*This post contains affiliate links
I don't go to the gym but I do make sure that I move my body daily, it helps with my well-being and mental health so much as well as calm my mind and helps me balance work, parenting and life better. I think we all know that regular physical exercise is crucial for living a healthy, happy life, but getting time to be active every day can be very difficult when trying to juggle parenthood especially when most parents are rushing around doing school runs, food shops, work, taking care of dinner and all the life admin and responsibilities, there can be very little time to get in any kind of exercise.
Just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean that it’s completely impossible. With a little adaptability, if you want it, even as busy parents, we can to an extent find time and can include more exercise in our daily routine. I can say first-hand how much exercise boosts your mood, make you feel calmer and more in control and can even improve other areas like making your skin clearer, and is recommended by a sleep clinic to help you sleep better at night.
So I thought I would share some tips on the most accessible exercises for parents that are constantly on the move. No one should have to sacrifice their personal health and well-being for anything, and these workouts will allow you to take control of your life and pursue the fitness that’s been on your mind.
Walking, Running, Hiking
Cardio is one of the most important exercises for keeping your heart healthy and what I love about it is that you can do it with your kids but also it's a very budget-friendly option and you don't need any specific equipment besides a comfy pair of trainers.
Why not go for a nature hike after school especially during the warmer months when the evenings are lighter or you could try pop out for a jog around the neighbourhood before school pickup. If you have very limited time during the week then why not purchase a cheap jumping rope for the house? It's an effective way to get your heart rate up quickly and with very little additional equipment, allowing you to squeeze in a workout without having to sacrifice time for other responsibilities.
While cardio is vital for keeping your heart and lungs healthy, it’s also important to work strength training into your workout routine to ensure your muscles and bones remain strong and durable. In a house full of children and other adults, it can be difficult to keep a weight machine in rooms that are taken up by other furniture. By using your own bodyweight for exercise, you can still get your blood flowing without having to rely on cumbersome equipment.
Some effective bodyweight exercises include push-ups, sit-ups, and squats, all of which can be done in any bedroom or living room with adequate space. Even if you can only get a few sit-ups in between housekeeping chores, your body will thank you for working your muscles and keeping them well-conditioned.
Now that we’ve covered heart health and muscular strength, the next thing to focus on is flexibility. Staying flexible is something that a lot of busy parents are already familiar with, as life is already filled with so many things that take adaptability and patience. When it comes to building physical flexibility, however, one of the best exercises you can do is yoga. You also need very little to get started and Adriene has plenty of free Yoga videos on her youtube channel to get you started so you don't even have to opt for expensive classes.
Yoga can be an incredibly helpful exercise because not only does it allow for increased flexibility, but it gives stressed parents a moment to centre themselves and relieve some stress. There are various yoga positions you can start with to build your balance and flexibility, and as you feel yourself become more comfortable with certain poses, you can move on to more sophisticated ones that will challenge your body. Similar to the exercises listed above, yoga also requires minimal equipment, as you can complete most poses with only the assistance of a cushioned yoga mat.
A family bike ride
When it comes to the weekend most parents have a bit more time to spare so if you are unable to be as active during the week, why not head out on a family bike ride with your kids, it's something that can be enjoyed by the whole family and is a great low impact way to get active and your blood pumping, you could even pack a picnic and have a ride around a local beauty spot.
Being a parent is tough, but finding the time for regular exercise can lead to a marked improvement in your health and energy levels. Whether you decide to focus on cardio, bodyweight exercises, or yoga, you’ll be able to take greater control of your life when it feels like you’re being pulled in so many directions each day. Just remember that exercise takes the same dedication as everything else you do as a parent, and the only way to fully succeed is to make a regular commitment to your well-being.