I try my best to stay healthy and fit but, as most parents know, it’s not always easy when you have children. Even just one child is a huge commitment, and it’s unlike a lot of other commitments you have. While people without children have commitments too, they have more flexibility to change or even drop them. You can’t just not bother with your child when you feel like doing something else for a change! I’ll admit that I’m not the most disciplined person when it comes to keeping fit, although I do try. Being a parent is one thing that makes it harder, but it’s not impossible to be fit and healthy when you have kids.
Exercise as a Family
I think it’s important to encourage kids to get involved in sports and physical activities. It helps to keep them fit and can help their social skills too. Getting active as a family is a great way to have fun together and to stay healthy. You don’t even have to wait until your children are old enough to walk. Plenty of people go on hikes or bike rides with a baby on their back or in a bike trailer. You can start them off early, and it will encourage you to get out and do things too. I think it’s always worth exploring new things together too, like the golf event we recently attended. You don’t have to separate exercise time from time with your kids.
Eat as a Family
Eating as a family is important to keep everyone healthy too. If you take steps to make sure your kids eat healthily, why shouldn’t you do the same for yourself? And it’s really less effort to make the same meal for everyone and eat at the same time. There are lots of benefits of eating together, including that you will eat more slowly. Of course, sometimes you might end up eating too slowly because you’re busy giving the kids instructions! But it gives you time to have conversations and savour your food instead of rushing. You’ll pay more attention to your food, and perhaps your portion sizes too.
Give Yourself a Helping Hand
Losing weight when you’re busy is always difficult. And you don’t know what it means to be busy until you’re a parent. Lots of people look into ways they can speed up their weight loss or get fit faster. However, there are lots of supposed solutions that don’t really work. Supplements and diets often don’t do anything for you. If you want something that might actually help, doctors sometimes prescribe orlistat. It’s one of the only weight loss treatments that your GP might recommend. You can even buy orlistat online by using an online doctor. It saves you the time of an appointment and trip to the pharmacy. If you have a lot of weight to lose, you might even consider looking into weight loss surgery.
Exercise in Small Chunks
Often when you have kids, it’s not that you don’t have any time to yourself. But the problem can be you don’t have substantial amounts of time. When you do have more time, like when the kids are in bed, you feel too tired to exercise. But if you want to be fit, I think you have to prioritise exercising. If, like me, you’re a stay at home parent, you can find snatches of time during the day. You don’t have to exercise for half an hour or more if you could do ten minutes here and there. I know what you’re thinking – but what about the housework? Consider doing that in the evening or maybe in the morning. You might be tired once the kids are in bed, but it takes less energy to tidy up than to start doing something active.
Use Your “Me Time” to Exercise
Any parent treasures the time they get to themselves. Your child is elsewhere, and everything is strangely quiet. Maybe you normally like to spend this time reading a book, going out with friends or taking a long bath. But if you want to stay healthy, you should use this time to exercise too. You don’t have to do anything too strenuous, and you can still get plenty of time with your own thoughts. For example, you can go for a walk and enjoy not having to talk to anyone else. You could choose to go to a gym class for 30 minutes to an hour, and you’ll get to enjoy some adult conversation too. Find something you enjoy and make your me time more active.
Prepare Healthy Food in Advance
We’ve all had those days: you’re tired, it’s time to eat, and you just don’t have the energy to cook. But there are chicken nuggets and potato waffles in the freezer, and they don’t take any effort to make. It’s not a big deal if you and your kids are having something like that now and again. Everyone deserves a treat and the luxury of a lazy dinner sometimes. But if it’s happening all the time, you need to do something about it. It’s almost impossible to avoid having days when you’re exhausted. However, you can prepare for those days by having healthy food at the ready. Making something in advance and freezing it means you’ve always got something at hand. An easy way to do it is to make too much of something for one of your meals. You can then freeze the leftovers for a lazy day.
Exercise on the Way to Work
If you’re a working parent, fitting in exercise to your routine can be even more difficult. There’s less flexibility to put it in your day, but you can still keep active. One of the things you can do is to exercise before and after work. You can walk, run or cycle part of the journey to your job. You could also try to make time to stop at the gym or an early-morning class on your way to work. You can even get in some exercise at work. You can do small things like taking the stairs or walking across the office to talk to someone.
Active Play with Your Kids
As well as more grown up exercise like walking or bike rides, playing with your kids can help you keep fit too. Have you ever jumped on a trampoline with them? It’s exhausting, and better cardio exercise than running! You can play tag and other games where you have to run around. You can also do some exercise while they’re playing. If they’re on the playground at the park, you can walk around instead of sitting on a bench. You could walk laps of the field while they’re playing with their football team.
Exercise without Leaving the House
Some days it’s tough even to leave the house, especially with a baby. It could be because you have too much to do, or you might even be dealing with depression. But you can help yourself feel a lot better if you’re able to get moving. While getting out of the house is best, sometimes your baby just isn’t having it. You can still get up to some active fun inside, lifting your baby up and down or doing other exercises with them. You can find lots of ideas online to inspire you to exercise at home. You don’t need a fancy gym.
I know that it can be hard to stay fit as a parent, but you can do it. You just need to make your health and that of your family a priority.