Article by guest blogger Alexis Hall
Single parents are among the busiest people on the planet. Between working, taking care of children, cooking meals, packing lunches, helping with homework, transporting kids, and taking care of the house, laundry, and dishes, single parents don’t seem to have any time left for themselves. It’s no wonder that many single parents think that they don’t have the time, energy, or money it takes to get and stay in shape. The truth is, single parents can get fit, and our guide will help.
1. Create a Home Gym
Gym memberships are expensive in and of themselves, and single parents often have to hire a babysitter if they want to work out at a gym or fitness center. The costs of working out in a gym add up too quickly for most single parents. That’s why one of the best ways you can get and stay in shape is to build your own gym at home.
Single parents who have a home gym don’t have to worry about taking extra time to drive to and from a gym to work out or paying fees to the facility or a babysitter. They also can work out early inthe morning or late at night.
The key to building your home gym is to include the right pieces of equipment. You don’t need to buy the most expensive equipment, but you should purchase pieces that will help you maximize the short time you have to work on yourself.
For example, dumbbells and kettlebells are among the most versatile pieces of equipment you can include in your home gym. You can store them virtually anywhere and start small and gradually increase the weight. You also can use dumbbells to work several parts of your body, including your shoulders, arms, abs, and legs.
2. Involve Your Kids in Getting Fit
Spending time with your kids is precious to you, and you can instill healthy habits in them if you get fit together. In fact, studies find that obese children and teens are at a higher risk for heart disease and other health conditions earlier today than ever before because they have as much plaque in their arteries as middle-aged adults.
To get your kids excited about getting fit together, make it more of a game than a chore. You could ask them to create fun ways to stretch and warm up, create a family-friendly contest for the number of push-ups or sit-ups completed in a week, or have them take turns timing the number of squats everyone can do in a minute.
3. Get Outside
Sometimes, getting fit can be as easy as getting out of the house. Families get stuck in ruts when they sit around and watch television every night or play video games on weekends. As a single parent, you can help your kids become more active by getting them outside with you more often.
There are several fun ways you and your kids can be active as a family, including playing basketball in the driveway, football in the yard, or baseball at the park. You also can plan a family bike ride on the weekend or a day of swimming when the weather gets warm. Other fun, physical games to play as a family include kickball and dodgeball.
Going on family hikes is an ideal way to get fit without spending a ton of money. Many cities throughout the U.S. have nature trails that are free to the public, and state parks often offer free hiking trails that are family-friendly. To make your family hike even more fun, make sure you are prepared ahead of time.
Pack plenty of water and healthy snacks that will help everyone refuel, including granola bars, trail mix, nuts, and dried fruits. It’s also a good idea to ensure everyone has good walking shoes or sturdy sneakers and cushioned socks while you hike. And, pack bandages in case someone gets a blister or skins a knee while hiking.
Even single parents can have enough time, energy, and money to get and stay fit if you build you create a home gym, involve your kids in getting fit, and spend more time being active outdoors.