In a recent article we talked about 10 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Stress. One of those ways is with exercise. It’s important to exercise in order to feel better. Certainly with a busier schedule of school and work, it can feel like a more stressful day. But a lot of parents get tripped up with the inability sometimes to have a defined exercise schedule, especially once school starts. Here are a few easy ways to help you find time to get exercise.
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Being Active Has Lots of Options
A lot of us think that having an exercise routine can only work if you have set days to go to the gym. And while maybe that would be ideal, it can be hard to do with a full schedule of two working parents, getting the kids to school, and fluctuating after-school needs.
One solution to keep in mind, according to the Mayo Clinic, is that exercise in any form can act as a stress reliever.
Even brief bouts of activity offer benefits. For instance, if you can’t fit in one 30-minute walk, try three 10-minute walks instead. Interval training, which entails brief (60 to 90 seconds) bursts of intense activity at almost full effort, is being shown to be a safe, effective and efficient way of gaining many of the benefits of longer duration exercise. What’s most important is making regular physical activity part of your lifestyle.
Flexibility Is Your Friend
A tried-and-true method of making sure you get in the exercise is to simply make it a priority like everything else. Once it’s on the calendar, you work other things around it.
Another way to do it is to say that you need the exercise each day, but that you’ll see where you can fit it in. The most important thing here is that you’re still committed to making it happen. It’s just that you are more flexible with where and how. For example, you could be okay with a 7-minute workout one day and a walk with the dog the next day.
There are also advantages to doing exercise with your kids. Exercise doesn’t have to be just adult-time only. This means taking advantage of doing recreation with the kids – like playing basketball at the park, or riding bikes together.
Rising Trend of Families Exercising Together
It’s actually a rising trend for families to exercise together, which is great news for fitting it into a busy day. Here are some ways you can make it happen:
- Family Classes: There’s many exercise classes that are now geared for both parents and kids at the same time. Yoga is one example.
- Include The Kids: Many parents are of the generation that exercise for life, and they include their kids into their running, yoga, and biking.
Studies also show that families who exercise, eat meals, and play together have stronger bonds, plus you get the benefit of less stress.