It is hard some times to think we have the extra time to be physically active from one day to the next. With all of the many things we need to accomplish on a daily basis, where will we find the time to squeeze in some physical activity? I believe not only am I able to squeeze in some “scheduled” exercise time, but I am also doing maybe a little more activity than I think (now that I am really thinking about it).
I like to look at my day, the entire day, as an opportunity to be active, getting some physical activity throughout the day and not just “scheduled” time. For me, it is not just about squeezing in my workout (although I do). It is about viewing the entire day as an opportunity to be physically active. Yes, I still have my “scheduled” time first thing in the morning at 5:00AM every day to do my 30 minutes of circuit training, but for the remainder of my day I am far from sedentary. I don’t believe there are many parents of young children out there who are sedentary. We may have to find the best time of day to do an actual workout routine and for some it may be super early in the morning or later in the evening after kids are all in bed. After finding what time works best for me to do a 30-minute workout, the remainder of my day is still about movement.
We should give ourselves credit for all the activities we do throughout the day. While I am sitting here writing this blog, this is the most inactive I will be for the entire day. With two young children, who are both constantly on the go, I am always playing and chasing after them. We play many physically active games during our day as well. We play tag, hide and seek, have races, and do yard work together (pulling weeds, picking up sticks are a couple of favorites). I think about all of the meals we sit down to have together, I am still up out of my seat minimally 2 – 3 times per meal. This counts for something right? Chores around the house always count towards being physically active because when you have limited time to get everything done, you need move at a fast pace. I vacuum, dust, and scrub so quickly I can work up a sweat even on a chilly day! When I have shopping to do, I have my daughter in her carrier, strapped to me, which adds some weight for strength training when doing bending, reaching, and carrying items in the store.
There are of course other ways to fit in physical activity into our days. You can park further away from the store, walk or take the stairs whenever possible, do crunches or push-ups during commercials, or get up and walk to the person you need to talk to at work instead of calling or emailing, and many more ways to sneak in activity. I must say though, if you look at your day, as a parent, I would believe there are many ways you are already being active. Give yourself some credit where credit is due! If you feel you do need to be more active – pick up your pace while you do chores around the house and while outside doing yard work. Not only will these tasks get done faster, you will also create a little extra time for doing a different activity you love, whether it be reading a book, chatting on the phone with a friend or family member, or your favorite hobby. My extra time is used to do more physical activity as with warmer weather I am in my gardens with every extra minute.