Advice for the Single Parent: Time, Energy and Money for Fitness

Advice for the Single Parent: Time, Energy and Money for Fitness

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 

Mother and Daughter: 100 Days Challenge Accepted

Mother and Daughter: 100 Days Challenge Accepted

It’s one thing to see a mother/daughter duo snap a couple of selfies together and then let social media decide who’s mom and who’s daughter. But to take on a 100 day challenge to be a better you for health purposes and for your kids, that’s a challenge worth sharing and documenting.

Single mom, Cheryl of New Jersey and daughter Tessa made a commitment earlier this year to shed 100 pounds together. Though they dropped a combined total of 74 pounds in 100 days, the before and after pictures look stunning!!! And guess what, they’re keeping it going! Besides, it’s a lifestyle and we’re proud of them both.

See the full story here!

 

Update:

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Less Sleep, Lower Grades Study Finds

Less Sleep, Lower Grades Study Finds

I’m friends with a lot a teachers including early childhood, elementary, middle and high schools. I dread having a girls night out them because all it takes is for one question to be brought up about something going on at school, and I’m left scrolling on my phone, with a couple of eye rolls and painful grunts. Because it’s now thirty minutes past, and they’re still discussing how ‘Jimmy’s’ parents haven’t come to the school for a parent conference.

They love what they do, or not (LOL) and are somewhat burnt out but still keep going amid the few advantages of being a teacher – Winter break, Spring Break, paid holidays, oh and did I mention Summer break?! But a common thread that’s heard during their ‘teacher’ discussions is the parallel connection between academic performance and social interactions including sleep, biological changes, screen time, and more.

A recent study found that over 80% of U.S. schools are starting too early for America’s teenagers and that electronic devices play a major role. Government health officials recommend that school days start… to read more, click here! 

Are You Putting Your Child at Risk of Obesity Early On?

Are You Putting Your Child at Risk of Obesity Early On?

I was the fat kid in school. But my weight didn’t pick up until around middle school.

I wasn’t teased or bullied, but I knew I was different. And it was because of my weight. I was the BIG girl – how they referenced me when talking to others – and oddly, I was okay with it.

The numbers grew and grew and even in adulthood, with some loss, I’m still the big girl, the confident big girl. I promised myself that if I were to ever have kids, I’d want my son or daughter to grow up living a healthier lifestyle. Doctors label me obese and that’s never a good thing to hear because of the effects it has on your body: diabetes, sleep apnea, finding clothes that fit properly and so much more. 1 in 3 kids in America are OBESE or OVERWEIGHT! Scary huh!

That’s why being aware of the risks of your child being in the danger zone need to be addressed. Potential weight problems can be prevented without shaking a child’s self-confidence. Here’s how – start with getting and keeping your child active. Kelley Heyworth adds that eating the right amount of good food… read it here! 

Be sure to check out some healthy desserts and snacks you and your kids can enjoy from our friends over at PositiveHealthWellness.com! Visit their site here!

Shower Your Kids with Cooking, not Gifts

Shower Your Kids with Cooking, not Gifts

I love cooking. I don’t always like the help.

But I enjoy special moments that I can share with my kids. I love being my child’s first teacher because they are like little sponges and soak up so much information that can be carried throughout adulthood. I teach them manners, ways to make and save money, chores, so why not teach them how to cook. Now before you think of all the harmful things that could happen, like cutting their finger or placing a towel too close to the fire, think of what you’d actually gain.

Casey Seidenberg shares with the washingtonpost.com that teaching kids how to cook allows room for mediation, learning money management, and resisting technology. Now during the school year, this may seem a little far fetched due to a demanding schedule, but saving your kids from a lifetime of unhealthy takeout starts – to read the full story, click here!

On-Demand Grocery Delivers to Your Door!

On-Demand Grocery Delivers to Your Door!

Ahhhhh, the convenience of shopping from your own home! Shipt.com, an online service, now lets you grocery shop from the comfort of your bed, or couch or wherever. Right now, you could even get $15 worth of groceries for FREE!

You can now order groceries in 3 easy steps –

1. You order (download the app and become a member)

2. Shipt shops for you (navigate through 40,000+ items)

3. Delivered right to your door (convenience at its best)

Let the shopping begin here!