5 Workout Tips for Busy Parents

Do you ever have days when you think to yourself “How on earth am I ever going to get a workout in this week?” I think most of us have such busy lives, this is pretty common. And if you’re like me, it can be really hard to find motivation when life is completely nuts.

Lately, it seems like my family’s schedule is complete chaos so I have really had to work to find times to ensure I focus on my own self-care. So I thought I would share some of my ideas with you.

1. Make a Commitment to Fit Fitness in Where You Can

This seems like a no-brainer, but I know that I needed the reminder. Sometimes you have to make time in the early morning, over your lunch hour or even after the kids go to bed to fit that workout in. This takes commitment to make changes but its totally possible!

Commit to yourself just to show up, regardless of how much or how little you do. Don’t get down on yourself for a less than perfect workout, but rather praise yourself that you took yourself to the gym in the first place.

2. Prepare Your Meals

Let’s face it, when you are busy, its really easy to eat poorly. I am the worst offender when it comes to this … the struggle is real. It’s easy to just grab a taco or burger on the way to your next meeting and before you know it, your calories have been maxed out in one meal.

When you have your meal prepared ahead of time, it’s easy to make sure you don’t go over the calories you are allotted on a daily basis. This also gives you ease of mind knowing that it is one less thing you have to think about. And you can get your meals done for the week, in one evening.

3. Have A Workout Plan

This has also been a big struggle for me. I had no idea what I should have been doing in the gym. What workouts? How many reps? What about cardio vs. endurance vs. weight training? Even if you are just a beginner, it’s much easier to set small goals and move forward.

By having a plan, I’m not actually thinking of “leg day” or “cardio time.” But rather thinking in depth about which machines you want to use so you can achieve your goals for each workout.

This can be a huge help to feeling successful as well!

4. Prepare For the Days You Can’t Get a Workout In

Some days, a workout just isn’t going to happen. Let’s honor that reality and not abuse it. Yes, there are going to be days when you are so exhausted or your schedule is so jam-packed that you just won’t be able to fit a workout in. Guess what, it’s totally okay!

When you look at your schedule for the week, you may know which days are going to be harder than others. Maybe you need to workout a couple days in a row to allot for that day of down time.

Be more mindful of your eating. You don’t want to add on weight if you’re not going to be working out.

5. Find Alternate Workout Opportunities

Sometimes you are going to have to get creative with your workout. Maybe you have the kids all afternoon so your spouse can have a day to themselves. Whatever the reason, here are some fun ways to get in a workout.

  • Buy a jogging stroller. Yes. Take the kids with you on your run! They will likely love the wind in their hair!
  • Find a bike training partner. Sometimes its easier to get a workout in when you have someone to do it with and can do an activity that saves time. Get yourself on a bike, have a friend join in, and ride for 30-45 minutes!
  • Start walking meetings. I am a big believer in walking meetings. Sure you may not break a sweat, but what better way to be distracted from the workout then to take that working meeting to the road? I do this a few times a week and it really makes a difference.
  • Start your circuit in the living room. For the days when you just can’t leave the house (and those days will come) do everything you can within your home!
    • Box jumps and dips on a neighborhood bench or set of stairs.
    • Hanging legs raises, pull-ups and chin-ups on the school monkey bars while your kids play.
    • Weighted sit-ups, squats, and overhead lunges; use your baby or toddler as extra weight for an added challenge.
  • Use yoga as your downtime. Sometimes you will need to refocus yourself but you still want to get a workout in. Yoga just happens to be the best of both worlds, put together.
  • Get in the water. Swimming is such a great workout. Believe it or not, it takes nearly everything you have to do it. And its one of the easiest places to get a workout in while your spouse watches the kids play!

Like I said in the beginning, the hardest part is the commitment; make sure you fit this time in for you. I’ve said it to so many people, how can we expect to give and help others if we are not able to give and help ourselves?

Do everything in your power to show up — not to the gym — but for yourself. You’ve got this!

One of Anthology’s regular contributors, Steve has a passion for travel, baking and his french bulldog Aiden.  He is also our Editor in Chief.  Love what you read? Read more work from Steve.

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