Finding time to exercise is difficult for most adults and it can feel impossible once you have children. There are a million excuses why you might not feel like you can, but there are two really great reasons why you should. One, you need to stay healthy and that requires some movement, and two, you’re setting the example and the norm for your child. Make lifestyle choices now that you want your kids to make habits out of for the rest of their lives. Here are some helpful tips to get you motivated.
- Decide on an activity. Choose a workout that you know you can do with your child and that you will take enjoyment in doing. If you’re into yoga, find a Mommy and Me yoga class or get some DVDs from the store or local library that you can do in your home. There are even classes here in Columbus for ages 2-13 on how to belay your child if you are rock climbing fanatic. Many of the activities that you did before you had children can still be done to some level. Better yet, if your child is old enough to have an opinion, find something that you both enjoy and can do together.
- Choose a convenient location. If the only place that caters to Dad and Daughter ballroom dancing is 35 miles away, you may want to rethink your choice. Chances are that you’re a busy person and adding extra time with travel may make you quit. Find something that is an easy drive, or even better, a place that you can walk. A lot of outdoor activities can be done at one of the fifteen metro parks in the area. We’re also fortunate that Columbus is home to a myriad of gyms with a variety of activities to offer.
- Have the proper equipment. Most of us don’t want to spend an arm and a leg buying extra items that may or may not be used religiously. However, once you choose that perfect activity, you’ll be more inclined to do it regularly if you have all the equipment. If running is your choice, find a good running stroller that will seat your child comfortably. A better investment might even be a bike trailer that can convert into a stroller so that cross-training is an option. You also want to make sure that everyone is safe for your activity. For instance, if you choose to start kayaking, properly fitted life vests that are Coast Guard approved and helmets are essential. Safety and comfort for everyone are the criteria to meet.
- Pick a time. You don’t necessarily need to pick the same 3 days every week, but you do need to make the time. Signing up and paying for a class are most beneficial for those that need extra discipline to get up and get going. Mark your calendar weekly if you have the willpower to work out on your own time.
- Set a goal. This can be as big or as little as you want. Decide that you are going to rollerblade with the stroller two miles within three weeks or that you and junior are going to bike in an upcoming race together. Tracking your progress and reaching your goal is a great feeling for everyone and will hopefully increase your chances of setting a newer and tougher goal to reach.