

Family Walks

If you can, I’d recommend having a set of twins and two older kids. Nothing is more exercise than pushing a double stroller up a hill (both ways in the snow…kidding. I live in Florida so by snow I mean humidity, and that is far worse). Unless, of course, you’re pushing the double stroller uphill with one hand and carrying your 4-year-old with the other because she’s “too tired to walk,” (me too, kid). This is why we’ve rearranged our schedules and take our nightly walks when daddy gets home.

Disney Trips

It’s a cop out, really, but that’s how we make ourselves feel good about it. We take our kids to Disney often since we have annual passes and live so close, and it’s a lot of walking. It’s too much work to take the kids out of the double stroller and remove everything from it to put it on the tram, so we walk from the parking lot. We walk through the park; we walk a lot.

Dance with the Kids

Our kids love a dance party. They love to tackle us and tickle us. We will do this with the big girls after the babies go to bed, and before we know it we’ve exercised nonstop for a half hour and we are a little bit winded. It’s a great form of sneaky, fun exercise, though.

Have Alone Time with My Husband

In so many ways, ladies; we all know that being intimate burns a number of calories. It’s fun, it feels good and it makes us thin – so why do so many women plead headache or tired or busy? I’ll never understand that. But also, my husband and I love a good date night, but a date day is also fun. Years ago, he talked me into trying golf with him. He loves to golf and I was so not interested. I did it once, realized that I could be pretty good with practice, and that suddenly made it competitive for us. Now we golf all the time, and it’s a lot of fun.

Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

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