Practical Exercises for Busy Parents

One of the first things I noticed to get push far on the back-burner after having a kid was exercise. Before, I had a religious routine and was obsessed becoming more physically fit – borderline gym rat. Then, I got pregnant and a lot of things came my way. Even now, with my son being an infant, the gym has become an old acquaintance. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t still be physically active! I quickly learned that I needed to get inventive with my workouts. Does that sound like something you need? Below is a list of exercises I found to be helpful and practical!

Commercial Circuits

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When you and the family are watching your evening show, perform circuit workouts. Do one-minute sets for jumping jacks, push-ups, squats, sit-ups, and lunges. I know, the kids are going to be giggling at the sight of mom and/or dad jumping and huffing around the living room. Get them involved too for a fun family activity! Not only will you have fun family time but you will be getting your sweat in too. Mix up your circuits throughout the week to get a customized full body workout!

Stroller Running

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Let me say first, don’t strap your kid into a standard stroller and take off down the street. There are strollers specially made to be equipped for jogging and runners. I’d recommend getting one for this physical exercise. When you do, get your kid fresh air and time outside while you get your heart pumping. It’s a terrific way to trim your body and improve your health!

Active Side-lining

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For parents with kids in sports, you can be active while they play their game. Run up and down the side lines and encourage your little athlete. Yes, you might look like “one of those” parents but so what? You are multitasking by exercising and supporting you child. This might not be so practical for sports like hockey or rowing. You can do circuits or a couple of squats when the teams are taking a break.

Outside Family Time

2 Girl's Swimming during Daytime

Being physically active is a prime way to be physically active – for your children and you – and spending quality family time together. Play tag in the back yard or play catch at the park. During the hot seasons, go swimming or skate in an ice rink when it’s winter time. If you have to stay indoors, play interactive games like Wii Fitness or Dance Dance Revolution (yeah, yeah – I might be a little behind the times). Or, play hide-and-seek; at least you will be walking around a bit!

Nap Workout

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Finally, the kids are down for a nap (or bed)! It might be tempting to relax and be a couch potato but this a prime opportunity to tend to your fitness. First – possibly most importantly – DO NOT exercise where the sounds and movement can wake the kids up; don’t do that to yourself. When you are in the clear, get the blood flowing and heart racing! You can follow exercise programs on T.V. or YouTube. Formulate your own rhythm after researching exercises. Whatever you want!

Gym at Lunch

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Depending on how long of a lunch break you have and the distance to your gym, you could hit the gym for lunch. Just make sure you can shower and have clothes to change into. If this isn’t possible, exercise at your desk. You can do push-ups, sit-ups, lunges, squats, mountain climbers, running in place, and much more. If there is a flight of stairs, walk or run up and down them.

Take the Stairs

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Speaking of stairs, take them wherever you can. Whether it’s entering a building, traveling up and down floors, walking the mall, or wherever else you can find them. Walking and running stairs is an amazing way to tone your glutes, thighs, and calves while fitting in time for cardio.

Anytime Squats

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Oh, are you waiting for the shower water to warm up? Do some squats. Taking a stretch from your desk? Do some squats. Just sitting on the couch? Do some squats. Watching over dinner in the kitchen? I think you can guess what you should do… squats! Squat, squat, squat! Wherever and whenever.

Bedtime Routine

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Finally, get a routine set up before you go to bed. If you happened to miss out the night before, do the when you get up. Even setting a goal of twenty-five sit-ups a night will help your wellness; especially when you add on more reps.

Add intensity to your workouts by incorporating weights, medicine balls, resistance bands and other exercise tools. Being a parent doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice your health. You can keep active even when your kids keep your schedule busy. You just have to get creative and fit your workouts in where you can!

If you have any creative ways to fit exercise in, leave your tips in the comments!