As a parent, it can be hard to find time to train. With family commitments, work and life’s other surprises training commitment can be a struggle. But how can you break the cycle as a parent? Set a more physical example for your children? Or do you just want to keep moving? I’m going to break down a few different strategies you can use as a parent to ensure you stay fit and healthy.
First and foremost, you will need to frame your health and fitness as a priority and not something you just have to fit in. This means, when it comes to scheduling, you can take some time for yourself and have separate time, so that you can bring more positive energy back in afterwards. Adopting this mindset opens up the web to create good training habits and behaviours.
Creating small and achievable goals from the outset will also help you to foster adherence to a programme as well as a sense of achievement. Break one big goal, like running 10km, down into smaller goals; start by running 2k, then 3, then 5, then 7 before reaching 10 for example. Think about what your goal will entail, and make that short structure work for you.
Get your kids involved too! Go for a family bike ride, or trip to the pool. Throw them on your back when running, or doing press ups. Get them started with training too! This will make the time that you spend with your family fun and productive, whilst fostering good physical activity habits through the family. I have clients I train who have young children and they love to get involved with the sessions!
You have to be prepared to mentally challenge yourself. This can be a tough one, especially if you have a stressful sedentary job. But willpower is incredibly important. Once you break through the barrier, you can start to create habitual behaviour, meaning you won’t have to think about your training, you can just pick it up and go, regardless of location too.
Diet and nutrition will be one of, if not the most important thing you can make changes to. Making sure you have enough energy to manage the family life, work and train takes a lot of fine tuning but it’s definitely well worth it. Take up more fruit and veg, leafy greens and up your protein intake as a good baseline. Make sure you adequately hydrate, and you can always cut down on the odd glass of wine or two. But don’t stop living your life and not having food at a friends BBQ, just moderate things more of the course of the week to balance things out. This one will also be good for the family to follow. You can all set yourself challenges if you like that way of thinking, to make things more engaging.
You can always journal and write down your progress, for nutrition and exercise, and make sure you beat your previous work next time. Have a little competition with yourself, to push yourself further and higher.
Don’t try to do the typical parent thing and get it sorted straight away by blitzing it! That would do more harm than good. Tweak your routine and build up slowly and effectively. Make sure you schedule things to work for you, that will make everything easier to stick to.
When you find a journey that works for you, you will be able to spend more time running around with the kids, supporting their hobbies and enjoying family time, as well as the bonus of being fitter, healthier and stronger for yourself. You’ll be lowering your risk of diseases and conditions that might crop up later on in life too.
So what are you waiting for? Tag us on IG @gravity.fitness and show your family bonding exercise journeys! We’d love to see them!