Children need healthy parents. They don’t need a mom who is size 2 or a dad with a killer six-pack, but they need parents who can manage their stress, have a healthy heart, and good immune system. There will be times when no matter what we do as parents we get sick, but a great way to do what we can to avoid it is to take care of ourselves. Eat right, sleep enough ( that is so hard for me) and get REGULAR exercise.
This isn’t easy for busy parents. Juggling our commitments with our kids’ schedules is already a nightmare, but this series is about taking care of YOU and letting you know it’s not just OK to make time for yourself, it’s important too.
How do you make time for yourself to get to the gym and not feel bad about it?
Shift your thinking.
When I am on the treadmill I am not giving myself a hot new bod, I am giving my daughter a healthier mom.
When I leave my inbox full of emails at my desk and run 3 miles I am not ignoring my responsibilities, I am clearing the clutter in my head so those tasks can be completed at 100%.
Parents are pulled in a million different directions, probably don’t get enough sleep and are always by virtue of being a parent putting others before themselves. To be able to keep doing that you need to carve out time to stay in shape physically and mentally.
Here are a four tips to help with the gym guilt.
1. Find a gym with fantastic childcare. Knowing my daughter not only feels safe but loves the childcare makes all the difference.
2. Make it routine. I schedule it like any meeting I have and work around it. There is no question about what I am doing on Monday at 10.
3. Find a gym with WiFi if you are worried about having to be available. Sometimes just knowing that you can be reached lets you relax about being unavailable. I urge you not to use it regularly though, your brain needs to have a break too.
4. Add in other me time activities to maximize your time. I read while I run on the treadmill, I see people watching Netflix, and listening to audiobooks too.
Even if you are the primary caregiver it doesn’t mean you have to be the solo caregiver. Getting time to work out without your kids can make a world of difference for your whole family.
If you aren’t ready to leave your little ones or a gym isn’t a realistic option for you stay tuned, because in a few weeks I will share tips for running with kids in strollers.
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Allison McDonald is founder and editor of No Time For Flash Cards. She has been teaching children in various capacities since 1993, so she has done her share of crafts, songs and circle times! Her son’s birth brought her home, and her love of teaching and helping other parents sparked the idea for No Time for Flash Cards. Early childhood education is her passion . . . her heart belongs to the little guys! Get to know Allie and see her creative kids’ crafts and educational activities on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.