Single parents wash dishes, help with homework, drive kids to appointments, and do much, much more – alone. With so much going on, it’s often difficult for single moms and dads to find time to take care of themselves. However, it’s important that you find time to exercise because it can help your mood and tighten your figure, as well as potentially decrease your chances of receiving a diagnosis of heart disease or diabetes. These tips will help you sneak in some fitness throughout your day.
Walk to Lunch
Do you often eat lunch hunched over your computer or even skip your break completely? Actions like this can have a negative impact on your career, but they also affect your health. Taking a 30 to 60 minute lunch break gives you time to recharge mentally, emotionally, and physically.
If you work near a restaurant or park where you can bring a picnic lunch, leave your vehicle behind and head to your destination on foot. If not, round up a few of your coworkers and do some laps around the building before you chow down on your food. On rainy days, you can head to a local shopping center and get a quick walk in before your break ends.
Jam With Your Kids
Ever feel exhausted after rocking out with your kids? That’s not surprising since dancing helps some people burn as many as 620 calories in 30 minutes. Nearly any type of dance moves benefit your body, but you might burn extra calories by doing fast routines that incorporate multiple body parts.
Don’t worry about embarrassing yourself if you lack rhythm. Your goal is to have fun and get fit, not land a role on Dancing With the Stars. You’ll probably get better at dancing with practice, so keep jamming on the dance floor – or your living room – until you feel confident about your moves.
Here are some upbeat songs you and your kids may enjoy dancing to:
- Shake it Off by Taylor Swift
- Country Girl Shake it for Me by Luke Bryan
- Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It) by Beyonce
- Teach Me How to Dougie by Cali Swag District
If your kids are too young to enjoy those songs, or you simply don’t feel comfortable with the lyrics, search for kid-friendly playlists on YouTube.
Try Speed Cleaning
It’s no secret that kids are messy, and perhaps you’re a bit of mess-maker yourself. If that’s the case, challenge yourself to get the house clean as quickly as possible. Set a timer to see how long it takes you to vacuum the living room or mop the kitchen floor, or set a goal to finish washing and drying the dishes in 10 minutes or less.
Yard work is another great way to burn calories. Get outside and rake leaves, pull weeds, or shovel snow if you want to strengthen your upper body. You can also burn calories while you clean the pool, sweep the porch, or organize your garage.
Exercise During Shows
When you finally get some “you” time, you might want to use it to catch up on your favorite television shows. That’s fine, but it won’t do your figure any favors. Lift weights or stretch your muscles from the sofa, or use commercials to do jumping jacks, abdominal crunches, or toe touches.
If you don’t have any exercise equipment, use soup cans as weights. When you’re done using your makeshift weights, you can lay toys or books on the floor and jump across them. You can also do push-ups against your wall or front door while you wait for your show to come back on.
It’s difficult but not impossible to find time to exercise as a single parent. Try the tips above to keep your figure fit without spending time at the gym.