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Would you like to get in shape?
That is a question most parents want to say yes to, but often it is the last thing on your priority list. As parents, we have about 1,001 reasons (some people call these excuses) not to exercise.
After talking to some parents about why they don’t exercise, here are a few of their excuses:
- Too busy
- Need to catch up on DVR
- Too tired
- Don’t know what to do
- Too stressed out
- Don’t want to go to the gym
- Daylight savings time screwed me up
- I don’t have any workout equipment at my house
- Got caught up on Facebook
- Hate running
Ok, I get it. You are a parent, you are busy, and you have excuses.
However, your health should be a priority because being healthy is part of good parenting.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t like to exercise or you don’t know where to start because exercise is imperative. You need exercise to live a healthy lifestyle.
Reasons Why Exercise is Important
You know exercise is important, but let’s review a few reasons why we should all be exercising.
Improves Your Mood
Do you ever feel on edge? Or your patience is short with your children or spouse?
I think we’ve all been there.
The good news is exercise can help enhance your mood.
Endorphins are chemicals in your body that improve your immunity, helps you relax, and is a natural mood booster. When you exercise, the body produces and releases extra endorphins.
At the same time, your body suppresses anxiety-producing hormones while you exercise. The net result is helping you attain a happier state of mind.
Maybe exercise is the reason these guys are so funny:)
After a long day of work is your energy sapped? Do you feel like going home to shoot hoops or build a Lego mansion?
Instead of relying on a Red Bull or a fourth cup of coffee (because those will screw up your sleep), think about starting an exercise routine.
Most people think if you workout, then you are going to become more tired. The opposite is true.
There are many reasons your energy increases. Some include:
- An increase in endorphins
- An increase in lung capacity
- More mitochondria produced
- Improving circulation
Reduces Risk of Disease
One of my biggest fears in life is not being here for my children to grow up.
It seriously scares the shit out of me.
Reducing the risk of disease is one of the reasons I try to exercise 4-6 times per week. Study after study proves that exercising contributes to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancers, and type 2 diabetes. It can also strengthen bones and muscles and help with arthritis.
Obviously, this isn’t bulletproof, but I’ll take my chances with exercising.
Wait, There is More
There are many more reasons you should exercise, but I am not going to get into the details of every reason. However, I will list them out for you:
- Help control weight
- Increases chances of living longer
- Can help boost your sex life (you’re welcome)
- Promotes better sleep
- Can improve self-confidence
Finding the Time to Exercise
The number one reason most parents don’t exercise is…
Drum roll please…
They don’t have the time.
Listen, I get it. Your day is full. Trying to squeeze in another thing between work, running kids around, household duties, intimacy with your spouse, and checking Facebook is difficult.
With that said, if you aren’t exercising regularly it’s just not important to you. You aren’t making it a priority in your life.
Instead of coming up with excuses (like I did for years), here are three ways to find the time to exercise.
If you are like me, then you enjoy watching television.
Heck, with hundreds of shows on cable, a device to record them, and shows on demand; it can feel like you will never catch up.
Instead of sitting on the couch binge watching Netflix or catching up on your DVR – try Temptation Bundling.
Temptation Bundling is the concept of combing something you enjoy with something you don’t necessarily like. Some examples are:
- Only drinking wine when you fold laundry
- Only listen to your favorite podcasts while catching up on emails
- Only eat your favorite dessert while working on your side business
- Only exercise while you binge watch television
To incorporate this with exercise, determine your favorite show. Then only allow yourself to watch that show while you exercise.
Exercise with Your Family
When it comes to working out, you don’t always have to run for five miles, lift weights, or train for American Ninja Warrior.
Many times, what you are already doing counts as exercise. The best part if you are active with your family, then you are getting much of the recommended exercise you need.
If you are stuck on ideas, here are a few exercises to do with your family:
- Ride bikes
- Go on a hike
- Play tag
- Throw the football
- Shoot hoops (my favorite)
- Go on a walk
- Play Pokemon Go
- Nerf Gun Fight
- Go to the park
Wake Up Earlier
Waking up earlier may be a no-brainer, but one way to ensure you exercise is to wake up earlier. Getting your exercise in first thing in the morning will ensure you have no excuses later in the day to skip it.
Instead of going to bed at 11:00, try to get into bed at 10:15. Then use temptation bundling in the morning to watch that television show you were going to watch at night.
Before you do get in bed, lay your workout clothes next to your bed – this is temptation bundling. You are creating a mental trigger to remind you why you are getting up early.
How Much Exercise Do You Need?
Moderately Vigorous Exercise
Most research recommends at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity every week. Seventy-five minutes should be moderate, and 75 should be more vigorous.
Achieving your moderate activity is simple and would include the activities we included above when you exercise with your family.
You can also get moderate activity by:
- Mowing the grass
- Walking on a treadmill while watching television
- Walking the stairs during lunch
- Taking a walk during lunch
The other 75 minutes of activity should be vigorous.
What the heck is vigorous activity?
Vigorous exercise is when your breathing is deep and quick, you sweat quickly, and you can’t talk in sentences.
If you have an activity tracker with a heart rate monitor, then you can track this more accurately.
To calculate your maximum heart rate, take 220 and subtract that from your age. You now have your recommended maximum heart rate, which means that is what your heart can handle during physical activity.
Moderate intensity is typically 55-70% of your maximum heart rate. Vigorous intensity is closer to 70-85% of your max heart rate.
Here is a screen shot of a recent run I completed while wearing my FitBit Blaze. I’m 37, and my maximum heart rate is 183. A vigorous exercise would average between 137 and 155. My average heart rate for this run was 151 with a peak of 176.
You don’t want to get your vigorous activity in all at once. That’s like only eating healthy one day a week – It doesn’t work. Instead, try to get in three, 25-minute workouts in each week.
More vigorous activities would include:
- Circuit training
- Playing a sport (i.e. basketball, soccer, etc.)
- Cross Fit
- Riding a bike
- Lifting Weights
Most experts also recommend two days of weight training every week.
This may difficult if you don’t have weights in your house. It may also be difficult if you simply don’t have the time for all of this.
Instead, try to focus on circuit training three days a week for 25-30 minutes. You don’t need weights either, all you need is your body.
If you don’t know where to start, here is an exercise video routine I created that can help you. This is a beginners workout video, using only your body weight. No equipment necessary.
If you like the workout, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more to come.
Some of my favorite exercise programs include:
If you really want to take your exercise to another level, then check out BeachBody on demand. I have used this for almost a year because you get to stream p90X, P90X 3, Insanity and much more.
Use the link below to get 30 days free to try!
Just Do Something:)
I don’t want you to beat yourself up because you’re out of shape. Most parents ignore exercise because that is the easy thing to do. After all, it is easier not to exercise than to exercise.
However, you know it’s important. It’s important to being a good parent.
Getting in shape isn’t easy, but it is totally worth it. If you are looking to get in better shape, remember:
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. ~ Lao Tzu
Instead of trying to find the perfect exercise routine, just start doing something. When it comes to exercise, you just need to start.