Being a stay at home mom means taking care of the house and kids is a full time job, which can be overwhelming at times. Going out for a run not only gives you time for yourself, but also helps improve your mood and boost your energy. This article will help you navigate how to run as a stay at home mom. It is broken up into the following sections:
It’s Ok to Take Time for Yourself
Are you unsure if you want to run by yourself or with your kids? Do you feel guilty you want to run by yourself? It’s okay to take time for yourself, afterall, you are managing a household, kids, and many other lives besides your own. Self care is important, so if that means taking time for a run on your own, that is okay.
Running by yourself can help you get back in tune with your body. When it is just you on the run, you can focus on your form, your breathing, and your goals. Furthermore, running alone can help you reconnect with nature and reset yourself for what life is going to throw at you next.
Running with Kids
Running with kids might be more convenient, especially if you have little ones at home. Depending how old they are, they can either sit in the jogger, bike next to you, or run alongside you. Kids have lots of energy to burn, so exercise will help their mental and physical wellbeing as well.
While running with kids, be prepared to stop a lot. If your child is stroller age, pack snacks, water, and activities for them to do while you run. Some good activities include books or small toys. If your child is older, they may want to ride a bike next to you, skateboard, or try another type of activity.
Be prepared if this doesn’t workout. For example, what are you going to do if your kid quits halfway through the run? A track or a park might be a good option if you are unsure how far your child can make it.
Start out slow if your kids decide to bike with you. You will have to worry about mileage later and focus on how far your kids can go. You don’t want to push them too hard because they will never want to do the activity again. Yet, a little encouragement can go a long way. Try out different distances and see what is right for you and your kids.
Make Running a Family Activity
Making running a family activity can be great at bringing everyone together while getting in some physical exercise. One way to incorporate everyone is to make family running goals. These can be for individual family members as well as the family as a whole. Once someone, or the entire family,hits a goal be sure to celebrate by doing something fun together.
Running can be incorporated into your family routine. Carve out a time during the week everyone has free and keep that spot open week after week for a run. This will create a habit and the kids will know what to expect. If they happen to get bored with running, switch it up and play tag, soccer, have a dance off, go to the park, go for a hike, or do another physical activity to get in the aerobic exercise.
Age appropriate marathons are a good goal for the family. Check for marathons in your area and create a training plan for you and your family. Once you complete the marathon, be sure to celebrate your achievement as a family.
Children and Marathoning gives a good overview of how to run with your child such as
- Your child should be self motivated
- Have regular checkups by the child’s doctor
- Your child should be pain free
- Your child should be maintaining their normal growth rate
You and your child should run the race together
Things to Watch For
Stress fractures happen when a person or child does not have enough time to rest after overuse, injury, and repeated stress. The muscles rebuild during and after physical activity. However, if they do not have enough time to heal, they will be overused and transfer the stress to the lower leg or feet, which causes stress fractures.
Pain increases as time goes on with the stress fracture. At first, your child may only hurt while running. If they do not get enough rest, the pain will increase with running. Later, the child will have consistent pain at the point of the stress fracture. Inflammation and swelling are also common symptoms of stress fractures, which is another thing to look for.
While on the run, make sure to carry enough water for your child. Children are resilient when it comes to conserving water, but once they hit a certain point, their body stops compensating and they go into dehydration fast. When it is hot out, make sure they drink extra fluids beforehand and take a break about every 20 minutes for water as well. Furthermore, give them water before they feel thirsty.
If your child is complaining of headache, muscle cramps, weakness, nausea, and seems irritable, there is a good chance they have heat exhaustion. Get them inside to cool down immediately. If your child is confused, has passed out, is not sweating, is breathing fast, and/or is having a seizure, this is heatstroke is an emergency.
Being a stay at home mom and a runner can be done by creating a schedule and/or making running a family activity. Kids will learn healthy habits at a young age and you can inspire them with your running goals.