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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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!

Choosing Clothes to Flatter Your Body Shape

Choosing Clothes to Flatter Your Body Shape

I really do enjoy going out, even if it means going out alone. If I have to take myself out on dates to the movies, restaurants or any other place that offers exciting live entertainment, I’d go. But here’s the problem, I struggle in finding things that flatter or accentuate my apple body type.

And if you’re like me, that midsection is where it all just goes down hill. In my mind, when I’m lying on the bed, trying to decide what to wear, I paint the perfect picture. Tonight, I’m going to wear my distressed boyfriend jeans, crisp white button down shirt and some nude heels. Then, I put it on…. and total flop! I just don’t like what I have on, I add a scarf or jacket and still nothing.

And back on the couch I go, remote in one hand as I flip through the same boring channels and sip on a glass of my favorite drink – Bailey’s Irish Cream – in the other hand.

Not anymore!

A-line dresses and tailored jackets are a great fit just for my body type. Want to know more on how to dress for your body type – including shoes, see what brightside.me has to say for you. You might even find some simple tricks with things that are already in your closet. Learn more here!

5 Tips to Look Amazing, When You Really Feel BLAH!

5 Tips to Look Amazing, When You Really Feel BLAH!

“When you LOOK good, you FEEL good and when you feel good you DO GOOD!” – author unknown

Today, I wasn’t feeling it. My hair isn’t done up to my regular standards; it’s just not up to par. I didn’t get any of my laundry done over the weekend because I was super busy, so I have NOTHING to wear to work this week.  I’m low on cash and forgot to bring my lunch to work today, so I’m starving.  On top of that, I haven’t been eating right lately so my body feels TOTALLY OFF and my stank attitude is showing through  because I just don’t do well when I’m sleepy OR hungry.  I’m off balance.

Luckily, I’ve figured out a few things that work for me when I’m having these “off days”. My day started off a bit rocky, by the middle of the day, I have acquired a genuine smile on my face. Thanks to a few intentional acts on my part, and kind words of affirmation from a few of my co-workers, I can say I’ve truly been able to elevate my day. It may not solve all of my problems, but these 5 Tips to Look AMAZING saved me.

Tip #1: Put On A Dress

This may sound simple or ridiculous, but the only CLEAN thing I found in my closet to wear was a short zebra print/flower dress that fell just above my knees. It’s an old thing. I’ve had it for the last four years but what I’ve always loved about it is how it accentuated my curves and how the shortness of the dress brought attention to my nice legs and toned calves.  I’m also forced to wear high heels anytime I wear this dress because sandals or tennis shoes just throw it off, but this is a plus as the shortness of the dress only brings attention to my otherwise unnoticeable legs and toned calves. It helps me embrace my femininity. This is a win for me.

Tip #2: A Pump or Two of Perfume

Co-worker 1: “Ohhh, You smell so good!  Delicious.”

I LOVE when someone compliments me on my scent. I’ve paid special attention to this small detail, ever since that one time I interviewed singer John Legend and he said, “A man doesn’t want a woman to smell bland…”  But beyond it being appealing to men, putting on your favorite perfume can subliminally help you. When a sweet or pleasant scent permeates the atmosphere around you, it helps your mood. If nothing else, it may attract a compliment from someone you pass in the hallway at work. And a compliment on your scent can never hurt!

 

Tip #3: Wear A Smile

Co-worker 2: “Look at you , you look like sunshine.”

I ALWAYS get the best response from people when I enter an atmosphere, wearing a smile. Even if I’m truly sulking on the inside, I try not to show it on the outside or to those who I come in contact in my day. Just smile. Think of something that makes you happy or something that you are thankful for, or looking forward to. Let the good thoughts take over your day and soon, the fake smile will have become real to you. Try and smile.

 

Tip #4: Walk High / Strut with Confidence

 

Co-worker 1: “What’s up boss lady.”

“They can tell by the way I walk,  I aint from ‘round here.”

I loved this quote from Martin Lawrence in the movie Life. No matter how you feel on a particular day, let your body language and even your walk, tell a different story. When you walk confidently to and from, you can send a signal that you are a.) lost, confused, beaten down by whatever is happening in your day OR you can affirm and declare with your walk that b.) I am more than a conqueror and I will not be stopped! Whether I’m walking from my office to a meeting or from the break room to the bathroom, I STRUT like I’m the queen of Zemunda! BOLDY and CONFIDENTLY! I walk like I have places to go and people to see and in doing so, others respond to me passing in the hallway accordingly. “What’s up boss lady.”

 

Tip #5: Put on Your ‘Face’

Co-worker 5: “You looking all fresh, I see you!”

I can’t tell you how many times I felt like s*&#!  Heading in to work on a Monday morning. It takes a lot of energy to get up at6am to get my FOUR year old ready for school, after being out late on a Sunday night. On a bad day, he can be whiny, uncooperative and downright defiant, which always has me spending more time getting him ready (persuading him to “work with Mommy”) and in the end, I have less time to get myself ready. He’s drained me and putting on makeup is the last thing I feel like doing. But taking a few minutes to at least put on foundation, powder and a bold lipstick seems to do the trick for me! When I’m feeling like I can’t do the full face thing, even just a touch of blush on my cheeks, with a nice lipstick or lip gloss and making sure my eyebrows are touched up proves to do justice for me. This was evidenced when I heard a co-worker say, “You looking all fresh!” (Boy, my co-workers just don’t know how much their comments, observations and compliments mean to a girl when I think I’m having the WORST day ever!)

Check out this quick way to apply make up on the go!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCdZOb0ryhA

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