One of the most rewarding and challenging responsibilities we have in life is being a parent! This is not a job with paid vacations, weekends, sick leave, flexible hours or training manuals. It’s a plunge into the deep end and sink or swim for the next 20+ years of your life. So how exactly do you retain your hedonistic life of fitness, food and physical dedication?
Kids equal energy, so help them use it up and create an early night’s sleep for everyone! Here are some easy ways to incorporate your exercise into the parent time frame.
If you don’t feel fit unless you’ve rocked out in the gym, then look for one with a children’s section and onsite childcare.
Loading up the car and kids to go to a gym might be the struggle. No worries. Simply get online and search ‘workouts with my kids.’ You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Just try out the ideas of others until you find one that works for you and your family.
Adults call it exercise. Children call it playing. Embrace your inner-child and get your cardio in during a game of tag! If you have a favorite routine, find a way to make a game out of it. Introduce a little competition and a way to win, and you’ll have your little ones directing a killer workout.
Missing the barbells? Use your smaller children as weights. While they’re playing airplane, you can focus on leg lifts, or give them a pony ride on your back as you work on push-ups and plank positions.
If your children are infants, try something soothing like yoga or Pilates, so they can watch while relaxing in the bouncer next to your mat. If they’re older, get them their own mat, but keep a back-up game nearby in case they get bored, like building blocks or Legos.
Having a family does not mean the end to your healthy endeavors. It simply means a little more flexibility and creativity needs to be incorporated into your routines. Grab your favorite Fitmark bag and fill it with your preferred gear. Then get a bag for your little one and fill it with their preferred toys. Hit up a park where your kid can be a kid, and you can tackle a workout of your own. Throw a post-workout meal in, and you’ve got a workout and a picnic!
When it comes down to food, there are options. If time permits, make your kids one meal and make yourself another. Of course, if you’re using values from back in the day, your kids will eat what you put in front of them. Expose your children to a large array of healthy foods from the beginning, so they can begin to refine their tastes. By limiting their fats and sugars, you can actually train their bodies and minds to prefer healthier foods and flavors.
Cultivating a healthy and active lifestyle in your family while your children are young will make it easier for all of you to carry those values into the future.