Exercising isn’t meant to be stressful. While parenting doesn’t have an ‘off switch’, try embracing exercise as ‘me time’ or incorporating small wins into daily life to get fit as a family together.
Incorporating regular exercise into your lifestyle will improve both physical and mental health for you and your family. So, what are the main reasons why we avoid this and how and why should you overcome them?
Beat the clock
Perhaps the main obstacle we hear from people is the lack of time available in their day. Life can be pretty hectic, especially when you add children into the mix, and therefore prioritising fitness can often be the last thing on a parents’ list. It can be easy for someone to say get up an hour earlier to make time for it, but if you’re running on empty, trying to squeeze in exercise at 5am when you’re already exhausted really isn’t going to benefit you.
What needs to happen is for the exercise to somehow be incorporated into your daily routine in a more efficient way. Could you walk the children to school if you currently don’t? If your day usually involves a dog walk, could you wear appropriate footwear to make it more of a power walk, or a walk alternating with short jogging efforts? If you usually drive to the supermarket to get your shopping, why not get a home delivery instead and use the time saved to do a 30-minute online workout class?
Exercise doesn't need to cost the earth
Another possible barrier to discuss is the issue of finances, the rising cost of living and the cost of classes and gym membership. Don’t let it put you off. There are so many free and low-cost ways to exercise, you don’t have to be attending the high-end gym to start your fitness journey. You would be surprised at how much you really can achieve with just your body weight and a small space at home, and of course, the big outdoors! Even if you can incorporate a 30-minute walk into your daily lifestyle, you will notice the difference, not just physically, but mentally as well. You also don’t need to be buying all the premium gym wear to get yourself started. You can do the same workout in any brand of sportswear, and even pick up gear at the supermarket.
Finding it difficult to prioritise?
If you’re feeling guilty about taking some time to exercise which thus takes time away from your family, there are two key things you can think about. The first is the importance of “me” time. You should not feel guilty for having a personal boundary of putting some time aside just for you. It’s fundamental for your own mental wellbeing to have a little space each week for you. Time to regroup, concentrate on how you’re feeling, process things that are happening in your life. Meditative types of exercise can be great for this time, such as Yoga, swimming, jogging, cycling. Exercise that isn’t complicated so you can do it effectively and still get your much-needed headspace.
Don’t forget the benefits as a family
Another option to consider is exercise which is inclusive for all the family. Some gyms are now offering parent/child group fitness classes. These are fun and create a sense of unity in the family. These also help you to encourage your children to incorporate exercise into their lives and demonstrate the importance of doing so. You’re leading by example. You can also have personal training sessions for you and your children if you’d rather workout at home or near home.
BBM Fitness has had success this year with the introduction of parent and child sessions. The instructor tailor exercises accordingly so that you all the family benefit, and to find the fun in fitness and look forward to your sessions as a family. For more information, visit: www.bbm.fitness