When you have children, you want what’s best for them, and this can involve providing them with a thorough exercise regime. It’s important, at the same time, that you meet your exercise requirements too. So, how can you go about incorporating this into your family’s already busy schedule? Here are a few ideas to get you started in the right direction!
Let’s start with combined fitness, as there are plenty of activities that you can carry out with your children, helping you all to benefit from exercise at the same time. Exercising as a family can also be fun, help you to bond, and create great memories along the way. Here are just a few ideas to get the ball rolling!
- Evening Walks – if you have a family pet dog, you may want to walk your canine companion as a family unit. This ensures that you all get a daily dose of exercise and can stretch your legs out. Evenings tend to be the best time, as you can walk and talk at the same time, finding out how each others’ days have gone! If you don’t have a dog, don’t worry, you can still engage in this activity!
- Gardening – if your backyard needs sprucing up, you’re going to find yourself gardening regardless. But why not get the children involved too? Gardening involves plenty of physical activity, including digging and pulling up weeds. Plus kids love the opportunity to be outdoors.
- Home Discos – turn up the music within your own four walls and host your own family disco. You and your little ones can boogie around the family room and have a whole lot of fun together while working up a sweat.
Next, let’s focus on a fitness regime for you. As a parent, you probably don’t get much spare time, and when you do get a little time to yourself, chances are that you don’t want to spend it working up a sweat. The majority of us are much more likely to use it as an opportunity to let our hair down, sit down with a hot drink, read the news, catch up with a friend over the phone, or lie down and do nothing for a bit. But it is extremely important that you incorporate some sort of exercise into your schedule, or you could find yourself becoming unfit or even unwell. It is recommended that you get at least one hundred and fifty minutes of moderate aerobic exercise a week, or seventy-five minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise a week, so you need to be clocking up these amounts. Here are just a couple of different ways to incorporate exercise into your regime as simply and conveniently as possible.
The gym is perhaps the simplest and most convenient way to get your exercise fix. This is because you can generally attend when you want, simply walking in, completing your workout, and walking back out again, rather than having to stick to class times, schedules, or other restrictive boundaries. Becoming a member of a high-quality gym like Club Fitness will ensure that you have access to all of the equipment that you could possibly need to carry out a well-rounded set of exercises. If you ever find yourself unsure of how to use a piece of equipment correctly, you should always ask for help from a member of staff in the gym. They will be able to demonstrate equipment, ensuring that you minimize your risk of becoming injured while using it yourself. Here are just a few pieces of equipment that you might find in your gym and how they can benefit you.
- Treadmill – sure, you could walk, jog, or run almost anywhere outdoors. But why face the elements when you can do this indoors in the comfort of a dry, air-conditioned gym? A treadmill is an easy way to incorporate these activities into your regime, seeing you burn calories, increase your stamina, improve your heart health, and improve your muscle tone. Perhaps the main pro that comes with using a treadmill is that many machines now allow you to add an incline (as if you were walking up a hill). This easily boosts your workout, engaging more muscles and posing a challenge.
- Cross Trainer – an elliptical cross trainer can feel a little odd to use at first, but you’ll soon get into the swing of things (excuse the pun). Unlike the treadmill, a cross trainer allows you to work out your upper body as well as your legs. Main areas targeted include the quads, hamstrings, glutes, lats, and pecs.
- Exercise Bicycle – again, you could cycle outdoors. But cycling on the roads without proper training or understanding of the roads could be relatively dangerous, and you also face the elements. Exercise bicycles provide you with the same workout but in the comfort of your gym. Cycling is a great way to work out which minimizes pressure on the joints.
- Stair Machine – if your looking for toned buttocks and thighs, a stair machine (otherwise referred to as a step machine or stair climber) may well be the way to go. Try incorporating different techniques into your use of the machine, including squats, crossovers, and different step variations.
As well as machines and equipment, there are likely to be accessories that you can use to maximize your workout. Here are some to familiarize yourself with.
- Medicine Ball – a medicine ball is a weighted ball that generally has a diameter of 13.7 inches. This large weighted ball can be used to add extra weight to your workout, as opposed to merely working out with your own body weight. This helps when it comes to building your strength. Check the different weights of different medicine balls before using them, as some can be significantly heavier than others. Consider holding a medicine ball while doing squats.
- Exercise Ball – an exercise ball is significantly bigger than a medicine ball, and is inflated with air rather than being filled or stuffed with weights. Exercise balls can engage your muscles, as if you sit on them while carrying out exercises, you will have to tense your muscles in order to be able to balance on them.
- Dumbbells – dumbbells are a form of free weight which can be employed when first starting out weight training. Again, these can come in a variety of weights, so start low and build your way up as you gather strength over time. They can be used individually or in pairs (one in each hand).
Alongside the gym, or instead of the gym, you might want to invest in personal training. By collaborating with a personal trainer you will see faster and more impressive results. A personal trainer can take your aims and goals and find the best way for you to achieve them around your current lifestyle. They will come up with a plan that you can then stick to. While anyone can engage with personal training, it often proves to be particularly useful for busy parents, as it means you have to stick to occasional appointments to track and monitor your progress. This means you will be less likely to skip workouts or cut workouts short.
For the Children
While you may benefit greatly from the gym, it doesn’t tend to be the best form of exercise for children. Not only do the majority of gyms impose an age requirement to use particular equipment or use their facilities, but doing repetitive exercise with little motivation other than meeting health goals isn’t really very appealing to children. Instead, you may be better off enrolling them in team sports. Team sports allow your children to exercise in a social atmosphere where they can work together with others their own age, as well as compete against others their own age. Finding the best sport for your little one will generally be a process of trial and error. Allow them to try out various different sports. When they find one that particularly appeals to them, or that they particularly enjoy, they will generally stick with it.
As you can see, it is possible to incorporate exercise into your entire family’s routine. Hopefully, the above advice has helped to get this journey started on the right foot for both you and your children!