Thursday, April 5, 2012

E is for Exercise

One of the things that you notice pretty quickly when you have four kids in three years, is that quality exercise time is pretty much a thing of the past. No more bike rides that last several hours. I can't even leave the house to run. And it's pretty hard to run while pushing a stroller with four kids in it.  Believe me, I've tried.

Because of this challenge, I've spent the last few years developing the D.T.W.S. As you probably already guessed, that stands for Dynamic Toddler Workout System.

Don't have time to head to the gym? No problem. Your equipment is that short, cute little thing who is sticking oatmeal in her hair while you read this. 

Barbells and dumbbells? That's so 19th century.

Kettle ball workouts? That's so for people who actually own a kettle ball.

If you've got a kid in the house, you already have all you need.

This was my first attempt, back when the twins were about a month old. I blogged about Milo and the Bull---and hoped that just like the great Greek Olympic chamion of the ancient olympic games, I too would have my strength grow along with my young bulls. Check out the historical post from 2008:  http://www.bbjohnson.blogspot.com/2008/11/when-greek-mythology-exercise-and.html

Here was one of my first exercises--doing squats with my one-month olds.

Warm up by chasing the kid(s) around the house for a few minutes. If they're still babies, you don't need to warm up. Carrying them half the day and 3/4 of the night has taken care of that.

 
 Hold Twins (or singleton) gently but firmly. Legs shoulder width apart.
 Slowly perform a squat. Repeat. Repeat again.
 Then, after you have four kids, repeat again. Pick up all four kids.
 And, perform squats while holding all four. See? Milo's training method was no bull!
 After squats, assume a plank position. In our house, this normally means 1 to 3 kids pile on. This time I had all four. Hold for as long as possible without starting to cry. Kids are always concerned and sometimes worried if daddy or mommy cries.
 Bench press is next. perform slowly so child does not fall on your head, or on other child on lap.
 My youngest makes a very cute kettle ball replacement. Hold child tightly with both hands in front of you, slowly bring her below your knees.
 Then, bring her overhead in a slow swinging motion. Repeat.
 Now, it's time for military press. hold child carefully in front of you.
 Slowly raise overhead, being careful not to drop child on tile floor, or on siblings below. Repeat. Repeat again. Then repeat all exercises for the next 18 years with the same kids, and you will be seriously ripped.
 And, don't forget, lead your young recruits in some exercises of their own. Good pushups, Leif!
 Finally, harness the weight of your children to good purpose. Put as many as possible into one stroller and push. Uphill preferably. Brooke started running with all four of them shortly after I snapped this picture.
 And, while Brooke pushed the stroller, I tried to teach the dog to heel. That takes a lot of energy.

So, Enjoy the DTWS!

One thing I've also learned, is I don't try to take 15 or 20 minutes as exercise time. Sometimes, it's one set of push-ups with a kid on my back. Sometimes I do calf-raisers while trying to get a baby to sleep. I found  out I seriously often don't have time for a long workout, but I can do it 1 set at a time.

And so can you!


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