Making time to exercise is difficult for many already but as a stay at home parent, that level of difficulty goes to another level. During this COVID-19 pandemic, I had to become a stay at home parent for a few months. I would usually workout at my job but that was off-limits. Although I am an exercise physiologist, I was not immune to the struggles of finding time to workout during that time period but still I made time to do so. As a result of that experience, I decided to write this article on the best workout tips for stay-at-home parents.
When I was home for those months, every time I attempted to workout, my kids would jump on me or get in away. Then when I thought I had time to workout, my kids would suddenly wake up, my wife needed me, or something else needed to get done. After some time, I got the hang of it and was able to get workouts inconsistently. Below I am going to share some of the best workout tips with for you as a stay at home parent.
Here are the best workout tips for stay at home parents, coming right at you:
Set reminders on your phone for workouts. You can use your calendar or if you have an android, use the “Notes” app to set a reminder on a note with the workout on it. Another idea would be to simply post notes around the house with exercises to do on them every time you pass by the note. You can go old school and use sticky notes, a small dry board, or a piece of paper to do this.
Stay in Workout Clothes
If you stay ready, you do not have to get ready. As soon as you wake up and get yourself situated, put on some workout clothes. People tend to use not having workout clothes as an excuse sometimes to not workout. Well, good thing workout clothes are fashionable now plus they are comfortable. Now, you can be ready to workout pretty much anytime.
Include the Kids
I know far too well how children just love to be all over you or in the way when you are trying to something. Every time, I would attempt to do some puh-ups, my children would just climb all over me. As result, I just told to climb on my back and hold on while I pumped out some push-ups. I used them to make the push-ups more challenging. I also turn to follow the leader into a short cardio workout with them. Everybody gets some physical activity in for the day.
Make Everyday Task Harder
Make your everyday task harder by making it into a bit of an exercise. For instance, while carrying the laundry, do lunges with the basket in your hands on the way to the room. If you are picking up something, stay bent over and do some rows to work your back. Do high knees to the mail and back. You loo crazy to some but who cares. It is about getting some sort of a workout in.
Take Advantage of Nap Time
This was my go-to when being a stay at home parent. Whenever my kids went down for a nap, I would do a short 15-minute workout. I could just jump right into the workout because I already had workout clothes on as I mentioned in one of the previous tips. I would just do 2-3 circuits to failure of 3-4 exercises and call it a day. Hit hard and quick. This what I consider a micro workout.
Get a Fitness Tracker
Several of my clients found getting in workouts easier once they had a fitness tracker. The allure of technology I guess, always fun to play with new gadgets. Fitness trackers are quite useful if you actually use them for their purpose and not just wear it for fashion. They keep track of workouts, monitor sleep, track your steps, and more. It is a great way to track your fitness and some aspects of your health.
Do Bodyweight Exercises
Let your body be your gym and do bodyweight exercises. You will never be short of exercise equipment because you will not need it doing bodyweight exercises. It can be as simple as alternating between running in place and doing air squats for 3 minutes. It does not have to be some super complex workout.
Find activities that you and your family can do together that require physical activity. Take a hike in the park, play a sport, play freeze tag, or go swimming. There plenty of options that are not traditional exercise you can do with your family. Although, sometimes a good old follow-along exercise video will do. When push comes to shove, ask any family you trust if they could watch your child while you go workout. There is no shame in asking for help.
Hire a Trainer
This will require a bit of an investment on your end but hire a trainer to come to your home or one to train you virtually. They could train you once your spouse gets home or if you are a single parent, ask if the trainer could train all of you if your kids are of age.
Join a Gym with Childcare Services
Another tip is to join a gym with childcare services. Your child can be occupied while you get a workout in for yourself. Most likely you could use the peace of mind. Most gyms that offer childcare services have some type of play area for kids. Of course, ask questions and look into qualifications before leaving your child with someone.
Being a stay at home parent is a full-time job that many fail to recognize but as a result of COVID-19, plenty of people found out. It is time-consuming, energy-draining yet rewarding but making time to take care of ourselves should also be a priority. Take advantage of whatever time your kids allow to get those workouts in but be sure to involve them here and there to teach them healthy habits. Keep on, keeping on my fellow stay at home parents. I wish you well.
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