Q: Do you have any advice for busy parents who want to make fitness a priority? I feel like I’m struggling to fit everything in—eat right, exercise, keep up with my kids, etc. But with work, after school activities and our weekend obligations, I’m finding myself struggling to even get the laundry done.
Good for you on prioritizing your health and fitness! During these very busy years, try to emphasize the positive decisions you make, rather than feeling defeated over the days that you struggle. Like most of parenthood, a flexible plan is key to working in a healthy lifestyle. Look at your week and find one or two opportunities to fit in a longer workout. You can take advantage of your home fitness equipment to squeeze in an early morning workout or a few quality intervals while you prep dinner.
You might also be able to take advantage of your lunch break or the kids’ after school activities by keeping a change of clothes and running shoes in your car. Take a run or walk and add in some push-ups, chair-dips, squats, and lunges for a few body weight exercises that will target most of your major muscle groups.
On lighter days, you may be able to enlist the help of a family member or your local (healthy) takeout options to get dinner on the table while you squeeze in a little cardio or strength training. You may also want to check out our recent blog on quick workouts for a busy schedule.
Most importantly, take it one day at a time. If your day doesn’t go as planned, focus on the good that you can do, even if it’s just ten minutes of yoga or strength training before bed. Then hit the ground running tomorrow.
About the writer: Joli Guenther is a certified personal trainer, yoga instructor and clinical social worker practicing in and around Madison, Wisconsin.
Getting fit is hard, choosing the right equipment shouldn’t be. Whether you’re starting a fitness program for rehabilitation, to improve your health or to compete in local races, a home treadmill, elliptical or exercise bike is a great piece of cardio exercise equipment. But how do you spot a good one? With the range of machines on the market, it’s good to know what to look for. Ask yourself these questions before you shop.