How do you look after yourself? In between working, grocery shopping and endless to-do lists how do you find the time to exercise? Not long after my daughter was born a midwife told me to prioritise myself. Slowly, after two years I began to understand what she meant. Exercise makes us stronger. When we take care of ourselves we can take better care of others. But here is the question every new mom will ask: Is it possible to exercise with your kids?
For families in Vienna exercise classes that cater for parents of young children are hard to find. But they do exist. There are classes you can take with your children and exercise studios that have babysitting. Here are six ways you can exercise with your kids in Vienna.*
Workouts you can do with your child
Exercising with your kids is a great way to encourage a healthy lifestyle. It can also be really good fun. Here are three exercise options for you and your children.
1. Dance with your child: Parent & child dance classes at DoDo Academy of Irish Dance
Do you and your kids dance around the house? If you do, the parent and child dance classes at DoDo Academy of Irish Dance may be just for you. The classes for children from two years and their parents combine basic dance movement with play-based learning. The atmosphere is fun and energetic.
My daughter and I attended this class last semester. We loved it and still play ‘airplanes and airports’ — a game that will have you dancing around the room as you flit from one side to the other. The dance classes are seriously good cardio and a delight to do with your child. My advice, bring a water bottle and gym clothes.
2. Exercise with your baby: Turn that pram into a gym
Kanga, MamaFIT and Mukisport offer outdoor exercise classes for moms and babies. Under their guidance, your pram will transform into a key piece of exercise equipment as you tighten that core, work those glutes and regain strength. On our way to playgroup each week my daughter and I would stop to watch a class run with their prams around Stadtpark. It looked like a great way to spend time with your baby, meet other moms and enjoy exercise.
3. Relax with your kids: Yoga and Pilates for all the family
‘Parenting a toddler’ and ‘peaceful calm’ are not phrases that usually go together. But somehow parent and child yoga courses make it work. Freiraum offers parent and child yoga for parents and children up to three years. For parents with older children, Freiraum also runs family yoga courses, which is a wonderful way to incorporate exercise into the family routine. Family yoga classes are also available at Lyma, for parents and children from three years.
There are several mama and baby yoga courses across Vienna. These include courses at Freiraum, Mukisport and various locations of Der Wiener Volkschochschulen. There are even mother and baby Pilates classes at Pilates-Studio Elisabeth Rosen. My daughter loves to do yoga at home with me. She lays out her ‘yoga mat’, changes into her ‘gym clothes’ and then quickly tries to climb all over me before I’ve gotten anywhere near the warrior pose. Maybe if we tried one of the parent and child yoga courses we could make it all the way to “Namaste”.
Working out with a babysitter or from home
Vienna is filled with gyms and exercise classes. It is difficult to walk a block without running into major exercise franchises like McFit, Mrs Sporty and FITINN. However, few have options for looking after a child. Fortunately, ,there are a couple of gyms and workout studios that cater for moms and dads. Bless ’em. There are also options to workout from home.
1. SuperCycle: Dance on a bike while the kids play
SuperCycle combines cardio, tummy toning, strength training, yoga and dance into a 45 minute bike ride. While your kids play with the babysitter in the children’s playroom, you can throw your heart, mind and body into an awesome workout. You can set your own resistance and work at your own level. However, ‘work’ isn’t quite the right word. Under the cover of dim lights and an energetic soundtrack, it’s easy to become caught up in the rhythm of killer songs and to forget that you’re actually getting a solid workout.
As you walk in to the studio you will see a sign announcing that life is too short for boring exercise. This is so true and there is nothing boring about SuperCycle. It is seriously good fun. Currently, there is babysitting on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. There is even a garden where the kids can play in the summer months.
2. Aerobics and weights: Gyms and exercise studios where you can exercise with your kids
The Manhattan gym provides babysitting. You can hit the machines knowing that your kids are being looked after in a playroom that includes toys, a climbing frame and a sleeping couch. Children 12 years and older can also train with their parents. Alternatively, you can exercise with your baby during the KangaTraining classes at Kanga, where you will wear your little one in a baby carrier as you enjoy a total body workout.
3. Personal training: Exercise from home
Sometimes it can be difficult to get out of the house. Making it to class involves achieving a long list of small tasks that can leave you feeling like you’ve just completed a strenuous workout. Having a personal trainer come to your house removes this stress and the need to find a babysitter. While your kids play you can work with your trainer. Bianca of Miss B Personal Training helps moms develop a home-based exercise routine that suits you, your family and your schedule. I’ve started following Miss B on Instagram and enjoy her motivational posts. So far my favourite reminds me that ‘small changes can make a big difference.’
How do you look after yourself?
How do you exercise with your kids?
Do you know of other child-friendly exercise classes in Vienna?
*This post does not contain affiliate links or sponsored content. It’s the result of much, much research by a mama determined to lose her ‘baby bump’ (is it still a ‘baby bump’ when your baby is three years old?) I hope it’s helpful as you find exercise strategies that are right for you. You deserve some TLC.