Parenting can be energy-draining and exhausting on physical as well as emotional levels. But this cannot possibly be the reason to allow your health and wellbeing to take a backseat.
Parents of newborns, toddlers or teenagers all find themselves pressed for time. School pickups and drop-offs, activity classes, housework, kids’ homework and an array of child-related chores keep them occupied throughout the day.
Amidst all this one can forget to prioritize their needs, and exercise and workouts do not even make it to the to-do list.
Without mindful and goal-oriented efforts, you will find it hard to get your workout routine back on track. Remember that having kids need not jeopardize your fitness. There are ways in which you can incorporate invigorating physical activity between diaper changes and rushing to activity classes.
Here are a few tips for parents to stay healthy and fit.
1. Stay Fit Because You Have To
Remember that there are far too many reasons for a parent (mom or dad) to stay fit. Firstly, if you let things go now, it will get increasingly difficult to snap back to being fit later on. With age and increasingly busy lifestyles, you will find it hard to shed the pounds you have gained and will prefer to sink into the couch rather than go for a jog around the neighborhood.
As responsibilities pile up, you may struggle to include physical activity into your lifestyle. Your kids see you as a role model, but they do not get the opportunity to learn the value of regular exercise from you. Also, you want to enjoy your kids’ growing up years and go biking and trekking with them. How will that be possible if you have become overweight and unfit?
You want to be fit and healthy in old age so that you can live independently and enjoy your golden years. That will not be easy if you continue to neglect your fitness now. There are plenty of reasons to get active; find yours as soon as possible.
2. Be Mindful of Your Daily Routine
Walk to the bus stop to drop off your little one, park your car at least a stop away from your office and walk the remaining distance, do push-ups, squats or lunges as your baby naps, and take a brisk walk in the open air whenever time permits. Once you make physical activity a habit, you will notice that it is far easier to break into a sweat than you ever thought.
Analyze your daily schedule and make a mental note of the times you are less likely to be busy. Ensure that you set aside these intervals as ‘me time.’ Do crunches to strengthen your core, pack in some yoga, do an energetic dance routine, or practice a few runs up and down the stairs to do get your body in the active mode. A well-planned and regular workout routine is all that you need to prevent those calories from piling on.
3. Make Fitness a Priority for Your Family
In most cases, this is easier said than done. After a long and hard day at work, most of us like to wind down over dinner or watching our favorite sitcom. But that can breed unhealthy eating and lifestyle habits in your kids and add to your waistline.
Ensure you have meals as a family and use the time to talk to each other to know the happenings of the day. Set a good example for your little ones and enjoy your veggies and salads. Whenever possible, try to cook at home and avoid making processed foods a part of your daily diet. Plenty of nutritious and free health products like juices and protein powders available online can make your meals even healthier.
The eating habits you follow and encourage at home set the foundation of your children’s future health. You also need to ensure that you encourage timely meals at home and avoid erratic eating. Do not skip meals however rushed you are, because this will encourage your kids to do the same.
Do not make weight loss a point of conversation because it will take the focus away from fitness. Your children should be encouraged to have a positive body image. Make healthy eating all about developing a strong and athletic body. Health should be associated with a fit body and good stamina, and not with the ‘perfect body image’ that is often projected in the media.
4. Take Professional Help
One way to keep yourself motivated is to join an exercise class like Pilates, aerobics or Zumba. Kickboxing, barre and Tabata classes also help in burning calories. If you are regular enough, results will be visible in a few months, motivating you to keep going.
After you have shed those excess pounds, you can continue with the routine at home, or cut down on the number of classes and workout at home.
Enlist help of personal trainers in the beginning to maximize time spent at the gym. You will learn the best workouts for your fitness goals and will be able to independently manage them later on.
Investing in professional classes or training sessions will help you stay focused and determined in your pursuit for a fit body.
5. Track Your Progress
It is also important to monitor and track your progress. Studies have shown that slim people weigh themselves regularly and try to keep an eye on how they are faring.
Ensure you maintain a health journal in which you jot down your daily exercise routine and diet. Also, weigh yourself at least once a week to track your progress and know what you are doing right.
Staying aware and mindful of your fitness routine will help you achieve your health goals faster and in a sustainable manner.
Parents often find it difficult to maintain a healthy workout routine. They also find it hard to prioritize their needs and end up making unnecessary compromises. But, if you tweak your daily routine and bring in a few improvements, it will prove to be easy to maintain a lean and fit body.