Finding time to get your fitness fix when you have a busy family life can be quite a struggle. However, being able to take 30-60 minutes out of your day a few times a week reaps so many health rewards, that it's something that's important to prioritise. Here are a few suggestions to find ways to fit fitness into the busiest of diaries.
One of the easiest ways to incorporate fitness into a hectic schedule is to make it easier to access, and by being able to do some fitness at home, you don't have to get into your car, or commute to get fit. Options for an at home workouts can be as simple as a fitness DVD wtith so many choices available to try out from the comfort of your living room. You could even rent out a DVD from your library if you are saving money. Another option is to invest in a piece of exercise equipment to use at home. There are a lot of options for secondhand exercise equipment if you scout your local Gumtree pages, and this will enable you to work out when the kids are napping or when they've gone to bed without leaving the house.
Sometimes one of the benefits of fitness as a busy parent, is not only the rewards of increased heart rate and burning calories, but also the break from the house. Running is an easy way to get out of the house with the only monetary outlay being a good pair of runners and a decent sports bra, especially if you're still breastfeeding! There are a range of free apps you can download to track your fitness progress such as MapmyRun or MyFitness Pal to help you get started. The best news is that if you've gotten a bit out of shape you can start off walking and build your strength up over time, so no prior running experience required and you can get started straight away.
If you really can't find a time of day where you can get out and exercise on your own, then the next best thing is bringing the family along with you and by doing this, you're also demonstrating how important physical fitness is to your children. There are a myriad of activities where you can incorporate your personal fitness goals, with the activities of your family. Depending upon the age of your children there is a wide number of ways you can get out and about and get active as a family unit. Some of the easiest ways to add in activities are through walking to places rather than taking the car, or by cycling together as a family. You could plan ahead and organise activities at a weekend such as swimming or a game of football.
Many gyms and fitness centres have a well staffed creche and this can definitely be worth looking into if you prefer to go to the gym for your workout or if group classes are more your thing. Ask friends for recommendations, and before you try out the creche, go along for a visit and get a feel of the place. Some gyms offer a free creche for children under 5, whereas others charge a small fee such as $2 for an hour.
Mum and Me Fitness
Tapping into the knowledge that many new mums want to get back into shape after having a baby, there's a bit of a trend at the moment for mum and me type classes covering a range of different exercise mediums. Popular choices include parent and child yoga, baby and bootcamp and also swimming classes. These are a good way to incorporate exercise into your family life but when your child is too young for you to want to leave them for long periods.