Between taking care of our children, our homes and even our spouse, we may find very little time for ourselves. Things that were once our top priorities are being pushed farther and farther down our to-do lists. Exercise is often one task that we just can’t find the time for every day.
May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. During this month, we can establish a habit of finding unique ways of staying active on a daily basis. Of course, we can always do the usual extras such as take the stairs, park farther away in the parking lot, etc. But, with a little extra thought and effort, you can find ways to get up and get going without putting on your running shoes and turning into a pile of sweat.
Set your alarm
Set your alarm to go off at the top of each hour. When the alarm goes off, get up and take a walk around the house. Walk from one end of the house to another or if the weather is warm, take a few laps around your house. It is important that throughout the day you increase your heart rate. By sitting or keeping it at a steady pace for an extended period of time, you miss out on many health benefits. It doesn’t have to be much, just get up and be willing to move every hour.
Play with your children
One of the best ways to stay active when you have children is to simply play. Take them to the park and play soccer or jump rope. Play games such as Follow the Leader or Simon Says to help get them off the couch and moving. By playing a few simple games, you will speed up your metabolism and lose calories. You will also create memories that both you and your children will cherish.
Clean, clean, clean
Not only is a clean house a happy house, it also means there is a hard-working and active parent. Cleaning can help you burn a significant amount of calories each day. For example, the average 150-pound woman can burn more than 40 calories for 10 minutes of vacuuming or mopping the floor. You can even burn more than 45 calories for simply doing the dishes for 30 minutes. There are a variety of organization projects you can do around the house and even yard work will help you burn a significant amount of calories. So even if you felt like you haven’t done much to keep your fitness level up, think about what you have cleaned throughout the day.
Keep moving while talking on the phone
Utilize every free second you have, even while talking on the phone. While on the phone, stand or walk in place. The person on the other end of your conversation can’t see you if you feel silly. And just a few extra movements while talking on the phone will help increase your heart rate and speed up your metabolism.
Sacrifice some sleep
Sleep is one luxury that is hard to come by as a parent. But by getting up 15 or 30 minutes before the rest of your family, you will have enough time to get your heart rate going by getting in a short, but effective workout. Enjoy some yoga or Pilates in the morning to help get you in the right mindset for the remainder of the day or go for a small jog. Just a little bit can go a long ways.
Even the small things can make a difference when trying to stay fit. Exercise can increase your energy levels, your mood and even your self-esteem. You may not have time throughout the day to get the type of workout you hope for, but even just doing a small workout can lead to great rewards.
Courtnie Erickson is a Utah State University graduate and a technology guru. She loves spending time with her husband and her adorable newborn son.