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Many of us are working from home these days and if you have children, then you may also be balancing your children’s education with your work, while also trying to maintain your sanity and your fitness. If you find yourself struggling to get your workouts in, it might be time to adjust your expectations. Right now, you don’t need to be great, being a good athlete is good enough. And being a good athlete right now may just mean scaling back your expectations and incorporating your family into your training.

Here are six ideas for incorporating your family into your training (from a coach who has two children, ages 8 and 2):

1.     Embrace the family run. If you have children that are young enough, put them in a run stroller and bring them along. If you have children that are old enough, invite them to bike next to you during a run. With a stroller you will likely be running slower, but it will make you stronger. And with a child biking next to you, they can be your “team car” by carrying your water and helping you keep pace.

2.     Speed work in an empty field. Soccer and football fields aren’t being used these days, so put them to good use. Bring some cones or some other way to mark off different distances and do speed work while your children play in the field.

3.     Embrace the family bike ride. Family bike rides provide excellent opportunities to be active with your family, while you get a good recovery ride in. Get out the bikes for the older kids, the baby seats or bike trailers for the infants/toddlers, and third wheel attachments for the younger children and go for a spin around the neighborhood. Make sure to have helmets and water bottles for everyone. Take breaks regularly for water, laughter, and looking at nature.

4.     Strength training with kids. My oldest child’s school is sending out virtual P.E. classes that regularly include push-ups, sit-ups, burpees, and even games of tag. If your child’s school is doing something similar, join in!

5.     Strength training with kids, part 2. If your child’s school isn’t doing that, then begin incorporating it into your family routine 2-3 times a week. It’s important for your children to be active, so help set a good example and run around the backyard, jump rope, do burpees, or play soccer in the backyard. My oldest child likes to do TRX workouts with me, albeit a very simplified version of my strength routine.

6.     Train early in the day. Set your alarm for zero dark thirty and get that workout in before the co-workers (I mean, your family) wake up.

 Many of our regular routines have been changed lately and creating a new routine can be challenging. But routines are incredibly important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and managing stress. There is no perfect situation for training these days, but making the effort to keep everyone happy and invested in healthy living helps in keeping everyone healthy, safe, and more at ease during these difficult times.

Playtri Coach Jim

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