Parents know that keeping up with an exercise routine when you have little ones can be challenging. But we also know that being a parent is more enjoyable if you’re feeling well and able to keep up with your children. Summer break can be a great time for parents to find ways to stay physically active with their little ones.
“Keeping healthy can help you be the parent you want to be, and an active lifestyle is a great way to achieve that. However, often times this is much easier said than done,” said Lauren Conley, a clinical exercise physiologist. “Having children means having to manage multiple schedules, often creating a barrier to maintaining regular exercise.”
Tips for An Active Family
Here are some tips from Lauren to help the entire family stay active.
- Take your children to the pool or playground
- At the pool, try swimming a few laps during adult swim
- If you are not a confident swimmer, try using a kick-board to water-walking in the shallow end while pumping your arms
- At the park, ditch the park bench and walk some laps around the playground — this allows you to get moving while keeping an eye on the kids
- Try hiking, trail walking or establishing a regular evening walk with the family and pet (if you have one)
“These are great activities that the whole family can do together. These options that allow parents keep moving and maintain an active lifestyle, all while encouraging their children to stay active as well,” said Lauren.
Scheduling Solo Exercise
For parents who live in a two-parent home and want to get some solo exercise time, try asking your spouse to take a responsibility off of your hands a couple of times a week to allow time for your workout. For example, perhaps twice a week your spouse makes lunches instead of you.
“Having a candid conversation with your spouse about schedules and exercise routines can alleviate some huge physical fitness barriers,” said Lauren.
She adds that regular physical activity in addition to a healthy diet is one of the best ways you can protect your heart and give your kids a leg up for a healthy heart.