If you are an active parent who struggles when finding time to exercise, we have some ideas to inspire your fitness routine. Some are ideal for families and others can be done alone or with others.
Photo by S&B Vonlanthen on Unsplash
Why Staying Active Is Important
During cooler months, there is less incentive to get outdoors and stay active, but it is vitally important, especially if you have difficulties finding time to exercise. A fifth of adults do not exercise, and the increase in remote working and desk jobs means that more of us spend the day seated and not exercising.
So why is that an issue? Sedentary behavior has been considered by many to be the new smoking in terms of its health risk. You risk obesity, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease by not being active. There are psychological effects, too, with a lack of active behavior connected to depression and stress. If you are finding it hard to get active, especially with a busy day, our suggestions will help you manage your exercises to stay healthy and integrate changes into the family lifestyle.
Ways of Staying Active
Whether you are looking for new activities or simply want to move more, here's how you can be a proactive active parent and encourage others to adopt habits and get ideas for finding time to exercise.
Start With the School Run
It's so easy to drop children off at the school gate using the car, but if it is good weather, start out earlier and walk with them, especially if it is a short journey. An alternative is to cycle to school with the kids. In France and other European countries, a cycling school bus keeps families active and is a fun way of making the journey. Other parents could be interested in a rotation tosupervise kids getting to school either by walking or cycling, so you have a team willing to support it.
Schedule Time to Exercise
Suppose you focus on finding time to exercise and schedule time in your schedule, so it becomes as routine as a business meeting. Taking a break from a computer screen is essential, so you don't end up with eye strain, so why not use that time to walk around the block or schedule a short yoga session? Once you start, getting outdoors more and fixing the time to be active will get easier. And don't forget to think more creatively.
For example, swimming on a lunch break or having a dedicated work-based yoga class are excellent ways to squeeze in more activities and keep people healthy. Don't forget to make the best use of milder weather and the light in the early weeks around back to school by going for a walk after dinner, for example.
Make a Few Swaps at Work
An easy way to be an active parent or pack more exercise into your working day is to make a few swaps in your everyday routine at work. For example, if you get public transportation, get off a stop earlier and walk the remainder.
Use the stairs instead of the elevator. Instead of having an office-based meeting, ask colleagues to walk around the block or local park instead. Walking meetings can be productive and healthy. Are you still eating lunch at your desk? Be more active and take your break in a local park or mall, so you move more.
Try Something New
The back-to-school season is a time of new classes, subjects, and change. It is also the ideal time to learn a new sport or fitness activity. Getting outdoors in the cooler months is important, so you absorb Vitamin D and boost endorphins.
However, consider indoor fitness opportunities if you are wary of outdoor sports. Activities such as kickboxing or taekwondo have classes for children and adults so it can become a family initiative. Swimming and pilates can also be done indoors. And don't forget dancing. If you have always wanted to learn the tango or jive, dance classes keep you active and prepped for all those festive parties.
Create a Community Event
As an active parent, you will not be alone in trying to fit sport and fitness into the working day, especially when the kids are back at school. Reach out to other parents to see whether they would be interested in a cycling or walking group or a meet-up at the swimming pool. It helps people get to know each other and includes parents who may have been reluctant to exercise alone. If there isn't a yoga class in your area, your group can get one organized. If you fix the dates in the diary and have events planned, it becomes a set activity and a part of your fitness routine. You also get to make new friends.
The back-to-school season is the ideal time to get into some healthy habits and stay active. Integrating your exercise routine into school and work schedules allows you to keep fit and enjoy the camaraderie that comes from being active.