If you are new to fitness, the gym can be an intimidating place, and if you are a single parent, finding the time to actually go to the gym is a serious laughing matter. Luckily, fitness is what you make it, not where you make it. Here are some fun exercises you can start doing outside of the gym today!
Play a Video Game
Consoles such as the Wii and Xbox offer a host of easy-to-follow fitness video games. Many of these games are equivalent to having a personal trainer. Based on your height, weight and fitness goals, they will customize a workout specifically for you. Because these gaming systems are movement-based, you will be informed if your posture is incorrect. These video games take the pressure off going to the gym by allowing you to exercise from the comfort of your home — you’ll just have to pry it out of the hands of your kids.
Take the Stairs
Climbing stairs is an exercise method that engages your legs and abs. While you are at work, take the stairs instead of the elevator. As you’re pulling your body against gravity, you will burn more calories per minute than jogging. If you have a staircase at home, use them for a workout. Briskly walk up your stairs for 30 minutes for a burst of cardio activity that’s guaranteed to raise your heart rate. Add in a housework bonus by retrieving a piece of dirty laundry or pick up a toy with each trek up and down the stairs.
Clean the House
Household chores are a sly way to exercise, and 30 minutes of scrubbing your bathtub can burn up to 200 calories. As you are scrubbing, your biceps and triceps will be getting a workout. Dusting, mopping and making your bed are all forms of moderate exercise. Bending over, reaching and squatting to pick up toys engages your abs and strengthens your arms. Keep that in mind the next time you’re dragging your feet to the cleaning supplies.
Walk Your Dog
A walk a day will keep the doctor away. Walking your dog for 30 minutes is great exercise for you both. Your dog will burn off energy and maintain a healthy weight while you enjoy low-intensity cardio. Walking lowers the risks of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Maintaining these daily walks will increase the bond between you and your furry companion, and you can make it a family outing by going for a walk before dinner. Don’t have a family pet? Consider starting a part-time dog walking or boarding business. You’ll earn a little extra money and add easy exercise to you and your kids’ routines!
Play with Your Kids
For a full body workout, head to the park with your kids. As you climb, run, swing and jump, you are raising your heart rate significantly. A raised heart rate puts you into the fat-burning zone, a must for losing weight. A playground is a literal playground for fitness! Use the monkey bars for a set of chin-ups to condition your back and upper body. Pushing your kids on the carousel is great for strengthening your arms. And of course, nothing says physical activity more than chasing your children around during a game of hide-and-seek.
Invest in a Fitness Tracker
Participating in these methods of exercise is great, but you need a way to track your progress so that you have something to show for all your hard work. Owning a fitness tracker will allow you to see how many steps you have taken throughout the day, how many calories you’ve burned, and more. As a visual creature, you will become motivated to move around and you will challenge yourself to find new ways to exercise. There are several fitness trackers on the market, so head to your nearest retail store to find the one that suits you best.
While the gym is a great place to maintain health, it’s just not for everybody, especially single parents who are pressed for time and have children in tow. In fitness, there is no “one size fits all” approach. Only you can decide what works for you. Engage yourself in the activities you like best and have fun!