Working a full-time job while raising one or more children, all on your own? Then you need some me time—time when you can focus on yourself, sans the kiddies and pets. If you feel you could do with a good me-focused exercise routine that has you looking and feeling great every day, then look no further. Here’s a fitness guide to suit your busy lifestyle.

What do you need? Inexpensive exercise equipment, companion tots, and the right mindset. Squeezing in a half-hour or hour of exercise every few days can be done, if you implement the following tips.

Start Off by Simply Walking

When you’re a single parent, and cramped time is a factor, there is nothing easier and more restorative than going out for a walk to get your blood flowing. The easy availability of a walk path in your neighborhood helps you save time, while helping you burn up a calorie-targeting sweat (when walking at a brisk pace), as you take in your surroundings. Don’t be hesitant to multitask and take your kid with you in a jogging stroller.

Eventually, you’ll develop the motivation and stamina to start jogging, at which point, over time, you may want to ambitiously sign up for a running or even marathon class. The sky is the limit. Truly, this cardio-pumping exercise is simple and effective. All you need is a pair of running shoes and maybe a FitBit to keep track of your progress.

Go for Whole, Basic Foods

You need a good diet to go with your new exercise routine. As a penny-pinching single parent, stay away from hyped-up, fancy-packaged foodstuffs and say “yes, please” to basic food staples. Say, oatmeal, instead of granola cereal. Veggies instead of boxed-up supermarket sides. By staying close to Mother Nature in your purchases, you are stepping that much closer to the body you want to have, at an affordable price.

Learn About the Multiple Uses of a Yoga Mat

Involve your kids in your exercise routine so you can bond as a family. Not only does having them participate teach them a love for health, you can go the extra mile and combine your exercise routine with a fun, creative activity involving your old yoga mats.

For example, if you’re regularly practicing yoga and/or doing muscle-building exercises without weights, you’ll likely wear down your yoga mats every six months. Don’t throw these away. Instead, use them for fun arts and crafts projects with your kids. Use the colorful material to make hangable wall collages, simple two-dimensional dolls, or whatever strikes you or your kids’ fancy. Research DIY arts and crafts projects online to get ideas.  

Another cool activity linked to well-worn yoga mats is to have you and your kids work out the significance of wear patterns on the exercise gear. The marks will reveal where you’ve been applying body pressure the most, and “suggest” to you how you could correct your form or vary up your routine. For instance, deep drag marks indicate you may need to lift your feet higher before adapting certain yoga poses. Inspect the marks with a yoga friend or professional to get the most useful interpretations.

A Final Thought

When you’re a single parent, you’re always thinking of ways to save money while organizing resources and activities that benefit the whole family. By following the above tips, you’ll be scoring major multitasking points. The trick is not falling for the guilt trap of feeling you are spending too much time and money on yourself by exercising, when you could better put that time into your children. You should recognize that this is a silly notion and believe you deserve to look good, while taking care of your health. These are not ideas to feel ashamed of.

Credits : Daniel Sherwin

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