Whether you’re a full time, single or a working parent, life is exhausting and let’s be honest, looking after yourself usually comes at the bottom of the list. Before you know it, you are looking 20 years older, the house is a mess, dinner is chicken nuggets (again!) and all you want to do is go to bed! Being exhausted like this can lead to bad habits, especially when it comes to your diet. You suddenly need quick fixes, high sugar and simple carbs and caffeine drinks to give you the energy to get through the day.
The problem with this is that the crash is so much worse than the actual fatigue of being a parent. It’s a viscous circle and it’d be highly unlikely after your sugar and caffeine crash that you would manage to get out of the house to train. So, there are a few things to change to get a little energy back to give you the incentive to get back to exercise like you have been promising yourself since your little ones were born!! So, let’s list the things you can do to get back into shape and feel great again, starting with your diet!
So, as we said earlier, you need to be aware of the sugars and simple carbs in your diet. This may be a quick fix and make you feel good for 20 minutes or so, but the crash following will send you spiralling down and sometimes can even have a detrimental effect on your mental health. Keep your diet clean! Lots of fruit and veg, oats, wholegrain rice and proteins! Look at the ingredients, if you don’t recognise the name it’s likely that it’s a preservative and bad for you. Keep it as natural as possible with no added rubbish.
Once that’s set-in place, the next step is to make sure you are drinking enough water. Dehydration is a big cause of tiredness!! It can make you feel sluggish and demotivated because it causes your blood volume to drop, decreasing the blood flow to your brain which forces your heart to work harder.
Now that you have a little more energy and motivation without your sugar fixes and making sure you are drinking plenty of water, here comes the next part. Creating the time! We can see you all nodding in anticipation to find out the way we are going to magic more hours in your day! Unfortunately, it’s not that easy but we can help you to make it become part of your routine. It should be a priority! Remember, you can’t care well for your little ones if you aren’t caring for yourself.
It’s like in an emergency where you have to put the oxygen mask on yourself before you can help others! It’s the same here, you need to be healthy to give your children your absolute all. Finding 3-4 hours a week for you, is such a tiny percentage but will make such a difference!
…arrange childcare for the upcoming weeks! It’s only a few hours a day/evening 3 times a week! Get that sorted, speak to friends and family and you’re almost there! So now you should have “your time”.
Sometimes it may not be possible to get a babysitter, or you don’t have transport to get you out. Make sure you have a back-up plan. Put the little ones to bed and get a fitness DVD on, or a YouTube video. You can even make up your own exercise routine using cans of beans for small weights, you could even use the baby!!! Google it, the list is endless! Never miss a scheduled in training session.
Now find something that will keep you motivated. A class, the gym, a group session and take a friend for moral support! Make sure you have a motivating music playlist that will keep you working hard if you choose to go to the gym. If you take a friend with you, tell them never to let you miss a session and vice versa! Get a bit of friendly competition going between you both.
If you can’t get a regular babysitter, join a gym with a crèche. If you’re not too keen on the gym, make sure you join one that has classes which you can do instead. And maybe a swimming pool…give yourself lots of options so you don’t get bored. If you do find you get stuck in the gym then speak to one of the PT’s there, book a session and they can go through a gym schedule with you for something tailored for you.
Routine is key
Routine is key to succeed in keeping this up, if you don’t have it as part of your schedule, you will struggle to feel you ever have time to fit it in. Once the routine is set, do it. You have no excuse now as we have covered all potential issues that could arise. You are now well on your way to feeling more motivated, less tired and like you are getting some real time for yourself as well.
Enjoy and let us know if you have any other ideas to help incorporate training in with your busy parenting lifestyle!