If you are a parent of young children, your life has no doubt taken a huge change (a positive one). YES you had signed up for one of the most demanding gigs in the world. Your sleeps are interrupted, you are always tired, low in energy and have alot less free time to do your thing. Your life has changed and you simply can’t train the way you did before because you just don’t recover as well as someone else who gets more than 8 hours of solid sleep and who don’t hang around sick kids. Trust me I know how you feel because I am a parent with young children too just like you. And you certainly don’t have to be out of shape, gain the extra weight and be in poorer health.
Here are the 5 fitness tips I have for you as a parent to get fitter, stronger and lose the extra fat so you can get on with your parenting job.
Be Very Specific With Your Fitness Goals
If you are trying to get fitter and healthier, it is important you know what are your specific training goals. Getting fitter and healthier are not very clear training goals. How fit or healthier do you want to be? What do they mean exactly to you? Just jumping into a pair of sneakers pounding away on the pavement is a sure-fire way to fail because you are not clear about your training goals. Without clear training goals, how can you know or plan for what you should be training for? If you are going to start your training, make sure you know what you are training for. Be specific with your goals and train towards that.
Focus Your Limited Time & Energy on Training That Yields the Best Outcome
When you know what you are training for, you will know what are the things to avoid that does not contribute efficiently to your goals and work out where you should focus your limited time and energy on in terms of training.
Say you are a busy mummy and time is premium and your goal is re-gain your pre-pregnancy body by losing “X” amount of body fat, yet want to get stronger to meet the demands of parenting and still have energy. You simply do not want to jump from one aerobic class to another and then run an hour each day to run yourself down. You will burnt out and definitely won’t get stronger. Instead, you should spend time on high-yield activities such as structured strength training (that actually makes you stronger which makes parenting easier), and work on better nutritional habits (that actually helps lose the extra body fat).
Understand the Trade-Off (Are You Willing to Pay the Price?)
As much as competing in marathon, bodybuilding or any kind of competition are lofty goals, you have to understand that such activities required high level of dedications (meaning alot of training time and sacrifices will be required). As a busy parent, you have to ask yourself if you have the energy, time to commit and the support you need. In other words, are you willing to pay the high price? If not, it is all well and good because you need not compete (pay a high price) to get fitter to achieve some really healthy and reasonably cool fitness goals. You just need to be clear about what is your long-term goals and work intelligently (by training) towards that without having to compete. And health should always come first and should be the primary reason to train and there is no need to win a championship. Without your health, you can’t really take care of your kids well.
Move Well First
It is common to hear unfit parents rushing to get fit and jump into the High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) train because it is sold as the best way to lose fat. Unfortunately, most unfit people are most likely not moving well or fit enough to perform HIIT training safely. As a parent, you have no time for injuries. And HIIT training is not the only way to lose weight and get fit.
If you are in for the long haul, you certainly want to move well first before you start hitting more reps and sets and load up the weight. And moving well means to be able to move or perform exercises in a pain-free, coordinated, and efficient manner. Moving poorly more often simply does not help fix poor movement quality. And when you move well you will start moving pain-free and make more improvement in your exercise program. If you are not sure about how well you move or how you can move better to avoid or minimise the risk of injuries from exercise, contact your local Original Strength (OS) PRO or Functional Movement Screen (FMS) Instructors.
Perform Strength Training 3 Times a Week
Strength training is probably the most neglected aspect of fitness in most people. It is without a doubt crucial to any parents who wants to carry their task out well and be able to live well. As it’s been said “Strength is the mother of all qualities.” Without it, any physical task will just get harder. And with aging and the sedentary lifestyles, there will be muscle loss (risk for sarcopenia), loss of bone mass (risk of osteoporosis) and loss of muscle power (which can help you prevent fall). All of which can be prevented by performing strength training consistently.