Active NAtion

What's your barrier?

I am a busy parent

Having kids doesn’t mean you can’t lead an active lifestyle. Be creative and think of ways you and the kids can have fun being active together. Parents who feel good physically are better able to handle the stresses daily life can press upon them.  Being physically fit promotes happiness, confidence and reduces the chances of getting ill. In addition, being active can boost your energy levels which is a real bonus when it comes to keeping up with kids of all ages!

Finding the time to exercise with little ones around can be a challenge.  Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

1.Workout early or late when the kids are asleep

There are a multitude of apps and home exercise dvds that have been designed to enable you to have a full body workout in the comfort of your own home.

Many apps focus on specific goals and training, such as building up to a marathon, whilst others focus on toning certain body parts and muscle groups. So, whether you’re new to exercise or a triathlon champion, there will be an app out there to help you on your fitness journey.


2.Obstacle Course Events

Suited to families with kids of 5 and older, obstacle course events are a fun and invigorating way for the whole family to be active together. There are a huge variety of obstacles including climbing walls, swinging across monkey bars and carrying sandbags before running to the next station.

Powered by Active Nation, Active Warrior events located at different venues across the country, guarantee a fun day out whilst challenging the whole family’s inner warriors.

The next event, Rainbow Rampage, takes place on October 20th in Southampton. It’s not a race, it’s a rampage around at your pace on a 3km course filled with obstacles and explosions of colour dye, allowing you to be a part of a festival of fun.

3.Take them to The Park

Having fun in the park with your kids is not only free but comes with other unexpected benefits. Apart from being good old fashioned fun, people often report feeling happier with boosted energy levels after exercising outdoors. One study reported a reduction in negative feelings associated with depression and anxiety.

Benefits of the great outdoors aren’t reserved for adults; as well as developing spatial awareness, muscle strength and co-ordination, kids develop resilience by learning to take risks, problem solving and dealing with new situations.

Games you can play in the park include:

  • Hide and seek – count to 30 whilst the other person hides before running to find them.
  • Circuits – Challenge your kids to do different exercises such as forward rolls, star jumps and planks in different areas of the park. Time each other to see how long it takes to complete the course.
  • Bat & Ball – Lots of variations of this game including badminton, rounders and cricket. All great for promoting hand eye co-ordination, focus and muscle strength.
  • Geocaching – Combine walking with a treasure hunt and try Geocaching.


Operated by Parklives, Buggymums fitness classes are for mums to enjoy with their kids in buggies. Sessions are an hour long, and usually involve a 1-3 mile route in total. Classes start with a moderate warm up walk, moving into a power walk or run to raise heart rates. Each session includes group exercises selected to strengthen particular muscle groups, enabling mothers to cope with the demands of motherhood.

Find a Parklives Buggymum sessions near you 👉

As a busy working mother who was new to the area, Harj joined the Southampton Buggymums group with her 2 year old son. We caught up with Harj to find out about the positive effects Parklives has had on their lives.

5.Trade childcare

Exercising with kids in tow is a win-win situation, however, if you can factor in some alone time at a local leisure centre, even better. Most leisure centres offer crèche facilities where you can leave your kids whilst you work out. If money is tight why not come to an arrangement with a friend who also has kids and trade childcare with one another.

6.Build Exercise Into Daily Lives

Making exercise part of the whole family’s routine will not only bring health benefits to all of you, but also provide great bonding time as well. If it’s not something that’s happening in your home at the moment, don’t worry – it’s not too late.

Check out our blog for creative ways to build activity into your daily lives, with kids in tow.

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