How to Find Time for Fitness When You're a Parent

We’re sure that you’ve heard the phrase, “Fitness is a lifestyle.” But when you have a family of your own, it’s not surprising if you have to put fitness on hold for this new lifestyle of yours. The good news is that there are actually ways on how you can stay in shape. Yes, even if you’re now a parent.

If you think about it, when you’re in a good state physically, mentally, and emotionally, you can also tackle your everyday life much easier. This is why fitness is something that every parent should find time for. Because once you have another person relying on you, you’ll need to be more prepared physically, mentally, and emotionally to face daily challenges. 

But how is it possible to find the time for fitness when even your day for tomorrow is already full?

Take Advantage of Moments Where You’re Standing

The key to inserting active tasks to a hectic daily schedule is by taking advantage of every physical opportunity. For example, it may not look like a calorie-burning action, but standing can actually help you with your fitness.

Too much sitting is bad for the health. However, we know that some jobs require us to sit for long periods of time. And the sad news is that we are also putting ourselves at risk for heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol, and diabetes, among many more health conditions. And if you have been having shoulder and back pains more often, you might be sitting too much in an incorrect posture.

On the contrary, standing can actually keep your metabolism elevated. At the same time, you are also training your hip, core, and feet muscles. Standing may not give you the same level of fat-burning capacity that other physical activities can. 

But the benefits that standing offers are something that you might as well take. If you compare a sedentary afternoon to an equal amount of time spent standing, you’ll see that the latter allows you to burn calories. And if you do the math, standing can save you from obesity and other metabolic diseases.

Throughout the day, you will see instances where you are standing. It might sound weird, but those moments where you’re watching your kid’s soccer practice, or when you are at the playground, are all good opportunities just to stand. Next time, try not to be tempted to use the chairs or picnic blankets, and your metabolism will thank you later on. 

Walk with Your Family More Often

Bonding with your family is an excellent way to strengthen your interpersonal relationships. But did you know that most bonding activities can also turn into fitness activities themselves? A simple walk on your way to the neighborhood park or a trip to the zoo actually keeps you moving. And the good news is you are also introducing your children to fitness at a young age if you encourage them to walk with you during these trips. 

After you’re done eating at your favorite restaurant, why not dedicate a time afterwards to stroll and walk around with the family? Post-meal walks can actually help with digestion and blood sugar levels even if the walk is as short as under half an hour. This is also an excellent way to ask everyone about their days without being distracted by gadgets and responsibilities of work. Take this moment and use it as family-only moment, and once you’re done walking, everyone can do what they want to do. 

Speaking of walks, aren’t you tempted to do a quick run in your quiet nature park? You might ask, “is it still possible because I still have to watch my very young children?” Well, spoiler alert, but yes, you can. Babies at 6 months old can actually be taken in jogging strollers. Yes, we wrote children, as in we meant more than one kid!

Even if you have twin babies, you can still do some light jogging with them and release all the stress for the day. Thanks to the invention of double jogging strollers, your kids can even take a nap while you are strengthening your cardiovascular health and muscles. 

You also don’t have to worry about their safety because manufacturers designed these strollers specifically for maneuvering various terrains while carrying two kids. The point is, you can let loose and redo your jogging routine prior to having children. But now, you can also get to enjoy these moments with your kiddos.

Plan Your Grocery Trips

While our next tip is not so much about physical activities, a significant factor in fitness is the things we eat. And if you have kids, chances are you’re also giving in to unhealthy meals and snacks. Well, you might be too busy to monitor and prepare the meals that you end up are settling for take-outs. But a start that you can do is by making a grocery list.

Yes, as simple as planning your grocery trip can benefit your health. If you create a list and stick to it, you’ll be less tempted to make impulsive purchases. Instead of going for a high-sugar pack of cookies, why not write frozen grapes down? If you’ve made up your mind to stick with healthy alternatives, you get to save your family from excess calories. 

Oh, and another pro-tip is eating before going to the grocery store. This way, you’ll be less tempted to follow what your hungry stomach demands you to buy.

Make Cooking a Family Experience

Once you’re satisfied with your pantry, the next thing to do is to plan your meals. As parents, one of the biggest reasons that prevent us from cooking food is our lack of time. At the same time, you’re probably tired from doing a lot of things already.

The good news is you can now find different meal plans that are easily accessible online. With the vast selection available, you can quickly find those that are doable with your available time. 

You can even make the meals on weekends and arrange them in containers so you can just reheat them once you’re home on the weekdays. Some parents also do some steps (e.g., cutting veggies, boiling seafood) in their free time to cut their cooking time during the busy days. 

And to make mealtimes more enjoyable, why not ask other family members of their requests and then work together to create a healthier version of it? Just like walks, you can also use your time in the kitchen as a bonding experience, especially with the kids. Simple tasks like washing veggies or mixing eggs are easy, and we’re sure that they’ll enjoy eating healthy, knowing that they’ve helped prepare it. 

Be Consistent on Your Sleeping Schedule

Lastly, even though we know it’s hard, be consistent in your sleeping schedule. You’re probably raising an eyebrow now knowing full well how this request is impossible. But the truth is, it’s all about being mindful of your kids’ sleeping scheds as well. The main thought here is sleep when your kids sleep. After all, a well-rested parent is a happy parent.