By Laurie Mandel
If you're like many parents, you'd probably agree there aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done. From taking care of tasks at the office to helping the kids with their homework and getting them to practice and games on time, there is hardly a minute to slow down. How do you schedule time for yourself, especially when it comes to exercise? By fitting in activity whenever and wherever you can, including the time while your kids are on the soccer field or in dance class. Here are a few tips on how to get active while your kids are occupied.
1. Take a hike ... preferably with a friend
If your kids practice at a sports complex that has a track, take advantage of the opportunity to get some exercise for yourself. Keep a comfortable pair of shoes in the car, and plan on spending at least 30 minutes of your child's practice walking or jogging around the track.
You may also want to ask other parents if they'd like to walk with you. Knowing that someone else is waiting for you at the track will help you stay motivated on those days that you'd rather be sitting in the car. Additionally, walking or jogging with a friend will make the time go by more quickly than tackling the track alone.
2. Get creative with workout ideas
No track at your kids' game? No problem. Look around to see what facilities you can use to your advantage. For example, if there is a set of bleachers nearby, do a few sprints up and down the bleachers to get your heart pumping and blood moving.
No bleachers? No worries. Keep a jump rope in your car trunk so you can do a quick cardio workout in the back of the parking lot. Or bring a basketball and do a few shoot and dribble drills on the adjacent court. Get creative when it comes to finding time to exercise.
3. Simply stand
Research shows that extended periods of sitting are terrible for our bodies, and if you're like many parents, you've rushed from your desk straight to the field to watch your child compete. If all else fails and being truly active isn't an option, opt to stand and watch the game. Rather than keeping your fanny firmly parked on the bleachers, cheering for your child while standing on the sidelines can help burn 50 more calories an hour than sitting, a small change that, over time, could add up to a big win for your health.
4. Every little bit helps
When it comes to exercise and staying active, doing something is always better than doing nothing. If you're trying to fit more exercise into your schedule, set aside time while the kids are at their activities to get your heart rate up. Walking around a track with another parent, jogging up and down bleachers, or even playing a quick game of basketball are all great ways to add some physical activity to your daily routine. If nothing else, standing while watching the game will help you burn a few extra calories.
Lauren Mandel is the Content Marketing Manager at GoHealth, which powers one of the nation's leading private health insurance exchanges for individuals and families.
Posted January 11, 2016