Finding the time to exercise can be difficult these days, especially for single parents who are battling their way through busy schedules. As important as daily exercise is for our physical and mental health, it often comes down to a choice between working out and spending time with the kids, or getting housework done, or finding fifteen minutes for yourself.
Fortunately, there are a few easy ways to fit in exercise even as a busy single mom or dad; the key is to find workouts that fit into your lifestyle and that you actually enjoy doing so you’ll stick with it. You can also merge exercise and the daily activities you’d be doing anyway, which will allow you to multitask.
Here are some of the best ways to get active no matter how busy your schedule is.
Don’t feel obligated to join a gym
Gym memberships can be costly, and if you can’t find the time to get there not only will it be money wasted, but you’ll feel guilt and stress on top of it. Rather than joining a club, think about simply finding time during your day to get in a few more steps. Park further away from the supermarket than usual, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and think about going for a walk during your lunch break. If you work in an area where it’s difficult to get out, look up some yoga poses you can do at your desk. Check out Singlemoms.org for more tips on how to fit in a workout.
Let your housework work for you
Chores can be great exercise, especially vacuuming and lawn work. Put on some music to get yourself going and keep up a steady pace while cleaning, raking, or mowing. Gardening is another great way to get in a daily workout, as it works many different muscle groups and is usually okay for individuals of any age or mobility range.
Get the kids involved
Kids are great motivators, so get them involved in your daily workouts. Talk about the benefits of regular exercise and get them excited about physical activity in order to plant the seeds for healthy habits down the road. Play a game of kickball, or throw on some music, push back the furniture, and have a dance party. Check out TheSpruce.com for more tips on how to find more ways to get active.
Use exercise as your relaxation time
It can be hard to find time for yourself as a single parent, and if you battle stress, anxiety, or are feeling your way through a newly sober life, alone time is important. Workouts such as yoga and swimming are wonderful not only for your body, but for your mental and emotional health as well. Relaxing workouts can help you learn how to meditate and get a better grip on stabilizing your mood, which can help you have a happier life in general. For more information on how this type of exercise can help you through recovery, Drugrehab.org has some wonderful insights.
Workout a little bit at a time
One of the biggest mistakes we often make is assuming that a lengthy workout is required to get the benefit, but it can be just as effective to exercise a little bit at a time. Ten or fifteen minutes per day is much better than no activity at all, so run in place while you’re watching television, or do leg-lifts while you’re folding laundry. Anything is better than sitting motionless, as appealing as that may seem some days.
Remember that if you make your workout as fun and easy as possible to fit into your day, you’ll be much more apt to stick to it. Don’t think of exercise as a punishment, but as a way to better your life for yourself and for your children.
Author: Jason Lewis (strongwell.org)