Fitness tips for busy parents
This is a guest post from Sammi Adhami, co-founder of Fiit - the #1 rated fitness app with hundreds of classes led by the most in demand trainers.
For most parents, fitting workouts in around an ever-changing schedule can be tough. A two hour round trip to the gym isn't an option when you’re busy organising school runs, feeding the kids, changing nappies or just too tired to get behind the wheel — let alone a treadmill.
With boutique fitness classes costing upwards of £200 a month (not including the price of travel) it’s no wonder parents end up putting their health and fitness on the backburner.
As co-founder of Fiit and father of two, I’m really passionate about breaking down barriers to fitness. Exercise literally powers my life. It gives me a boost when I’m sleep deprived or stressed. It lets me take a moment to myself with zero distractions. And it helps me perform my best at all times, whether that be getting up at 5am to feed the baby, play with my kids or run a busy start-up.
If you struggle to stay active as a parent, here are my top 3 tips on how to train when time isn’t on your side.
Bring the gym to you
Not everyone lives near a fitness studio. Not everyone has time to spend on the road, travelling to and from the gym. And when you haven’t had a wink of sleep, not everyone has the motivation (or confidence) to get their kit on and sweat it out in a crowd.
My wife and I both use Fiit. We take it in turns to watch the children while the other puts on a 25 minute class in our living room. We train with leading fitness experts, without having to pay boutique studio prices — or even needing to leave the house.
If you don’t have hours to spare, I really recommend you check the Fiit app out. With hundreds of classes, ranging from yoga and pilates to HIIT and weight training, you can work out whenever you find the time. Without the pressure of people watching, or crowding around the same equipment.
I bought a couple of weights, resistance bands and a mat, but you don’t need anything if you just want to try your hand at bodyweight training. What matters is you fit a class in around your time, not the gym’s. And they’re only 25 minutes long.
Get the kids involved
The Department of Health and Human Services says that children should be physically active throughout the day from the age of 3. So why not get them involved in your workout routine?
Showing your kids that exercise is part of your life helps them normalise the behaviour. Much like eating, brushing their teeth or getting enough sleep, they’re much more likely to take it into adulthood if they see you do it first.
My 5 year old daughter, Alice, joins me for my morning Fiit classes (which she now nails from start to finish) and then we cycle into school. It’s fun, it gets the endorphins flowing and it gives us priceless bonding time. Win. Win.
Convert the commute
Sometimes it’s all about adjusting your mindset. In the UK, we currently spend over 58 minutes commuting to work. That’s time we could be exercising instead of sitting (or most likely standing) in an overcrowded train, every day.
My greatest life hack is all about converting the commute. I use any travel time for exercise. From running errands and going to the hairdressers, to picking up a takeaway or heading to a meeting. I walk, run or cycle to my next destination — even on holiday.
This year, while my wife and kids got a taxi to the beach with friends, I ran there early in the morning to get first dibs on sunbeds and parasols. I covered 7km three times a week and beat the sunbed mafia every time.
Whether it’s a 3km walk to the post office or 10 km run to work, it’s about maximising your time and feeling incredible afterwards. Start small. Run to the bus stop, walk to the supermarket or jog into your meetings (you may want to warn people in advance!)
The healthier and happier you are, the easier it will be for you to care for your children. And the more likely you are to keep up with the little balls of energy. Now that school’s back in, there’s no better time to get started. So who’s in?
*To train with the world’s greatest trainers on the #1 rated fitness app, click here. Once you’re set up, gift friends a free month on Premium and get £20 off your next bill for every friend you bring.