BY LAUREN ALLEN (GUEST WRITER)
Exercise has the ability to build our confidence, energy levels and ensure we are fit enough to run around after our little ones.
The government recommend 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week and this is built from a mixture of cardiovascular exercise, resistance or strength training as well as mobility and stretching. It may seem impossible to get those minutes in, especially when the majority of your day is spent attending to children and/or babies and juggling work and hobbies but it is achievable.
As parents we often put the needs of others ahead of ours, in order to give our best we must ensure our cup is topped up too. This self care and ‘topping up’ can come in many forms but exercise can be an excellent way to take care of your mental health as well as physical.
What if you don’t enjoy exercise?
Exercise is movement and doesn’t just mean hours spent running on a treadmill or spent in the gym. Physical activity can be from walking, cycling, swimming, dancing and yoga/pilates. Anything that gets you up and about counts, bonus if you are able to increase your heart rate and work your muscles at the same time.
One of the biggest tips to making time for exercise is to do something you enjoy, lockdown means we are limited to classes and other activities but try experimenting with online workouts, use Youtube or head out for a walk.
If free time if very limited for you you can also get the kids involved as well, involve movement they can join in with. Keep them entertained with music and change in levels to keep them engaged.
You may very well want your own space and time to zone out, if this is the case schedule a workout in when your baby/child is napping or when a partner is home for support. If you live alone try and work out when your child is most content, after a meal or after a walk.
Taking your workouts outdoors (weather permitting of course) will give you and little ones the opportunity for fresh air and a change of scenery. Pack a resistance band or an idea of some body weight exercises you can complete in a park or outdoor space. You could even reel in a mummy friend to join – abiding by socially distance rules of course.
It’s important to be realistic when setting your frequency for exercise, our lives change daily and we never really know what parenthood is going to throw at us. Missing a workout or cutting a session short does not mean you failed. Putting together exercises that can be completed in a circuit offer a great opportunity for flexibility – do what you can, when you can.
It takes time to build a habit and a routine so give yourself plenty of time to figure out what works for you and your lifestyle. Remember the benefits of physical activity and make your reasons a positive and a way to celebrate your body. Exercise is not a punishment and should be used to make you feel good and boost those endorphins.
We hope you enjoyed Lauren’s post on fitting exercise in around children! Do you enjoy exercise? Do you have trouble fitting exercise in around children?