No matter who you are, maintaining your health is important. But it often becomes a bit tricky when you are a parent.
As a parent, you have increased responsibilities to care and provide for your family. An important part of staying healthy is exercising, but it is not always easy to find the time for a workout while taking care of a family.
Instead of trying to set aside large chunks of time to work out, consider focusing on exercising in smaller bursts throughout the week.
There are also other small ways you can combine working out with your daily routine. For example, instead of using an elevator at work, take the stairs.
When you run your errands, park further away from the store so you have a longer walk. During your lunch break, go for a walk.
While all of these may seem small and ineffectual, it can quickly add up throughout the week to make for a proper workout. Listed below are several other workout tips and plans for even the busiest parent.
1. Combine Exercise and Play
If you have a younger child, one way to get a workout in is to combine your exercise with your child’s playtime, especially if you and your child typically play outside.
With younger children, a wonderful way to get a workout in is with a jogging stroller. Jogging strollers, also known as running strollers, are designed with larger wheels than a traditional stroller.
With the extra swivel and suspension, you can take a jogging stroller safely across any type of terrain. There are extra buckles and a padded seat to ensure comfort for your child.
While you may not be able to run at top speeds, the extra weight from pushing the stroller can give you a great workout.
If you normally move your arms when you jog and are having a challenging time adjusting, you can invest in a hands-free adapter. The adapter contains a waist strap to connect you to your stroller, giving you full control of your arms while you jog.
2. Incorporate Squat Exercises
A great tip for parents to get exercise while taking care of their children is to incorporate small workouts into their daily routine.
Doing squats requires minimal space and can be done in almost any setting.
To perform a squat, stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Keep your heels pressed firmly against the floor, then lower yourself into a sitting position, pushing up with your heels to get back into a standing position.
Squats burn calories and work out your core. They also help boost your bone mineral density as well as flexibility.
Doing repeated squats can even improve your posture and balance. It also reduces the chances of injuring your knees and ankles.
You can even incorporate squats into cleaning routines around your home, such as picking up toys around the house.
3. Drop for 10
Another quick workout for parents is drop for 10. Like squats, the exercise is doable no matter where you are and takes minimal time.
Dropping for 10 primarily focuses on crunches and pushups, but you could include other quick exercises as well. The premise is, whenever you have a break, drop down and perform a set of 10 exercises.
Pushups are popular, but crunches and lunges can be good options as well. If you are in the living room or bedroom, you can hook your feet under the bed or couch to give you extra support for crunches.
Another quick exercise you can include with a drop for 10 is mountain climbers.
For this exercise, take a runner’s stance and lift one of your knees towards your chest, alternating between legs during the workout. If you are particularly flexible, you can bring your knee toward the opposite arm instead.
4. Take Lunch Break Walks
If you are too busy at home or do not have enough space for a workout, try and get some exercise time in during work. If you do not want to do any intense exercises at work, consider taking a walk during your break.
A short walk can be an effective way to burn some calories and get your blood circulating. It is also a way to clear your mind and get rid of some stress and tension from your workday.
If you are a full-time parent, consider incorporating a walk around the house during nap time instead.
5. Invest in a Bike
Another way you can incorporate exercise into your routine is with a bike. Biking is not only a great workout, but it may be able to save you money by cutting down on gas costs.
If the weather does not allow it or you work too far to reasonably bike back and forth, you can still get a workout in with an exercise bike.
There are many portable exercise bikes you can quickly set up and store at home to get a workout in. An exercise bike is significantly less expensive than other at-home workout equipment, while also usually taking up less space.
6. Try Yoga
Yoga can be a great workout for busy parents because it can either be performed alone or with your family.
There are many yoga exercises designed for parents and children. Yoga is particularly effective for younger children because it helps them focus as well as improving strength and flexibility.
It can also be a safe way to instill mental discipline, giving your child a fun and challenging task to work through.
Children typically appreciate being included in activities alongside their parents. The breathing and relaxation aspects of yoga are also great tools for reducing anxiety and stress.
7. Consider Joining a Family Gym
If you are a health guru and want more than just a quick workout between chores, your best option is to find a family gym. There are several types of family gyms available.
One option is to find a gym with classes for your child, allowing them to work out at the same time as you. In addition to gyms, there may be community centers with recreation sports leagues available. Organizations like the YMCA offer swimming lessons for children.
Another option is to find a gym that includes a daycare center that allows you to drop off your child.
While these can be great resources, they can also be one of the most expensive options. You may be able to find a fitness center that offers free daycare, but it might only be during select hours.