How to find time to exercise as a busy parent
One question I am asked regularly is how I find the time and energy to exercise since being a Mum. The answer is that it is bloody hard. If I have 30 minutes spare, I would love to lie in bed and eat ice-cream, but I know that I will feel better mentally if I do some physical activity.
Parents find it hard to take 10 minutes out of their day for themselves, let alone 30 minutes for a workout. When we do have time to work out, we often feel guilty leaving the kids, guilty that the housework could be done instead, or we would rather relax on the couch (unless that’s just me).
With our busy lives, prioritising time for ourselves is usually put on the back burner. However, taking time out for ourselves and working out has immense benefits such as more energy, weight loss, toning muscles, improves circulation, and can help you burn off any stress and anxiety. You owe it to yourself! Even if you can spare 15 minutes per day to go for a walk, do some stretching, or taking an online class on Youtube or an app.
Here are some of my tips to find time for exercise.
Walking: One of my favourite ways to exercise is to walk. I live in the states and will avoid driving as much as I can because driving on the left-hand side feels like a workout in itself. Walking or running with your baby or toddler in the pram is a great way to get some fresh air, sunshine, and if you’re lucky your child may take a nap. It’s a win win for everyone.
Fitness app or online class: Youtube has fantastic yoga and Pilates classes that are free. You can do them in the comfort of your own home, and switch one on when the baby is asleep. Some of my favourite fitness apps are ‘Nike NTC’, ‘Daily Yoga’, and ‘5-minute yoga’. Some of my favorite YouTube fitness classes are ‘Pop sugar Fitness – 25-minute Pilates workout’, Pop sugar Fitness – 30-minute strength, cardio and Pilates workout’, and ‘Blogilates- POP Pilates for Beginners’.
Join a gym with a crèche: Research gyms in your area that have a crèche available. Most gyms that have daycares will take kids for up to 2 hours. This gives you time to do a 45-60 minute workout, stretch, shower and have a quick snack before picking your kids up. This way you feel relaxed when you leave.
Take up sports as a family: I think for myself it is important to make exercising together a part of my family life. Going to the park on the weekend or after school to play sports, going for bike rides, walks, swimming and even tennis or rollerblading are all fun ways to get the family involved in physical activity.
Workout with a friend: Workout out alongside a friend is a fun way to get in some exercise. Even grabbing a coffee together and going for a walk around the block with the pram, doing a gym class together or doing a home workout together. I find being around other mums can make a positive shift in my mental health when I am ever feeling lonely, stressed or unmotivated.
I would love to hear some ways that you make for exercise as a parent.