Free and easy ways to exercise as a parent

It doesn't always have to involve going to the gym

We all know how important exercise is. It's something we actively drum in to our children if you think about it too. We want them to be active. It goes hand in hand with them being healthy and preoccupied with activities that help their body and mind. It also keeps them away from screens. As it turns out, the very same thing applies to us adults.
The problem is we are busy and while we know the benefits that come with being active, we just don't feel we have the time to do anything extra. Running a house, working and keeping our children alive and happy is a full time job in itself. 
What if we could actually find ourselves being better at this stuff if we were more active? Wouldn't it be nice to feel like our mood and energy levels were a bit better every day? Well they can be. If, like me, you can't find the time to do a class or join the gym (or maybe you just don't want to) – these might just float your boat. 
  • When you run out of bread or milk – walk to your local shop rather than driving. It probably takes the same amount of time but the fresh air and movement will make a huge difference to your energy levels and your mood.
  • Use the stairs to your advantage. If you have a spare 15 minutes spend time walking or running up and down the stairs. You can make it more intense by holding a tin of bins or peas in each hand. This, believe it or not, is a work out. You'll work up a sweat sooner than you would think.
  • Play in the garden with the kids. If your children are happily playing in the garden then chances are you're enjoying a golden opportunity to have a hot cup of something or a quick scroll through social media. Why not set up a relay race game with the kids or play hide and go seek. It might only be 10-15 minutes of activity but it will have a positive affect on you.
  • Start walking in the evenings. I know how difficult is can be to drag yourself out of your warm home, particularly when it might be the first opportunity you've had to be alone all day. This could be a really great time to listen to an audio book or your favourite music while getting some exercise. You will enjoy relaxing in the evening so much more after it too. The fresh air will make for a better night's sleep also.
  • An exercise DVD is easier than ever now. All you have to do is turn Youtube on. In fact the kids can get involved with this one. They might laugh at Mommy and find the whole thing amusing but chances are they'll be happy for you to do it in their company. 
Written by Tracey Quinn, staff writer at Family Friendly HQ

Tracey Quinn

Proud mum of two who got married on Don't Tell The Bride and had an accidental home-birth (loves a good story). She's passionate about breastfeeding, positive thinking & all things cosy.

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