Many of my clients are busy parents who find it difficult to work out amidst the day-to-day demands of raising a family. Time management and parenting require a delicate balance of give and take, often at the expense of our personal needs. However, there's several things to do at home for a good workout - here's some issues and solutions I've worked through with my frazzled moms and dads. These fail-safe tips have been successful not only for my clients, but for me too.
How can I workout when I'm so busy?
The most important thing to do is carve out a time that is realistic for you and your schedule. Maybe it's easier to work out early before everyone wakes up, while they are in school, tucked into bed or napping. Regardless of when it happens, be honest with yourself when choosing what's going to work for you, and always be open to spontaneity! Sometimes we have to nab the time when it presents itself throughout the course of the undoubtedly busy day.
What should I focus on most in my work out?
I personally practice and recommend variety! If there's a lot of energy in the house one day, grab the strollers and bikes and take everyone out for a run; if it's quieter, settle the kids down with a classic Winnie the Pooh video and sneak into the other room for a peaceful yoga or pilates session; if you've still got those dusty weights lying around, pull them out and do every exercise that comes to mind... you get the idea. The important thing is that you accept and rise to the challenge of creativity!
How often should I exercise?
A good routine includes 3-4 days of cardiovascular exercise, alternating with 2-3 days of resistance training and/or flexibility training. If you have a cardio machine, use it! Interval training makes for efficient use of your time, so try setting your machine for 40 minutes, and hop off every 10 minutes for 5 minute strength training sessions. Be sure to properly warm up and stretch out every time.
The kids are wild and I have no patience; what can I do at home?
If the kids are particularly rowdy and managing bikes and tempers is just too much, get them and yourself outside! While they romp around the backyard, use a routine clipped from a magazine, a website, or your memory and work out among them. I have taught several yoga, pilates, boot camp, and more classes to mothers while their kids bounded around a fenced yard, a soccer field, and a living room! It may not be the atmosphere of tranquility we were once graced with, but we are addressing our important needs.
It sounds like madness, I know, but if you can maintain a sense of humor, you'll soon barely notice the 10 seconds you spent during your workout lost to honoring a juice box request, a potty assist, or a booboo kiss. The other added benefit is that your kids will, in time, learn to respect your space and your workout. At the end of a zany but effective workout, you'll feel eons better and your children will benefit from seeing an amazing role model in action!
If you are having trouble deciding exactly what to do with the weights or the mat before you, let me know. I'd be happy to work with you one on one to develop a program that you can do in the precious time you're allotted. We can video chat online, and I'll send you routines that pertain to the type of workout you're looking for.
Whatever you do, I commend you for appreciating the importance of taking care of yourself so that you can, in turn, take care of your loved ones. Keep your momentum to not only guide you through each workout, but through each wild, frustrating, enlightening, blessed day with your family. Read more...
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