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Finding time for fitness while raising kids means you may have to be creative.
We’re now a couple of weeks past the beginning of the year, and many people are struggling to keep with their goals that they’ve set for themselves. Most people are still trying to stick to what they set out to do, while others are realizing that they haven’t set realistic goals or expectations for themselves. If you’re struggling with doing something you want, make sure you’ve set realistic and measurable goals.
One of the most common questions we get around this time of year is how parents are able to find any time for their fitness goals. While we’ve written articles on this topic in the past, it’s still often difficult to figure out the best way to make fitness part of your life. You’ve got a baby or toddler who doesn’t sleep through the night, you’ve got multiple kids, and you simply don’t have time to get away for long periods of time.
First, do not think that you have to workout for an hour or more every single day. Before you had kids, this may have been totally realistic. Now, it’s likely impossible until they’re older. Before kids, you were able to get a full night’s sleep, and you could go to the gym anytime you wanted basically. Now, you’ve got a very limited amount of time for working out, and sleeping through the night would really be nice.
Find as much time as you can make work. If 10 minutes is all you can make work right now, 10 minutes is better than nothing. You start with 10 minutes right now, and eventually you work up to 20 minutes and then to 30 minutes. If you have another kid, or your child regresses in their sleeping patterns, you may have to shrink it back down. Get in as much time as you can - any amount of exercise is certainly better than none.
Most parents struggle with their energy - that’s because they’re not getting a full night’s sleep. Trying to carve out 30 or more minutes to work out every day is going to be really hard when you’re not sleeping enough. Start slowly - this isn’t a race to get to a full workout. Work your way up to longer periods of time for working out. Make sure that you’re not overdoing it right out of the gates.
Find an activity that you enjoy doing. 10 minutes isn’t a lot of time, but you can do most anything in that amount of time, even a short bodyweight circuit for strength. For short workouts, go all out in your exercises. Don’t try to conserve energy - 10 minutes is not a lot of time so give everything you’ve got in the short amount of time that you have. If you’re doing what you enjoy, you’ll find that those 10 minutes make you feel great.
While you may have less control over your sleep schedule as a parent, you have full control over your diet. Work on being mindful about what you eat. Often when we’re tired, we tend to eat less healthy foods - they’re simply easier to make and eat. Not all healthy foods are hard to make though, so focus on eating healthy. It will help with your energy and weight over the long term - the worse you eat, the worse you end up feeling.
Working out with kids requires you to get in what you can when you can. Don’t think you have to work out for hours everyday. Every minute you can work out is better than not working out at all. Find a short routine that works for you in your schedule, and get to it.