There are an endless amount of challenges that single parents face every day. Balancing a busy work schedule and raising kids doesn’t leave much time for anything else. Daily exercise and fitness often gets put to the wayside because we feel we don’t have the energy or time in the day to dedicate to an exercise routine. Studies have shown less than half of American adults get thirty minutes of exercise five times a week. But, we need to remember to take care of ourselves. As little as thirty minutes a day of exercise can go a long way towards getting in shape and even preventing heart disease. It is important to make physical fitness a priority for ourselves. Taking care of ourselves enables us to better take care of others. Sticking with a daily routine doesn’t have to take a lot of time, and the added benefits of a healthy lifestyle and extra energy will help you better tackle the challenges of being a single parent.
Where do we find the time and energy? After a busy workday, getting the kids to their soccer game, and making dinner, the last thing we want to do is work out. All our energy and mental focus is gone and we just want to wind down and relax with what little time we have before bed, by spending time with the family. There doesn’t feel like there is enough time to drive to the gym, get your workout done, and drive back, along with all of the other obligations in the day. Even if your gym is close by and you limit yourself to a thirty minute workout, you are looking at least an hour, if not more. This is where exercising at home can be incredibly convenient and a huge time saver. So when should we do it? First thing in the morning. This has several advantages. It is easier to dedicate time first thing in the morning. The kids might still be asleep and you have less emails and other distractions. Also, you are not worn down by the day yet. Working out in the morning can boost your mood and give you more natural energy to start your day. And, once you’ve done it, you’re done. You don’t need to worry about it again for the rest of the day. You can save your gym workouts for days you have more time, like on the weekends for instance.
Building a home gym doesn’t have to be outrageously expensive or take up a lot of space. With just a few reasonably priced purchases you can get what you need to assist you in your fitness goals. A healthy exercise regimen will consist of both cardio and muscular exercise. Here are a few workout and equipment ideas to get you started.
Jump Rope, Walking, and Jogging: A simple jump rope is very inexpensive and provides a great cardiovascular workout, and helps tone your legs. It can also bring some of that joy back from being younger, skipping rope on a playground. Even going for a moderately-paced walk can help you get in shape. Jogging around the neighborhood is another example of a good cardio workout. Try doing it for shorter distances to help build up stamina.
Bodyweight and Resistance Bands: For muscular fitness, there are a variety of options. Bodyweight exercises are an excellent way to get into shape. They utilize multiple muscles and don’t require any equipment, so they’re free. Who doesn’t like free? Some examples of bodyweight exercises are squats, lunges, pushups and dips. Another inexpensive option is resistance bands. These are like large rubber bands that offer resistance as you pull on them, simulating weight-lighting. They are easy to store, lightweight, and you can increase or decrease the resistance to best fit your needs. These are great for muscle toning and stretching.
Yoga: One of the best pieces of home equipment you can buy is a quality yoga mat. Yoga is an excellent form of exercise due to its efficiency. It is one of the best workouts for those with very little time to spare. A quick yoga routine can increase heart rate, stretch, and tone muscles. Yoga can also be very relaxing, so it is a great way to unwind if you need a little break. When shopping for a yoga mat, purchase one with a thicker layer of foam and avoid ones made with PVC chemicals for a healthier home environment. You may have to initially shell out a little more money for a nicer mat, but the thicker ones will last much longer and provide better cushion and support.
Getting just a few pieces of home gym equipment doesn’t have to break the bank and will allow you to fit that quick workout in a busy schedule. Even if you decide to expand on your home gym equipment later on, it is often cheaper than many gym memberships in the long run, and you have everything within reach.
It may seem difficult, but making time to take care of yourself needs to be a priority. There are a lot of people counting on you and you need to take care of yourself so that you can take care of them. Working out at home can save a lot of time and money, and still provide great health benefits. You can purchase relatively inexpensive items or just use your own bodyweight and still get a great workout. Beginning each day with a quick and efficient workout will give you the energy and focus you need to be charged for the day.
Article submitted by Alexis Hall
Photo courtesy of Pexels
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