7 Must-Haves to Make Your Workout (with Kids) More Do-Able

Ah, summer time. Time to be outside. Time for fun in the sun. Time where the kids are home all.the.time.

If you are a self-proclaimed #fitmom, trying to find time when you can workout is seemingly more difficult in the summer than it is during the school year. Even though you don’t have the busy-ness of the regular school year, summer time seems to be more busy instead of less busy. Swim lessons, pool time, vacations, summer activities, summer camp shuffling, and never-ending playdates can make getting your workout in difficult. So sometimes you have to improvise, and that improvisation will come in the form of “What can I do to keep the kids occupied and outside long enough to actually get my heart rate up?”

The Basics


Before you crank up your iTunes and get yourself moving, you want to be sure that you’ve got your kids covered, literally and figuratively, for whatever they will need while you are outside. After all, nothing is worse than stopping your workout twelve times because they need things you could have prepped before you started!

1. Sunscreen

There are so many different kids of sunscreen out there, it can be hard to find the safest ones for your kids. But all experts agree – some sunscreen, even the ones who some may tout as chemical laden ones – is better than no sunscreen. Without sunscreen your child is susceptible to sun burns, skin damage, and is at future risk of skin cancer. Even if you don’t plan on being outside for very long, sunscreen should always be applied. We have put some of our favorites below:

2. Snacks

There’s no doubt that when kids start playing they will need some snacks to fill their bellies. Before you starting hitting those one-legged squats, be sure you bring out some healthy and delicious snacks so you don’t have to hit pause 18 times because someone whined, “But mooommm, I’m hunnngggrryyy.” Here are some of our go-to’s:

  • Leave out some cut up fruit in a container on the counter for everyone to grab. Kids will nibble on this throughout your workout better than individually plated fruit. Scientists still haven’t figured out why, but so far the conclusion is that kids are weird.
  • Place some of their favorite snacks in a cupcake baking pan. Again, these are the same snacks you might give to them individually, but they seem much more exciting (read: they’ll be occupied) when they are presented this way.
  • Other go-to snacks:
    • Fruit and veggie pouches
    • Homemade popsicles (be sure to have wipes handy!)
    • Homemade popcorn made with coconut oil
    • Smoothies
3. Citronella Candles

Mosquitos are one of the biggest downfalls of summer time. No matter where you live in the United States, these little buggers will find you. Whether you are working out outside with the kids or you are just hanging out, citronella candles are a must.

Citronella is a natural, essential oil that is known to deter mosquitos and other bugs from its immediate surroundings. Typical citronella candles that you buy from the store are made with unsafe chemicals that burn off when lit, which can be ingested by anyone in their direct area. Soy candles, like the ones from Bright Endeavors, are safer than traditional candles because they don’t contain any of those harmful chemicals.

Bright Endeavor’s Citronella Soy Candle comes in two sizes of their candle tins (8 oz. or 4 oz.) which will give you either 30 or 15 hours of burn time. It is a perfectly safe option for keeping pesky mosquitos at bay while your kids play and while you workout. And you better stay close to the candle, because mosquitos really like sweat!

If you love the idea behind Bright Endeavor’s Soy Candles, never fret – on those way too hot days or those muggy rainy days, you can keep your indoors smelling fresh and summery, too, with their popular lavender sprig scent.

4. Music

Not only will you need music to jam out to while you workout, but your kids will love it too. Music is something that gets everyone moving, can change a person’s mood, and will make time fly for both you and the kids. All you have to do is find music that everyone loves – no problem, right?

Yes, sometimes (surprise, surprise) not everyone can agree on the music they want to hear. One kid might want the Trolls soundtrack for the 8th time in a row. Another might be feeling a little feisty with “Shake it Off” blaring in the background. And YOU might be tired of hearing it all. Music is the soul-changing force that brings every one together – even if they are all listening to something different!

LilGadget Headphones are perfect for those moments when everyone wants something different. And these headphones are made for kids. They are easy to adjust, they won’t pinch, and they are comfy to wear. The bright colors are just what every little kid needs in their life, too.

There’s no shame in letting the kids watch their devices for 30 minutes while you workout, either. If it’s simply too hot to be outside or it’s raining, let your kids hang out for a bit while you pump some iron. Getting your endorphins in will make you a happier mama, making everyone’s summer much easier.

5. Shoes

The perfect childhood summer includes puddle-jumping, frog-catching, mudpie-making, and exploring nature as much as possible. And when you’re working out outdoors, you want your kids to be in comfortable shoes that you don’t have to worry about. In fact, the perfect way to give Mom a heart attack, especially when she’s working out, is to wear nice shoes – or even sneakers – in all the messy summer glory. Enter Kamik WATER SHOES.

These shoes are made for the mess. They are quite simply the ideal shoe for running, jumping, splishing, splashing, in your yard, at the beach, in the ocean, at the playground, for summer camp, or anywhere your summer adventures take your child. With Kamik water shoes you won’t be consumed with worry about how you’re going to clean all that grossness off their shoes when you’re doing what feels like your 85th burpey in a row.

Kamik’s Crab water shoes are the ideal combination of sandals, water shoes, and sneakers. They feature super durable, super grippy rubber soles that will stand up to the wear and tear of hours upon hours of rough outdoor summer play, exploring the forest, playing king of the mountain, playing in the dirt, and splashing up the splash pad. There’s no slipping and sliding in these bad boys, so you can let the kids run free without worrying they will slip and fall.

The Workout


Whether you are working out inside or outside, having kids around can make it even harder to accomplish what you want. But you CAN workout at home and with the kids around. With the right tools for both you and the kids, you will have this thing in the bag in no time.

6. Activity Tracker

An activity tracker can be a game-changer for your fitness routine, especially with kids. It helps you to track your every movement, giving you the assurance that you do have reason to be exhausted today because despite feeling like your workout was interrupted 15 times (and it was), you still took over 12,000 steps.

All activity trackers have different features, but the one thing they have in common is they track your movements – and moms move a lot. The Kingston Gold bracelet by Wisewear not only tracks your steps for the day, but will also give you weekly updates of your movements so you know how much ass you kicked this week.

Its sleek design is something you will want to wear everywhere, not just during your workout. It is wi-fi enabled and has Bluetooth capabilities. In fact, if you ever are by yourself and in trouble, three simple taps of your bracelet will notify your emergency contacts that you need help. The Wisewear activity tracker also alerts you to notifications on your phone so you don’t miss a thing.

Whether you’re working out at home, at the gym, or simply chasing your kids around, an activity tracker is important to include in your summer fitness routine.

7. Gym-less Workouts

When many moms think about working out at home, they often assume that they can’t because they don’t have the right equipment. Truth be told, you don’t actually have to have any equipment to work out. A quick search on Pinterest will bring you thousands of quick, easy (well, maybe not easy, but you don’t need a whole bunch of stuff to do them!), at-home workouts you can do with your kids around. Take a look below at some of our favorites:

Scavenger Hunt Workout

Of course there will be times that your kids will seemingly be doing anything in their power to get you to not workout. The best way to get around that is to workout with them. It seems impossible, but if you are able to make a fun game out of it, it will make all the difference!

One fan-favorite way of both getting your workout in and giving the kids something fun to do together is to create a scavenger hunt. Scavenger hunts are a great way to get yourself moving, get the kids moving, and make some family memories together. And using a Polaroid Camera can make something like a scavenger hunt that much more fun!

Back in our day, Polaroid Cameras were a way to have memories appear instantaneously (after a little bit of shaking anyways) in our hand. They disappeared for a few years but now are making a resurgent comeback with their new instant print camera line.

This scavenger hunt workout can be done in a variety of ways, but using your Polaroid Camera can give it a whole new challenge and excitement. The Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera allows you to set up a last minute scavenger hunt with your kids, too. Here’s how you do it: Simply take pictures of common but not necessarily noticed things around your house. With each snap of your camera, print the photo using Polaroid’s Zero Ink paper. Write an exercise to do on the back of each photo (i.e. 20 jump lunges on one card, 10 toe taps on another card, etc.). Once you have collected your scavenger hunt photos, let your kids run around the yard or the house finding the items. With each discovery, complete the workout on the back of the card!

Of course, Polaroid is great for making memories, too. This little camera can be taken anywhere – it’s lightweight and compact, can be used in portrait or selfie-mode, and also has HD video capabilities! So even if you’re not doing a workout scavenger hunt, you can still take pictures of all the cool things you find during a nature walk, a run, a family bike ride, or more!

And no worries if you forget your camera. Polaroid also has a ZIP Instant Mobile printer that you can plug into your phone but still have all those awesome throwback style Polaroids.


Working out with kids around is not the easiest. If you are determined to get your fitness on this summer, these tools are critical for your arsenal. But the best tool you have is your drive. Use that supermom power inside of you to get yourself healthy and fit this summer – even if it seems like your kids are acting against you. 

Looking for more workout ideas? Check out 10+ Playground Exercises for Mom.

Photo Credits: Sara LukeLauren Lomsdale, Dani Nicole PhotographyMemoirs Photography

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