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Most moms of young kids are less fit than they once were, probably mainly because you are too bust with parenting and the rest of life to even get working out on your to-do list.

The thing is, physical exercise has so many benefits for you and your kid(s) that it is well worth making time for, even if you can't quite see how. 

Why exercise?

Since giving birth to two kids, my once flat abdomen isn't quite as appealing any more. It's not that I am overweight in the least. Weight loss after pregnancy was not a problem for me, it's just that the muscle tone has gone. My two kids are active, and sometimes hyperactive, four- and six year olds. We homeschool, and I work from home. I try to cook from scratch. We usually have lots of stuff going on. Obviously, I don't work out. Or is it obvious?

We do walk a lot as a family, but more in order to get places than for exercise. Exercise is, when you find the right work out for you, a lot of fun. It gets your endorphins flowing and gives you an instant mood lift. Regular exercise can even combat mild depression. It can also fight hyperactivity in kids who've spent too much of the day indoors.

Of course, working out regularly promotes good health and a toned body you can be proud of. Tons of reasons to stop being lazy and make time for regular physical activity for the whole family. (I forgot to mention, my husband does play soccer. He'd love to do more active stuff with the rest of us. He is not to blame.) Here's what we already do, and what I plan to do., with my kids. Care to join us?

Walk (nearly) everywhere

We live in a city where nearly everything we need is within walking distance, and the weather is pleasant enough to enjoy being outdoors a lot of the time. Walking everywhere is currently our main source of physical activity. We walk to the grocery store and back, to the farmers' market, to playdates... everywhere, really.

Getting around on foot is much quicker than getting around by car in our city, and I know not everyone is lucky enough to live in such a compact town. If you do not walk regularly, try walking more walking as a form of transportation may work for you if you are not motivated to walk for fun or to work out.

Play active games with the kids

Playing tag with your kids, or hide and seek, or climbing trees with them feels much more like parenting than working out, but you will still get in a far share of cardio exercise. Carry your kids around, or wrestle with them, and you've got some muscle toning going on too. We do a lot of this in our family, so I should cut myself some slack. Great fun, doesn't feel like a chore, but still a work out.

Doing stuff around the house

Sure, cleaning and tidying actually count as exercise. If you move a lot. At our house, there's always a ton of DIY stuff to take care of. If you're into DIY too, and especially if you are using power tools, you are probably using lots of different muscle groups and are getting a great work out. Renovating your own house is a wonderful way to get fit, if you do enough of it.

Schedule family fitness time

Now here is what we do not currently do, but what I am going to introduce. I am going to schedule regular family fitness time. Every morning. We're going to start tomorrow. First, we're going to do some gentle and fun yoga exercises done for children. We've already done these, and the kids both think they are a lot of fun. Then, I am going to follow along with some abdominal (to start with) toning videos. All of this is available for free on YouTube, and you do not need any equipment other than your computer and modem. We will do 20 minutes, and may add another 20 minutes later during the day if the routine works for us.

Organize a dads' night in

A while ago, a great friend of mine admitted that she would love to jogging after work a few nights a week. Unfortunately, she thinks she looks silly running and is afraid to go by herself. I'd like to go jogging too, but would never be motivated enough without a partner in crime. I've decided right here that we should sign our husbands up for a dads' night in with the kids, while we go jogging, at least once a week. It only has to take an hour. My friend and I would get a break from the kids, and would get fitter and more motivated.

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