Convenience is one of the most important things in making exercise a sustainable part of a parent’s life.
The are a million and three exercise regimes out there that all say they are the best for reasons x, y & z. They might be right, but if it doesn’t fit into your life then it’s worthless.
There’s a phrase out there – the best workout out is the one you actually do. The point is that the details are far less important than consistency. As a parent, to be consistent we need to easily fit it into our already busy days.
So how can you do that? Firstly get away from the idea that special equipment or people are necessary to get healthy. This idea is a barrier to getting started. All we really need to do is move more today than we did yesterday.
By starting small and adding a bit at a time we can build little health habits that are much easier to maintain. One of the simplest ways to add more movement to your day is extra walking:
- Take the stairs at work instead of the lift. If going all the way to your floor is too much, start with how ever many floors you can and add a floor each week. The most is important thing is to walk the stairs first then get the lift, you are far more likely to keep it up that way.
- If you take public transport for a small part of your commute, walk it instead. It’ll probably be quicker than the time you would have spent queueing, pushing and having armpits in your face.
- On non-work days, if you can walk it in under 30, then walk it. This is the hardest one. Let’s face it, transporting children, their associated ‘stuff’, shopping etc on foot is not easy, but that’s also kind of the point. You get exercise pushing, carrying etc, they get to walk, run and scoot. It’s good for everyone.
None of this is particularly innovative. The main point is to take a journey you would have made while sitting/standing in one place and walk it instead.
It takes a while but eventually you will build a habit of walking instead instead of the lift, bus or car. I started taking the stairs at work a few years ago and it took about two weeks before I went to the stairs without thinking.
How about you? Any other ideas of how to sneak easy extra movement into busy parent’s day?