How to Remove the Biggest Exercise Obstacle for Parents


Most know they should exercise more. You hear it all the time, “I really need to exercise more”, “I wish I had the time to get to the gym” etc. Have you used excuses like this yourself? I know I have. In a world that moves faster and faster, time constraints often get the best of us. We want to be employees, partners, parents, friends, etc. Very often it comes down to choosing between family time or exercise time. I guess it comes as no surprise that the exercise time almost always loses.

Don’t get me wrong here, I am all for family time but I also believe in being a good parent and being there for your kids for a very long time. To be around for a long time you also need to take care of yourself. Well, with a little bit of planning and thinking you can do both. Turns out it is pretty simple as well.

I have already touched on the problem, we feel the need to choose either or. Either spend the time as a parent or spend the time exercising.

Exercise together
The solution is quite simple, combine the two, exercise together. It actually took an outside force to get me going in that direction. Not long ago there was an article in my local newspaper, people from the newspaper and a fitness coach were arranging a sequence of free training sessions in preparation for a 5k race. At first I didn’t think too much about it, but after discussing it with my wife we decided that it would be  a fun thing to do together as a family. A couple of hours later we had signed up for the first session!

A sunny but cold Sunday morning about two weeks later we joined another 80 people on a football field about 30 km from home. We spent the next 45 minutes running, jumping and cheering each other on with the support of three coaches and cooled down with a walk in a nearby forest. The coaches did a very good job of combining fun exercises with cheering the kids on. For my daughter it wasn’t all fun, she loved beating my wife and I in the runs but she didn’t like getting tired :-). Anyhow, driving back home we all agreed it was great way of spending time together and get moving so we’re looking forward to next time!

Get going
What does this mean for you then. Start by looking around in your area if there already is a parent-kid exercise group and if there isn’t one, get some friends together and form one. All you need is a little bit of time and some space to run on, a football field will do nicely. Work out a simple exercise routine (if you need help, drop us an e-mail, we’re happy to help) to follow.

Be a role model
As you can see the solution to having to choose between exercise and being a parent is to combine the two. The benefits of this goes way beyond not having to choose. By exercising together you are passing on good habits to your kids and once you have done that, half your job is done. For me it has meant that we now train together more than the designated Sunday time and we have fun doing it. In a later article I will share some unexpected other benefits I have found from exercising with kids.

What do you do to make sure you get your exercise?

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