Tanya Rouble, ACE-CPT
Whether working inside or outside the home, many parents find it extremely challenging to find time for fitness. Every day they are trying to "do it all"-put time in at work, prepare nutritious meals, spend quality time as a family and transport children here, there and everywhere.
Whether working inside or outside the home, many parents find it extremely challenging to find time for fitness. Every day they are trying to "do it all" put time in at work, prepare nutritious meals, spend quality time as a family and transport children here, there and everywhere.
But by searching for interesting, easy ways to incorporate small "chunks" of movement into the day, a regular fitness routine is actually quite doable.
The American College of Sports Medicine fully supports the idea of several short bouts of exercise each day, and the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (December 2001) reports that three 10-minute fitness sessions can provide benefits comparable to one continual 30-minute session. This means if time is short (as for most families), taking a few minutes to exercise here and there throughout the day will prove beneficial to your health.
In the Morning
Mornings can be a whirlwind of activity while everyone tries to prepare for the day ahead. Try fitting some of these suggestions into your routine.
Parents in the Workplace
There are many ways to introduce bits of movement into your work day. Of course, many of the following suggestions depend on the rules of your work environment. But take a look and see if you can fine-tune any of the following so that you can incorporate some activity into your day.
In the Evening
This is a good time of day for families to bond. What better way to do that than spending time together reaping the benefits of physical movement? This is also a good time to engage in relaxation exercises because it prepares children for bed and allows mom and dad to unwind from a busy day at work.
Use the weekends to gather the family together for some kind of activity that requires movement. Family bike rides, playground play, swimming at the community pool, nature walks and just plain old tag are great ways to get everyone moving. Get the kids involved and let them choose which is going to be the "activity of the week." Try gathering everyone's ideas and putting them into a hat to be drawn out once a week. This way each weekend brings an exercise surprise!
Each day brings new challenges for families as parents and children go about their daily routines. Some days flow easily and with little difficulty while others are a tornado of activity. Whatever the day, a bit of family bonding through fitness will benefit both children and parents physically, mentally and emotionally. So, take some time each day to get up and move! With regular activity you and your family will live long and prosper.