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The Parent’s Guide to Fitting in Fitness

The Parent’s Guide to Fitting in Fitness

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Well you all know by now that I am only a mother to a “fur baby”. So I really can’t give you the best advice on how to cut out some time to exercise between raising little humans.

So I have called in the big guns……… My friend Victoria, you may also know her as  @trainingforchocolate and have read her blog. She has an activewear wardrobe to be envied and manages to make time to keep fit around her busy schedule. While raising a happy and healthy little boy, that she is a wonderful role model for. She has shared some insightful tips with a giggle or two about the juggling act of parenting and keeping fit.

Victoria Norton @trainingforchocolate

I’m sure you’ve all seen the Michael McIntyre comedy clip ‘people with no kids don’t know’

Agonisingly funny. Because it’s so true.

When you have kids, you’re catapulted into a whole different stratosphere. Lucky it’s overflowing with love because otherwise you’d go a bit cray cray.

 One of the most challenging changes you’ll face is finding time to yourself. For anything. Let alone fitness.

 Oh, and I’m just going to ignore how tired you’ll feel for the first 18 years or so of parenthood, because sleep deprivation is no longer an excuse to stay in bed. Sorry about that.

 So here are my 5 Tips for getting your workout in when your diary is filled with play dates and nappies, gymberoo and canteen duty…

  1. Make 5am Your Friend

You need to find a time in the day where you can get out the house by yourself. For me, it’s been at the crack of dawn, while hubby is still home (he leaves for work at 7am).  Go run, find an early bootcamp or gym class and make peace with the dawn chorus.

  1. Reclaim ‘Me Time’ Early On and Find a Great Creche

OK, my boy, when he was very little, had severe separation anxiety so I couldn’t actually follow this advice, there’s no way I could have left him in a crèche until he was 3ish. However, assuming no such issues, check out your local gyms with a good crèche and do a trial. Mostly the kids LOVE it because there’s different toys, new friends to play with and they get to exercise a bit of control over mummy by always needing a nappy change in the middle of your class (the crèche carers come and get you at this point, there’s only so much their job title extends to).

  1. Drop off and Run

If I say to myself ‘I’ll go for a run/go to a class later’ it invariably doesn’t happen because there is always So. Much. To. Do. The best way is to get ready for your workout first up, do the school/kindy drop off and get straight into it – a 9:30 class for example. Then it’s done, and you get can get on with the rest of your day.

  1. Never Miss and Opportunity to Move

Rather than stand on the sidelines during soccer practice, how about jogging the perimeter of the pitch a few times with another mum? Or walking to school instead of driving? Have a little lounge room disco after school or share a yoga flow at bedtime…. When my boy was a toddler he was already an absolute demon on his scooter and I literally couldn’t keep up with him on foot. The fear for his safety lead me to purchase a grown-up scooter so I could chase him down (actually that was a lot of fun too, if slightly dorky).  Look for the opportunities in your routine, have your sneakers to the ready, and get moving.

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  1. Military Precision Planning

It’s likely that both you and your partner will want to have some time out to exercise. It’s harder for the primary carer to get out of the house and do it, but you both deserve it. So sit down with your ideal ‘workout wishlist’ and together diarise it all so it works. Often this will mean ‘divide and conquer’ especially if you have more than one child and especially when they start Saturday morning sport at school. Our Saturday mornings are a series of quick handovers, quick coffees and quick workouts as we try to fit in a park run, a CrossFit session, a swimming lesson and a soccer match. All before 10am. As I said, military precision is required.

Most importantly, don’t forget to include the kids sometimes too. Whilst you will most definitely need some time out to train by yourself (for your own sanity), always include some family fitness fun into your week. It’s also a great legacy to leave them with, a great foundation for the rest of their lives.

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So go for a bike ride together, a long walk, a little jog, a yoga class, a swim… whatever floats your family’s boat.

Good luck, mums and dads, may the force be with you.