Every parent knows it: chasing after infants, toddlers, and other young children is a workout in itself. Unfortunately, all that exertion probably won’t recreate that post-exercise buzz – even if you reach the end of most days feeling like you’ve run a marathon.
So, how do parents of young kids carve out the time – and find the energy – to exercise for their own health and happiness? Here are five simple tactics to prove that parenthood and fitness don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
1. Exercise as a family
Instead of sacrificing family time to focus on your fitness (and vice versa), you can incorporate fitness into family time instead. Venture to the back garden or a nearby park for high-energy playground games like IT and Hopscotch, or promote calmness with daily family yoga sessions.
Of course, a family gym membership is tailormade to help you enjoy quality time together, especially if there are child-friendly classes and facilities available. At your nearest David Lloyd Club, that could be family swim time, a few friendly games of tennis, or one of our family activities such as Battlebox Play. In this outdoor family workout for adults and children aged 8+, you’ll work together in a fun environment to build teamwork, speed, agility, balance, and movement.
However you decide to combine fitness and family time, it’s a great way to make the most of your time together, create a lifelong love of exercise, and take a little strain off your schedule.
2. Sneak in some micro exercises
You don’t always have to set aside an hour or two to exercise. Instead, consider your workouts as “snacks” that you can grab whenever the opportunity arises. These micro exercises generally last no more than a few minutes, but their benefits compound over time.
- Do calf raises while you work (especially if you use a standing desk) or do chores
- Rack up a few countertop push-ups after washing up
- If the kids are otherwise occupied or engaged, blitz through three sets of 20 alternating lunges, 15 push-ups, and five pull-ups for a full-body workout in under 15 minutes
- Watching your favourite show in the evening? Use each ad (or pause your streaming app every 15 minutes) to perform as many good, controlled reps of an exercise as possible, such as dips, bridges, push-ups, and lunges.
3. Count on the crèche
Taking a little time to exercise can be especially difficult if you have kids under the age of five, but you don’t always need to resort to TV or a tablet to entertain them while you work out. Look for a health club that has a crèche staffed by qualified professionals and is specifically designed to provide a safe, stimulating, and caring environment with lots of different activities to aid children’s development. We let kids engage with activities at their own rate, focusing on what they can do rather than what they can’t. Meanwhile, you can focus on some guilt-free “me time” in the gym or in the pool, on the courts or in our spa.
4. Synchronise your fitness routines
A crèche is perfect for younger children, but what if your kids are old enough to pursue their own interests and even work towards their own fitness goals? Synchronising your exercise routines is another great way for grownups and kids alike to focus on fitness without sacrificing family time, especially if it can all happen under one roof.
Family fitness was actually one of the founding principles at David Lloyds Clubs, so we’re perfectly set up for synchronised family fitness routines. While you enjoy an instructor-led class or a few laps in the pool, your kids can safely participate in a club or class of their own. From Scooter Squad to Junior Tennis – as well as social activities like Cinema Club – it’s easy to throw yourself into a workout (or escape to the spa!) when you know your little ones are close by and in good hands.
5. Fix food that fuels your fire
Parents of young children rarely get as much sleep as they would like. Depending on your infant or toddler’s sleeping pattern, the prospect of a full night’s rest may seem like, well, a distant dream. Insufficient sleep will almost certainly affect your motivation to exercise, but you can restore at least some of your energy by simply following a balanced and nutritious diet.
Whether it’s a quick roast chicken or a deceptively simple sea bass tray bake, a healthy diet will help your body gradually release energy throughout the day. In time, you’ll rediscover your motivation– mentally and physically. Explore our collection of nourishing recipes for inspiration.
Ready to get moving again? Our friendly in-club team can help you tailor an exercise programme around your busy schedule. Find a David Lloyd Club with a creche near you.