I’m too busy to exercise.
I get it. We live in a 24/7 world where our demands continually increase year over year. We have so many responsibilities as parents, employees, leaders, and community servants that it makes it really challenging to prioritize our own fitness – and that of our family.
So how do we make fitness a top priority, and make it a part of our regular routine – regardless of the demands that we face? Here are 3 tips to get you started.
Make family fitness meaningful for you.
Create meaning around why fitness is important to you.
That meaning can be more than just a long-term goal of improved health and longevity. It could mean improved mood and energy levels so that you can keep up with your children when you get home from work. Perhaps you want to be a positive role model and influence those you love, especially your children.
When we are able to connect our fitness and health goals to something more meaningful, it makes it much easier to engage in the behavior because there is immediate reward. Think about the reward that you could feel as a parent when your children are excited to make exercise a part of their daily activity.
Make it fun.
Once we have a reason to make fitness a priority, we’ve got to make it a priority for our kids – but how? It’s all about leading by example and making it fun. Make exercise a family affair. Here are some ideas of how you can incorporate exercise into your regular family routine.
- Have a family dance party
- Take family walks, runs or bike rides after dinner or in the early morning
- Run or walk during sports practices
- Combine storytime and yoga
- Go to the park and do body weight exercises with your baby stroller
- Have a push up, squat, or plank competition
- Do chores or light exercise (like a walk) with baby in tow
- Play some of your favorite childhood games like tag or red rover
- Plan excursions on the weekends that are outdoors and active
- Use summer vacation as a way to pick up a new sport or activity
Make the whole family accountable.
Every family member must help support, encourage and remind each other of the importance of regular exercise. My three year-old reminds me to walk on a path that has exercise equipment when we’re headed to the park. He is my number one accountability partner, and with his help, I remember that I’m a much better mom – with improved mood and energy – when I exercise.
With these tips, your family will be well on its way to feeling better and achieving more. These are things every person deserves!
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Jenn Lea is Director of Client Training at the Human Performance Institute, a division of Wellness and Prevention, Inc. In her spare time she enjoys being with her family, traveling, and stand-up paddle boarding with her husband and kids.