Looking to find the right balance of fitness without compromising on your parenting duties, work and social life? We have five tips.

Parenthood is an extraordinary journey, filled with love, joy and countless responsibilities. While the early stages are brimming with excitement, the demands of parenting can be all-encompassing, leaving little time for personal wellbeing.

Between raising children, managing work commitments and sustaining social connections, fitting in a workout isn’t usually high on the priority list. Soon, you’re slipping out of your old workout habits.

The importance of physical activity

Exercise or physical activity can be a proactive way to increase energy levels. It can also have a positive impact on your health and wellbeing, consequently boosting mental health and elevating stress. It also prevents health problems such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and heart disease, to name a few.

While adding time to go to the gym takes some effort to create, even little amounts of physical activity each day can help. Here are five ways to help you balance getting fit with your parenting responsibilities.

1. Dedicate time for fitness in your schedule

The boundaries between work, family and personal life can often become blurred as a parent, particularly for mums, which makes it challenging to set aside time for fitness.

In two-parent households, establishing a rotation to watch the kids can allow each partner to prioritise their fitness without compromising other responsibilities. This could be a rotation with one or two workout days per week for each parent, providing a structured yet flexible approach to integrating fitness into a busy schedule. Finding these pockets of time not only allows each parent to focus on their physical health, but it also provides a mental escape.

For single parents, this can almost seem impossible as they juggle all elements of parenting on their own. But there are ways to implement exercise in the midst of a jam-packed schedule. Instead of succumbing to “there isn’t enough time”, find ways to optimise activities to make the most of your time. Substituting unproductive habits, such as excessive social media use, television watching or mindless internet surfing with more purposeful ones can significantly enhance your productivity.

It’s about creating a routine that supports your overall wellbeing, recognising that self-care is not a luxury but a necessity.

2. Family-friendly fitness

Contrary to the above advice, solo workouts might not always be feasible but that doesn’t mean you can’t get your sweat on. Turning fitness into a family affair is a creative and inclusive alternative. Family-friendly fitness not only integrates physical activity into daily life but also instils healthy habits in children from a young age. In fact, there are countless family-friendly fitness ideas, from weekend hikes to a dance-off in the living room or a bike ride around the neighbourhood, offering opportunities for both parents and children to engage in physical activities together.

3. Find yourself a buddy

Finding a workout buddy can offer a mix of support, accountability and motivation. They can also motivate you to do one more set, continue when you feel like you have just had enough and want to give up, or when you are feeling hopeless. The support through one’s fitness journey can be immense and keep you on track.

It not only makes exercising more enjoyable but also transforms the gym into a social haven—something that can be hard to come by, especially for new parents. The social aspect extends beyond the gym and can be an opportunity to connect with other parents facing similar challenges or even allowing parents to keep older friendships going.

However, you should also be wary of the type of people you choose to buddy up with. If you choose someone who does not share a similar commitment to fitness, that can be a distraction or even a deterrent. Then at the other end of the scale, if your partner is at a radically different level of health, fitness or ability, you could be pushed too hard, feel de-motivated or even injure yourself.

4. Choosing the right fitness option for you

Committing to a gym or fitness regimen can be influenced by various factors like budget, time constraints and personal preferences. Not only that, but motivation levels and priorities fluctuate, highlighting the importance of finding a gym that can be flexible. If you are the type who likes going to a gym, look for one that offer no-lock-in contracts. This can give you freedom and peace of mind, allowing you to customise your fitness routines according to your ever-changing schedules and priorities.

5. Setting realistic fitness goals

Before embarking on a fitness journey, setting realistic goals is paramount. Breaking down overarching objectives into smaller, short-term targets increases the chances of success. Instead of setting overwhelming goals, start with achievable targets, such as going to the gym twice a week or taking a brisk walk three times a week. This incremental approach ensures steady progress, preventing feelings of overwhelm and promoting a sustainable commitment to fitness.

Setting realistic goals is about understanding one’s own capacity and aligning expectations accordingly. It’s not about conforming to external pressures or societal standards that you might see flicking through TikTok or Instagram, but creating a fitness journey that is both fulfilling and achievable. By starting with small, manageable goals, you can build momentum, creating a foundation for long-term success.

It’s time to get fit

The journey of parenthood is a multifaceted one, and prioritising fitness is not just a luxury but a necessity. It’s about recognising that a healthy, happy parent is better equipped to navigate the challenges of parenting and life.

By integrating practical tips, family-friendly approaches and a flexible mindset, you can not only prioritise your wellbeing but also set an example of a balanced and fulfilling lifestyle for your children.

In the intricate day-to-day of parenting, work and personal life, achieving balance requires dedication, creativity and a commitment to self-care.

Try our 10-minute workouts at home!

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