In the days and life of a parent – what we call “busy”… exercise does not fall top of the list. After all it is just something else we have to “squeeze” into the day. But there are some easy ways to keep it part of our life…and still top of our list:
During Drive Time
Try some isometric exercises: Squeeze your glutes, contract your abs, work your calves by raising your legs up on your toes at red lights. Park far away from your destination so you’ll have to walk; arrive early to your event if possible to allow time for a brisk walk.
At Programs, Practices, and Games
Walk around the facility before or after the event; look for chances to combine a class or activity with those of your children. For example, take aerobics while your daughter has basketball practice.
While Keeping House
Shop at big stores where there’ll be lots of walking; do meal prep and cleanup with a little music and dancing. Clean to music, and shun some of your labor saving devices (like remotes). When doing yard work, keep moving! Use your leg and glute muscles (instead of your back) to shovel, rake, move dirt, etc. When doing laundry, do squats to pick up unfolded laundry from the basket, and take fitness breaks during homework time, such as stretching or jumping rope for three minutes. (Your kids will love it!) Become your dog’s best friend– most dogs are always ready to boogie. (And let me tell you, when you walk a dog on a regular basis, boy can you feel the love!)
For Play Dates
Keep in mind the old adage that children live what they learn. If you don’t want your kids to be couch potatoes, be a good example. Walk to the library for story hour; plan regular play times at the park or pool; when snow keeps you home, go play in it.
By making physical activity fun, you’ll lay the foundation for your kids to have healthy, active lives. What’s more, you’ll rediscover that activity can be fun—not just another item to check off your grown-up list!