Kids shouldn't be an excuse skip exercise!

07/11/2011 6:14 PM

07/11/2011 6:17 PM

We don't need a scientific study to tell us it's not easy to work out when you have small children, but the University of Minnesota recently gave us one anyway.

The study, published April 11 in the journal Pediatrics, found that parents with young children were less active than their childless peers.

MultiCare dietitian Claire Kjeld and wellness coordinator Taryn West recently offered some tips for eating right and staying active even if kids are dominating your time:

Move with your kids. Instead of sitting on the bench watching your child play at the park, get up and get moving. Running around with your child can help get some extra activity.

Go for a power walk. Grab the stroller and take a walk around the neighborhood, a park or, if it's just too hot out, the mall.

Plan your meals. This is hard with children, so West and Kjeld suggest making this a priority and cook more on weekends or after kids are in bed so you'll have healthier leftovers on days when you can't cook.

Create a home gym. Invest in some dumbbells and exercise DVDs and work out when your child is napping or playing. Even if you can't devote 30 minutes to exercise then, break your activity into 10-minute increments throughout the day.

Find other parents to exercise with. An exercise partner keeps you motivated, and stay-at-home parent friends are likely looking for an exercise boost, too.

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