Fitness for Busy Parents
By Jason Vaught
“When you have kid’s you just do not have time to exercise”
I hear it all the time, at parties with friends, quick conversations with acquaintances, and shockingly sometimes in our retail sports nutrition store. As a parent myself I can absolutely relate with the time restraints of raising children and whole heartedly give props to any parent who puts their children number one but I still don’t see that as an excuse to become a sedentary and unhealthy human being. As parents we must remember that in the early years our kids look up to us as role models. Ever hear your kid say, “I want to be a ___________ just like my mother/father? This can also be directly correlated with the way we take care of ourselves. If we eat bad foods and do not exercise there stands a good chance that our kids will follow in our footsteps and with the growing rate of obesity in this nation this is something we need to really work hard to prevent.
It’s easy as parents to get overwhelmed with the idea of changing our entire routine as it may bring on additional unwanted stress that will cause us to revert back to our original unhealthy habits. I couldn’t agree more with this statement and firmly believe that small changes need to be the answer. If you have not read my previous article “429 small goals = big results” please read that following this article for a better understanding of how you can incorporate small steps into your busy schedules. As in any fitness routine reaching your goals is all about consistency and prioritization.
With a little discipline your goals can be achieved with these four simple steps.
Step 1: Get quality rest!
I know that it is so much easier to sit in front of your television when the kids go to bed and zone out to reality shows where people seem to have much more challenging lives than you do but this is a band aid approach to revitalizing yourself for tomorrow’s challenges. Studies show time and time again that television at the end of the night causes a poor level of sleep quality so instead grab a book and hit the bed! Before you begin reading turn your alarm on and set it for one hour before your child wakes up.
Step 2: Prepare your food
Possibly the biggest problem for parents is they do not plan a head and make poor choices when on the go. I cannot count how many times I have heard a parent say “I haven’t had anything to eat in a long time” Which then leads to a fast food meal or frozen dinner. Planning ahead is of the utmost importance and it doesn’t take as much work as you think.
Step 3: Start Moving!
This is an easy one that many mothers already have a handle on so maybe this one is more directed at the dad’s! Grab your child, stroller (if young) and go for a simple thirty-minute walk at a steady pace. Try and choose route that has as few stop lights as possible to keep your heart rate up to optimal levels for fat loss.
Step 4: Resistance Exercise
Most parents say “I don’t have time to go to the gym” and this is a valid argument I have a hard time disagreeing with but we are here to solve problems and I do have an answer. Home workouts are becoming easier and easier as many of the latest workout video’s and fitness tools are very challenging that even most gym goers would have a hard time performing. The beautiful thing about a home workout is there are far less distractions such as seeing friends and socializing to equipment you need being in use by someone who appears to be taking a nap! So when should you perform your resistance exercise? Nap time! It only takes 30-45 minutes to perform a good solid resistance routine which still leaves you time to take care of household tasks or get some additional rest yourself if your child takes a 1 ½-2 hour nap.
Since your day is more hectic than those without children it is even more important that you log your workouts/nutrition/goals so you can track your progress. I completely understand how time seems to disappear when overloaded with responsibility so this is a great way to reflect back on your successes and make needed changes.
Since no child nor situation is the same I completely understand that this may or may not be directly tuned in to your life so if you have questions on how to make this work for you please email me at Jason@betterbodysports.com and I will help you find a program that makes getting fit simple and fun!