Keeping up with a regular, healthy diet and exercise plan can be challenging on its own, but when you toss kids into the mixture, things get more complicated.
As a parent, you most likely find yourself constantly on the go: work meetings, dance recitals, football practice, grocery shopping, birthday parties…need I go on?
And when you do finally find that free time to exercise, your little ones are waiting for you to return for some snuggles and snacks on the couch.
Being a parent is a job in itself, but if you’re working outside the home most of the day, that’s valuable time you’re missing with your child. And by the time you come home from work, you may only have a couple of hours to spend with your kids before it’s off to bed.
So, naturally, you may put off your fitness time in order to spend time with your child.
Now, you may be asking yourself, “but what about my fitness goals?” And to that we say you’re absolutely right. Your fitness goals do matter, and spending quality time with your kids also matters…and we have the solution to both.
Here are some ways you can stay in shape without giving up time with your children:
Exercise Before Work
We get it, waking up and exercising well before the sun rises (and before coffee for that matter) may not sound like an ideal situation.
Think about it this way, though: by waking up 30 minutes to an hour earlier than usual, you can fit in an uninterrupted workout while the kids are sleeping.
You’ll find yourself feeling energized for the day and totally ready to be a super mom (or super dad). Plus, your workout will be taken care of for the day so that you can enjoy some family activities later.
Take the Kids Out For a Walk
Kids are bursting with energy, which makes them perfect workout buddies.
Take them for a walk or jog with you through the park or around your neighborhood and work up a sweat together. Or, if your child is still in diapers, push them in the stroller as you do some cardio.
This will also teach your kids how to have good exercise habits early, which will increase their likelihood of maintaining these habits as they get older.
Keep in mind, though, that walking is only a supplement for exercise. If you want to seriously lose weight or give yourself increased energy throughout the day, you should look check out a more intense workout program, like one of our boot camps.
Exercise During Your Lunch Break
Let’s say you have an hour lunch break, you can take at least 30 minutes of that time to perform a light workout.
There are many ways you can fit in some exercise without having to go to the gym or needing heavy equipment; this could include walking laps around your office building, squats, lunges, or holding small weights for arm curls.
If you are also provided with 10-15 minute breaks throughout the day, you can utilize this time to your advantage so that by the end of the day, you will have completed a full hour workout.
Again, this is a great way to supplement your main workout routine. The cool thing is, many of the exercises at Fit Body Boot Camp can work at home or at the office too. Check out our workout posts on this blog, or come try out one of our sessions for more workout ideas.
Sneak in Exercises in Everyday Activities
So maybe you couldn’t get out of bed at 5 in the morning or couldn’t escape that lunch meeting, no worries! It’s totally possible to sneak in some workouts during everyday life.
For example, you can squeeze in some planks during the kids’ afternoon nap. Or if your child’s favorite show is on and they can’t take their eyes off of it, use that time to do some burpees or do some situps.
Even meal time can be fitness time – while the kids are eating, you can get some jumping jacks in. It’s a win-win for all!
Most importantly, remember that the occasional missed workout doesn’t have to stop your fitness journey. Getting healthy is a marathon, not a sprint, and the important thing is that you just keep moving.
Make Your Home Your Gym
If you’re a stay at home parent, you may find yourself unable to make it to the gym sometimes, and that’s okay.
There are plenty of resources around your house that you can use to create a personal gym. A chair or countertop makes a great support for some arm dips. If you don’t have any weights, some heavy books can add some intensity to your squats or lunges.
You actually can get by without any kind of equipment, your body weight works just as well when you’re focusing on toning your muscles. Using any empty space around the home allows you the freedom to get up and get moving however works best for you.
Have a Dance Party
Dancing is a great way to get your heart pumping and your body sweating – and it’s tons of fun when you’re jamming out with your loved ones. Put on some upbeat music, grab your kids, and have a dance party in the living room. You’ll be having such a good time that you’ll forget it’s even exercise.
Turn TV Commercials into a Fitness Game
At the end of a long day, nothing beats just sitting down as a family and watching some television together. But the great thing about television is there are plenty of commercial breaks, perfect for sneaking in quick workouts in short increments!
Try turning them into a fun game with your kids and suddenly, commercial breaks won’t be so boring. One example would be every time a commercial starts, do a contest with your kids to see who can do the most push ups before the show comes back on.
Start Using Shorter, More Intense Workouts
The biggest mistake most people make when they decide to get in shape is when they assume they have to spend a ton of time in the gym.
That’s not true, though. In fact, the latest scientific research shows that you can actually burn a lot more fat and gain a lot more muscle tone by spending less time in the gym.
It’s called High Intensity Interval Training (or HIIT). The idea is that by doing more intense workouts for shorter amounts of time, you can supercharge your body’s metabolism to keep burning extra fat even after you’re done with your workout.
In fact, at Fit Body Boot Camp we use a special version of HIIT that produces our signature Afterburn Effect, which keeps your body burning extra fat up to 32 hours after your workout.
Plus, our workouts are only 30 minutes long.
So you can get better fitness results by spending LESS time in the gym…and with all that extra time, you can do whatever you like to spend more time with your family.
Staying in shape and spending time with your kids are two important factors that don’t always need to be kept separate. Try using these tips to incorporate a healthy lifestyle into both you and your child’s schedule. Kids grow up fast, and you want to be there for every important step in their life.