Friday, January 13, 2012

Parenting Fitness

How do you squeeze in time to workout as a parent?  You are busy with your job, family life, making meals, driving your little ones around, helping with homework and struggling to find time to sleep.  However, adding in small workouts (10-20 minutes) daily can improve your mood and make you a healthy role model for your kids.

With a little one you are the caretaker.  Even if you have family and friends who live nearby to assist there will be days when you are unable to make it to the gym or your fitness class.  When times like this happen go to plan B.  Take the stroller/family pet out for a walk, play tag with the kids, go for a bike ride, swim at the pool, shoot some hoops, dance to some music or do some household chores.

As your kids get older and enter school try to commit to at least one hour away a week to workout.  This gives you time to focus on your goals or try something new.  You may feel guilty at first, but when workouts are schedule and pre-paid you are going to be more successful.  This may mean getting up early, fitting in a walk on your lunch hour or stopping in after work.  Most gyms or studios now have showers which is an added bonus for those parents who are on the go.

Still not able to get time away?  Try to reach 10,000 steps a day (about 5 miles; 100 calories burned on average per mile).  Wear a pedometer and if by the end of the day when the kids are in bed and you need those extra steps you can jump on your treadmill or take the stairs to get to your goal. 

Here are some sample workouts you can fit in on those days you are pressed for time:

  • Full Body: Plank + side plank holds (30secs-2mins each), Push Ups or Burpees
  • Lower Body: Walking Lunges or Squats (add hand weights for resistance), Bridges (single leg version for a challenge)
  • Upper Body: Arm weights (can use soup cans): chest press, biceps, front/side raises, triceps
  • Cardio Circuit: Jumping jacks, jump rope, march in place, grapevine, stairs (30secs-2mins each)

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