For us moms and dads, a good chunk of our time is often spent shuttling our kids to and from various activities. Or sitting in the bleachers during said activities. Or planning for said activities. Needless to say, this can leave us with very little time for our own personal wellbeing and fitness healthy.
Luckily, with a little creativity, we can sneak some exercise into our own routine too. Because while it’s important for your children to lead an active lifestyle — it’s also equally important for you.
As a physically active parent gives you and your kids a wide variety of benefits.
3 Ways Being an Active Parent is Good for You and Your Kids
Active Parents Have More Active Kids
In a 2017 study released by Statistics Canada, researchers found that “child’s level of physical activity rises by 5 to 10 minutes for every 20-minute increase in the physical activity of a parent.” Furthermore, they reported that children walked an extra 200 to 35o steps for 1,000 steps their parents’ walked.
Decreased Depression Rates
Depression in parents is closely linked to a variety of negative side effects on children, including poor parenting qualities, poor physical health of the children, and the children suffering from psychopathology. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 17.3 million adults in the United States (roughly 7.1%) have suffered at least one major depressive episode. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 3.2% of children have diagnosed depression.
Luckily, exercise offers a natural way to fight depression by releasing “feel-good chemicals called endorphins,” explains the Harvard Medical School in a recently published article.
Better Performance at School
Growing evidence shows that physical activity improves the academic performance of children. In a recent research brief published by Active Living Research, looked at several different research studies to evaluate the impact of physical activity on academic performance. In each study, researchers found that the physical activity level of a student drastically correlated to improved performance in the classroom.
9 Ways to Be Active While Your Kids are at Practice
One of the downfalls of practice is that by the time you drop your kid off and get back home, you practically need to turn right back around to pick them up. This can quickly turn their hour-long workout session into a 1.5-hour or more chunk of your day that seems to be lost.
By using their workout time as your own, you can not only get the workout you need, but help set a positive example for your child. Use some or all of the following ideas to take advantage of your “lost time.”
Volunteer to Coach
Generally speaking, it’s a rare instance when a coach will turn down an extra set of hands. From playing dummy defense to throwing outlet passes during a drill, an extra set of hands is incredibly helpful for anyone who’s teaching your kids. And for you, it’s a great way to elevate your heart rate and keep your body moving.
Walk the Field or Court
Rather than post up in the bleachers, wear sneakers and get moving. This will not only save you from enduring “riding the pine” — which is uncomfortable at best — but will let you stretch your legs and get in your steps. To make walking more strenuous, you might consider carrying a small set of hand weights. The extra few pounds will help you increase your heart rate and tone your muscles.
Walk Your Dog Around Stadium
Not all school gyms have big enough sidelines for a parent to reasonably “walk the court.” Your kid might not be too fond of their parents walking around at practice. Or perhaps your fur baby just needs some exercise too. Regardless of the reason, spending some time outdoors can be a great alternative. If you’re worried about rain, keep an extra raincoat and some boots in your trunk, so as not to let the weather dissuade you.
But Your Body into It
You don’t have to have big machines or heavy weights to make your muscles burn. You can use the weight of your own body. The following exercises are some of the most popular bodyweight exercises that you can do practically anywhere.
- Jumping Jacks
- Bodyweight Squats
- Pushups/Modified Push Ups (You might also want to do incline pushups by using the bleachers)
- Downward Dog
- Warrior Pose
- Sit Ups
- High Knees
- Butt Kicks
- Bear Crawl
- Wall Sits
- Calf Raises
- Bench Dips
Practice with Kids
Are you looking for a good way to bond with your child? Practice with them. Arrive early and help them warm up by being their rebounder or ball-shagger. It’s an incredible way to show them you care, while also being physically active with them.
Ride Your Bike to Practice
Are you the lucky benefit of not being the carpool parent one night a week? Consider going to practice anyway — on your bike! It’s a great way to get your heart rate up, while also showing your kid how much they matter to you.
Climb the Bleachers
Rather than sitting on the bleachers, put them to use! Even just walking up and down the bleachers can help elevate your heart rate. To make it more intense, consider jogging or running them. You can mix it up by doing faster and slower intervals, taking two steps at a time, doing them sideways or doing them backward.
Skip the Nachos & Bring Your Own Snacks
Feel tempted by the vending machine or snack bar nearby? Give yourself an easy out by packing a healthy snack. This can help you curb your cravings and easily give your body the fuel it needs to stay active.
Keep a Jump Rope in Your Glovebox
According to Science Daily, 10 minutes of jumping rope is roughly equivalent to running an eight-minute mile. And, you can jump rope just about anywhere. By keeping a jump rope in your glovebox, you can always fit in a few minutes of cardio here or there when time allows.
Accelerate Your Goals with Medically Supervised Weight Loss
Losing weight and keeping it off is never easy. The key is to find lifestyle changes that you can sustain which allow you to achieve your health and fitness goals. Here at Tru Health our naturopathic doctors provide the support and guidance you need to lose weight fast and keep it off for good.
Additional Weight Loss Tips
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