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Balancing Parenthood and Fitness

Whether or not you had a consistent workout routine before having kids, it can still be hard to find your rhythm once kids are in the mix. You're more tired, time is a luxury and it can be a struggle. It's super easy for fitness to just be the last thing on your list and often just get passed over.

If it's been a hot minute since you regularly got your sweat on, it can also be intimidating to know where to start. Here are my top ways to start getting a bit more movement into your day, without a huge time commitment or feeling overwhelmed.

1. Embrace Short, Intense Workouts:

Logging an hour at the gym maybe just isn't realistic anymore, so sneaking in short bursts of high-intensity exercise can be incredibly effective. Start with incorporating quick workouts like High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) or Tabata into your routine. These workouts can be completed in as little as 15-20 minutes and knock out both strength and cardio at once so you get more bang for your buck.

2. Make Playtime Active:

Sure, there are times when you just need your kids to get some activity while you get stuff done. But, using this time as an opportunity to join playtime can be fun for everyone, and add some movement to your day. Play tag, chase, or engage in a game of soccer. You'll bond with your kids while getting your heart rate up.

3. Stroller Workouts:

If your little one is still little and will tolerate being in the stroller, get out for a walk or a jog. Explore the neighborhood and get some movement. A win for everyone.

4. Home-Based Workouts:

If it's in your budget, invest in some basic fitness equipment like resistance bands, dumbbells, or a yoga mat. Even bodyweight workouts can be effective and mean you don't waste time going to and from the gym and can squeeze in a quick workout at home during naptime or when your kiddo is busy with something else, like an episode or two of Bluey ;)

5. Incorporate Exercise Into Daily Tasks:

I feel like people really discount how the small stuff adds up but finding ways to incorporate movement throughout the day is a great way to do this. Park farther away, take the stairs, do squats while you're standing at the stove, and intentionally focus on your core while lifting your kiddos, some lunges down the hall etc.

6. Get everyone in on it

When you can, opt for active outings. Go for hikes, bike rides, or explore nature together. Kiddos need movement and outdoor time just as much as adults.

7. Create a Schedule:

Block out specific time slots in your calendar for exercise and treat these appointments with the same level of importance as any other commitments. It may take a bit of work to stick with it but mentally setting yourself up and preparing for it will help.

8. Be gentle

Let go of the all-or-nothing mentality and stop being so hard on yourself. Any new habit can be hard to get going but once you do, you'll find that you have more energy, and feel better. You're also setting a great example for your kids of how to move your body and prioritize your own well-being. Keep going!

Balancing parenthood and fitness may require some creative scheduling and adaptability, but it's entirely achievable. Hopefully, you can try at least one of the options on this list to start making it happen more often. So, lace up your sneakers, grab your little ones, and start incorporating exercise into your busy day.

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I agree that embracing food as a friend and not an enemy for the waistline is essential for us and our children. It helps me to think of my body as a temple for my soul, then heart-to-heart- connection with my family during meals becomes joyful. Thank you, Ivy, for restoring food's good name. jk

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