The issue is not that you do not want to work out; it is that you have no idea how to fit it into your already hectic schedule. Then there are times when you finally have the time but want to spend it resting rather than working up a sweat.
This is a struggle that many working parents have today, and it is one that we empathize with. Parents have enough on their plate as is. Imagine having to drive to and from work, help children with homework once you’re home, and then do chores for the remainder of the day.
Parenting in itself is a full-time responsibility. And with kids, the work doubles. Figuring out where to fit exercise into your routine is tough, but it also offers benefits for both your body and mind.
How to Sneak Exercise into Your Busy Routine
An analysis of your lifestyle will help you plan how to include working out in your daily practice. Here are smart ways to give yourself time to exercise.
1. Make children’s playtime your playtime, too
What do you usually do when your children are playing? If you sit down on a bench and watch them have their fun, it is time to get up and join them. Playtime is one of the easiest ways to add exercise to your day.
The great thing about this is that it is not limited to outdoor playtime. Even on days when all you have are build toys for kids and your playpen at home, you can still exercise. Crawl with your child, jog around their play area with them or even play a fun game of hide-and-seek.
And the best part about turning your child’s playtime into parent-and-child bonding? It is loads of fun.
2. Incorporate exercise into your usual chores
Don’t stress yourself out trying to see which pockets of the day are most convenient for exercise. Instead, look at your existing schedule and see which of those you can add some workouts into.
For instance, when you have to go to the store to buy essentials or your local restaurant for some takeout, leave the car at home. Determine the distance and see if you can either walk or bike to and from the location. This way, you hit two birds with one stone.
There are even times when the chores themselves are the workout, but you don’t notice. Mopping the living room, watering and trimming your plants, or washing the car—these activities burn you some calories already, especially if you do a variety of chores in one day.
3. Multitask the right way
Many warn about the dangers of multitasking, but often, what people mean when they talk about multitasking is task switching. Task switching happens when you stop in the middle of one task to focus on another. This habit makes you more prone to making mistakes, which slows you down as you work.
Proper multitasking can help your productivity. You have to make sure that the tasks you are doing simultaneously do not interfere with each other. For instance, listen to the audiobook of that novel you have been wanting to read while walking on a treadmill or take your dog out for a walk by jogging with them.
4. Plan workout hours with the help of someone else
It is completely okay to feel like you need help. You are just one person, so you get overwhelmed, too. Seek out the assistance of someone you trust, maybe your partner, a close friend, or a babysitter someone referred to you.
With someone else taking care of your kids for a few hours during the week, spare at least 30 minutes of your free time for a workout. The extra time off can even give you some much-needed alone time, which you may realize you have not had in a while.
Do not feel guilty about needing these moments of rest because it is important for you to recharge so that you can perform your role as both a working adult and a parent.
5. Count your steps
Lastly, get yourself a smartwatch or pedometer and count your steps. Being aware of your daily step count not only gives you an idea of how active you are throughout the day but also encourages you to move more. Walking requires little to no equipment, too, allowing you to get more of it throughout the day, even when working from home.
How your workout will fit into your day will vary depending on your usual routine, but know that exercise does not have to be complicated to be effective.