PHYSICAL ACTIVITY SECRETS FOR BUSY PARENTS
I have yet to meet a mum who feels like there are enough hours in the day to fit in everything she needs to do, including some active time for her self. With this in mind, we thought we would give you a few secret tips about how you can get active at Movement Park
BE AN EARLY BIRD.
According to my informal poll, the crack of dawn is a popular workout time for mums. “I do my activity first thing in the morning, before the kids are even awake. I think it’s important for me to have that time,” says one busy mum from the G14 area. Another morning exerciser, relishes the fact that “by getting a workout in first thing, I can spend the rest of the day knowing that it’s checked off my list.”
Movement Park offers different opportunities with flexible membership helping accountability: “We have a number of classes that you can do each week, and all you have to do is come along and join in the fun,”
Why not try being a regular at our early morning yoga classes: “This may sound silly, but some people go to bed in gym clothes the night before. It’s easier to make it to an early morning class when you’re already dressed for it.” Method in the madness!
BE ACTIVE WITH YOUR KIDS.
Especially for parents with younger children, a scheduled workout at Movement Park is not always feasible. So why not be creative at home: Think about printing out photos with instructions for yoga poses and tape them up around the house to inspire you to do more stretching while your at home with the kids. Children can become so interested in the signs that you will end up doing the poses together.
A Mum of four I know relies on high intensity interval training to get the most out of her home-based exercise efforts. “I use BodyRock videos on YouTube, and I can get a really great workout in 15 to 30 minutes,” she says. “My boys, even as babies, have always been part of my workouts. They love to watch, cheer, or try the exercises with me.”
During her maternity leave this mum even enjoyed taking a mum-and-baby yoga class, but her best workout partner has been her pushchair. “My baby routinely decides that he doesn’t like naps, and going for walks is the only cure,” she says. “We invested in a high-quality pushchair and accessories that allow us to get outside in any weather. We walk a lot!” Victoria Park is a great venue so why not get a group of you together for some mum-and-baby walking...
Some parents believe in inviting kids along for the ride. “When the weather permits, my kids ride their bikes alongside me while I run,” Local Dad says. “We add little games or challenges, like making it to a certain landmark for a pit stop, or seeing who can get to the top of the hill first.”
MAKE THE KIDS’ ACTIVE TIME YOUR ACTIVE TIME.
Some of our parents don’t just sit in the stands at their children’s sports and activities. Why not try forming a group to go for a walk or run when your kids are at activity or try one of our upstairs activities. “Sometimes we will look up a coffee shop that is a couple of kilometres away, walk or jog there, get a beverage, and walk or jog back.” says Dad of two.
One of our coaches recommends a ‘Deck of Cards’ workout in the empty hallway or waiting area whilst waiting for your kids. For this card trick, Fran explains that a specific exercise is chosen for each suit – for example, hearts are jumping jacks, diamonds are lunges, and so on. As you turn over each card, you perform the corresponding exercise the number of times shown on the card (Ace equals one). Face cards represent 10 of the designated exercise plus running a pre-determined distance (or set of stairs) one time (Jack), two times (Queen), or three times (King). In Fran’s view, “this type of workout allows for people with varying levels of fitness to participate, either as a group or at their own pace.” There are many variations and don't forget to pick up your deck of cards at reception...
WORK IT INTO YOUR WORK DAY.
One of our members told us she collaborated with a co-worker to add short walk breaks to her day at the office. Their plan goes as follows: “We set her phone alarm to beep every hour, and that signals us to go down the stairs to the ground floor, walk across to the other end of the building, climb the set of stairs on that side, and return to our desks. It only takes a few minutes, but repeating it every hour makes it beneficial.”
“With three kids doing different sporting activities, it is hard to find time for fitness,” says local G14 Dad, who leaves work on his lunch hour to do a quick weight workout at the gym. “Since I started doing that, I feel I am doing something for myself in a whirlwind of doing stuff for everyone else.”
One single mum knows all about multi-tasking and making every minute count. “My son’s school starts early, leaving me 20 minutes between dropping him off and leaving for work,” she explains. “I organise my time so I can use the whole 20 minutes to power walk with my dog around the neighbourhood. It’s not much, but it is something. I also always keep my yoga mat and a set of workout clothes in my car, just in case the opportunity arises to squeeze in a class.”
Some parents walk their kids to and from school daily, while others play on a team in an evening sports league. Most importantly, on days where things don’t align for you to formally “work out,” look for innovative ways to “work in” some activity however you can.
Whatever your schedule or routine may be, seek out an active option that is doable for you. Just ask for advice as the team at Movement Park would be more than happy to help...