Whether you’re a new parent or parent of a toddler, a parent of one, or a parent of multiple kids, it’s important to find time for yourself in these BUSY and EXHAUSTING days.
Parenting a young child can bring on a variety of emotions and challenges, some good and some difficult, and the potential for a parent’s health to deteriorate because of these stressors is high. Physical activity is a great stress reliever and it helps our bodies to keep up with our busy lives.
So, it’s essential for parents to incorporate activity into their day!
Here are a few great ideas:
In the early months use a stroller to foster quiet time (sometimes even the most upset baby will be lulled by the fresh air and motion), and when they’re toddlers get them to walk part of the way, you’ll get fresh air and a great cardiovascular workout.
Aim to go for a 30-60 minute walk or jog most days. It is important to find a stroller that fits you well, is sturdy and provides a smooth ride for your child. Some research has shown that over 60 minutes of pushing a stroller places stress on the shoulders, so keep this in mind.
5-10 minute workouts
Take advantage of a few minutes when your baby or toddler is napping (when you’re not trying to get in a few minutes of rest yourself, toss in a load of laundry, prep dinner, etc.). Better yet, include them in your workout! Workouts don’t have to be complex or require any equipment to provide great benefits. Here is an example:
- Warm Up – five minutes of light-moderate intensity aerobics (e.g. walking/jogging on the spot, skipping rope, dancing)
- 30-60 continuous seconds of the each of the following exercises at your own pace (take breaks if needed!):
- Don't forget to cool down and stretch after!
- Push-ups (to make this easier do it against a wall or on a counter)
- Jumping Jacks
- Plank (to make easier do this from your knees)
A few other tips:
Select child accommodating fitness centres. This allows you to workout stress-free knowing your child is in good hands
Incorporate physical activity at a young age and play with your kids. This encourages activity for your children and a good workout for you!
Make the most out of your time at the park. Jungle gyms, monkey bars, balance games, capture the flag are great ways to increase strength, endurance and have FUN! Walk your kids to school or daycare if possible.
Please call Physical Activity Services at HealthLink BC (8-1-1) for any further advice, explanations or alternatives.