A new year is here, and for many, it’s time to focus on health and fitness after the holidays. For families with young children, finding time and money to fit in exercise can be a challenge, but there are options at every budget that will allow you to keep active and healthy. One of the best tips is to get accountable and get a buddy. Any of these exercise options listed below can be enhanced by having a workout buddy. A friend, a spouse, or a family member who has similar goals as you can be your best ally to a fit new year.
Workout at Home
If your budget or your time don’t allow to join a gym or other fitness class, working out at home can be a free and very effective option. If you have an internet connection, there are reputable exercise videos available online, which can be streamed through internet enabled televisions, tablets, and computers (Jessica Smith workouts are my personal favorites online) . For a small investment, you can purchase exercise DVDs to add to your collection. (Editor’s note: check your local library too, many have great selections of workout DVD’s so you can try before you buy!) Many of theses workouts are only 20 minutes long, and if you commit, most anyone can find 20 minutes in their day to fit in a quick workout in their home. This is also a great option if you are stuck home with sick kids and will not be able to make it out of the house to exercise.
If you want to get out and get moving, a jogging stroller can be your best friend. Strap your baby, toddler, or preschooler in the stroller and get moving. If the winter months get you off track, take the stroller indoors. There are two large indoor shopping malls in Lake County. You can walk laps before the mall opens, and then let the little ones out to play in the play areas. If your tot doesn’t love the stroller, don’t give up. Special stroller toys, healthy stroller snacks, and new books can keep your little one occupied and happy while you sweat it out. Another option centrally located in Lake County is walking or jogging at the Libertyville Sports Complex. For a small fee, you can bring the stroller and do laps on their quarter mile track. Just make sure when you are walking or running, to increase the intensity and focus on making your walk more than a stroll at the mall. Once the weather thaws, you can explore your local neighborhood or the miles of paths in the Lake County Forest Preserves or your local park district. Check out our list of paved trails in Lake County as well as the trails that also have playgrounds to make it more fun for everyone!
Are you looking for access to more fitness equipment and group fitness classes, but do not want to break the bank? Check your local park district or YMCA. Most local park districts have comprehensive fitness centers, with group fitness, personal training, and babysitting. These centers are often a great deal, especially if you are a resident and offer many up to date fitness programs and equipment at an affordable rate. Typically, these facilities offer modest babysitting rooms where you can safely leave your children at an affordable rate for 1-2 hours while you exercise.
The newest fitness craze is CrossFit. You can find CrossFit Gyms, otherwise known as “boxes” all over Lake County. Cross Fit focuses on functional movements which replicate real life activities. The programs are individually tailored based on your fitness level. Each CrossFit Box operates differently, and only a few in Lake County offer babysitting services.
Private Fitness Centers
For the fanciest, and usually priciest exercise options, there are many large private fitness centers throughout Lake County. Although these centers often come with a higher monthly fee, they often offer the largest selection of fitness equipment, the most group fitness class options, spas, large babysitting areas with high-end equipment and programs, and much more. Many families find the price well worth it for the extra amenities, which make the fitness centers a whole family destination.
The most important factor in setting a fitness routine is to find a program that works with your schedule, your budget and your kids. For some, no matter what they do, they can’t seem to get their kids to settle in the stroller. Others might have great stroller kids, but can’t leave them the in the gym babysitting room without major meltdowns. Find an option that is most comfortable for you and your kids and stick to it. Not only will you feel better, you will be setting a wonderful example for your kids about the importance of fitness and physical activity that will stick with them as they grow up.
Tell us, what’s your favorite way to fit in fitness?