Motivation & Fitness as a Single Parent
Fitness : Motivation is the key for single parents
Parenthood is beautiful and amazing, but it can also be draining if you don’t make time to care for yourself too. Finding the time and energy for exercise, not to mention room in your budget, can be even more challenging for single parents. You already have so many demands on your time, so how do you fit in fitness too? This guide will give you the tools and the reasons why finding that time is totally worth it.
How to find the time and motivation
Let’s face it, even if you want to find time for fitness, it’s often lack of motivation that holds us back from actually doing it. The Spruce recommends starting by creating a vision for what you really want to get out of exercising. Just wanting to get in shape isn’t enough. You need to know why you’re doing it. Your “why” and your vision are what truly motivate you to get started and keep it up when you feel like you don’t have the time or energy.
You probably don’t have excess free time in your schedule for fitness, so you have to carve out that time in the nooks and crannies of your day. For some parents, getting up early is the best way to fit in exercise. For others, it’s easiest to exercise on their lunch break or right after work. Of course, work isn’t the only obstacle to finding time to exercise. Childcare is another issue, but it doesn’t have to be if you’re creative about exercising with kids. If money is tight and you can’t hire a sitter, or even if you’re just looking for some more quality time with your kids, there are all kinds of unique ideas for exercising together. The Huffington Post suggests “mommy and me” exercise classes or hosting an active playdate with one of your kid’s friends and their parent.
If getting to a gym is too expensive or you don’t have time to drive there and back, there are plenty of other ways to get exercise. The key to staying on track without taking classes at a gym is to schedule your exercise time so it’s non-negotiable. One way to keep this schedule is to do online classes, and tell yourself you have a certain class time, even if you can access the workout anytime. Besides scheduling exercise, the other major factor in keeping your motivation up is to make it fun so it’s something you want to do, rather than it being one more thing you have to do.
How to find the energy
Now that you’re motivated to get moving, how do you find the energy to actually do it? Parents are notoriously tired and sleep-deprived, so it may feel impossible to do anything active. The catch is that exercising actually boosts energy rather than draining it, so the hardest part is getting started. Remembering why you’re doing this and getting motivated is the crucial first step. Once you get started, exercising will not only give you an energy boost, but will also help you sleep better, so that boost to your energy keeps going in a positive cycle.
On top of this increased energy, physical fitness also improves your mood. According to mental wellness experts, “Not only does exercise reduce stress, but it also boosts your positive, motivating emotions, too. Part of this is biology — the body is regulating itself during exercise, but it also has to do with seeing and feeling the results of your efforts.” Feeling better physically and emotionally, and having extra energy to boot, makes you a better parent, better at your job, and simply a better you overall.
Motivating yourself to get started is the hardest part, and once you do, it’s much easier to keep going because the positive effects carry over into so many other aspects of your life. Start with a really big reason why it matters to you, and get moving to unleash those benefits.