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Health and Fitness for Busy Parents

Parenting is a journey with its own blessings and challenges. Physical fitness often takes a backseat when we have so many priorities and checklists to complete daily. Our parental responsibilities often stand in the way of achieving optimum fitness. 

Due to the demands of parenting, many people do not pay attention to health. This eventually compromises the quality of life. Health problems such as hypertension, hyperglycemia, and stress-related disorders are becoming quite widespread. Exercise can be one of the most natural ways to combat these issues. Parents find it difficult to spare time for exercise and fitness due to overwhelmingly busy schedules. 

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Fitness trainers have developed several smart ways to work out for people who have busy lifestyles. Let’s discuss a few of these strategies which if you implement, you can meet your fitness goals and you won’t even have to compromise on your day-to-day responsibilities as a parent. 

Exercising In Short Intervals

Taking out a few hours for exercising is not a luxury most of us can afford. The only way to integrate exercise into our current lifestyle is to find short periods throughout the day when we can work out. Bodyweight exercises might be worth trying out during these short periods. 

Think of exercise like a project, which needs to be divided into smaller parts to complete. A lot of people wait for the perfect opportunity to find time to exercise, and this is very unrealistic since things will always keep piling up one after the other. Remember that exercising for short periods is better than not exercising at all.

Invest in Home Exercise Equipment

Having an at-home gym or simply some home gym equipment like a treadmill can go a long way in helping you meet your fitness goals. Even a jump rope or resistance bands can help you maintain your health. This way, you can exercise while your kids play or nap. You won’t have to go out to the gym at a fixed time every day and it will be easier to work around your busy schedule to stay healthy. 

Integrate Exercise with Chores

If you think about it, being fit is more than just sweating it off at the gym with heavy, specialized equipment. Certain exercises can be integrated into your daily schedule without affecting your parenting responsibilities. For example, standing on tip toes to stretch the calves while cooking; taking the stairs instead of the elevator; taking a walk to your local grocery store rather than taking the car, and so on. 

You may not technically be free to focus on fitness during these periods, but you can sneak in exercise with chores to achieve your fitness goals. These small exercises can make a substantial difference if they are done regularly. 

Focus On Intensity Instead Of Duration 

A lot of people make the mistake of focusing on how long they exercise, instead of how they exercise. It needs to be understood that intensity trumps duration when it comes to fitness. An intense ten-minute running session followed by a light sprint for five minutes will have a greater effect than continuously walking for an hour. 

HIIT or High-Intensity Interval training is particularly effective in this regard. In this method, there is a period of intense exercise followed by a short interval of lower intensity workout. This form of exercise is specifically suited for short intervals and is very helpful for people who have busy schedules. Experts say that 150 minutes of moderate exercise, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise every week can have maximum health benefits. 

Make Healthy Eating Choices

Processed foods can affect your health significantly in the long term. These foods are packed with artificial preservatives, high levels of salt and/or sugar, fats, and oils. They may seem tempting and practical when you are busy, but they are not necessarily healthy, no matter how ‘nutritious’ the companies claim them to be. Instead of snacking on packaged foods, switch to fruits and veggies. Eating well is the most important factor that affects health and fitness. When you make healthy food choices, your children are more likely to adopt healthy eating habits as well fur to your example and influence. 

Try to prep ingredients ahead of time, whenever possible. This will make it easier to prepare meals and consume them during the busy hours. Make sure to add enough protein to your diet so you have the strength to do your everyday chores. Include more high-protein options such as white meat poultry and seafood (like lobster, tuna, and salmon) in your meal plans. If you are vegan or vegetarian, you can choose high-protein alternatives such as tofu, edamame, beans, lentils hemp seeds, quinoa, and spirulina. 

Keep Track Of Your Activity Levels 

Mindfulness plays an important role in motivating people to push their boundaries. Keeping track of how active you have been can help you strive for more, and bring you closer to your health goals. Invest in tools that make it easy to keep track of your activity. You will notice yourself walking around and exercising more over time if you keep track of your activity levels. It will be very motivating to see how your stamina keeps improving over time. 

Drink Enough Water And Take Adequate Rest

Your water consumption levels as well as sleeping habits will also affect how physically fit you are. Water is an absolute must for the body to function effectively. You should ideally aim for at least eight glasses of water every day, and even higher if you live in very hot climates or do strenuous work.

Did you know that important lead to issues such as weight gain, mood swings, and low immune response? Sleep plays a very important role in determining how healthy we are. While it may be difficult for you as a parent to get adequate sleep, try not to overwork your body and take rest whenever possible. Power naps can rejuvenate you and make you ready once again to face the challenges of parenthood. Regular exercise will also enhance your quality of sleep. 

Learn Techniques for Managing Stress Effectively 

Stress has almost become synonymous with busy schedules. More responsibilities and higher expectations cause more stress. You need to remember that stress is at the root of many health issues. Several internal problems such as digestive disorders, heart problems, and anxiety can result from extreme stress. Learn techniques such as PMR (Progressive Muscle Relaxation) and visualization that will help you deal with stress effectively.

Time management techniques will also help you get rid of stress and open up more time in your schedule to work through all other responsibilities you have. This will also give you more time to be physically active, practice self-care, and engage with your little ones.

Don’t Forget To Have Fun 

Our minds are wired to pursue fun activities with more vigor than boring ones. When you have fun with your exercise, you will automatically enjoy and pursue it more often. One of the best ways to make exercise fun is to include your family in it. Go out for a hike with the kids during the weekend, jump on a trampoline with them, or just have a good old dance session. Even though these are not traditional exercises, they will still have a bearing on your overall activity levels and impact your health substantially. Additionally, these activities will can help improve your bonding with your children. 

We need to change the way we look at and perceive exercise. It is not limited to heavy workouts at the gym or running sessions. Anything can count as exercise as long as you move your body, and more importantly, have fun while doing it.

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