It’s 5:30 am, you’ve barely gotten enough sleep yourself last night, you walk into your child’s/children’s room and trip over their toys as you proceed to wake them up, they act like a vampire when you turn the lights on and throw a fit, you immediately go downstairs to start making coffee and eating breakfast, while at the same time packing their lunch and yelling at them that they had better be out of bed. If this sounds anything like your typical morning then this article is for you.
Make no mistake about it. The life of a single parent is difficult, to say the least. You have to do everything by yourself, everything. And in doing so you may notice that there is always something you want to have, yet it keeps slipping away. I’m talking about time. For the single parent, there is never enough time in the day to do what you would like to do. Usually, after getting off of work, picking up the kid/kids, coming home and making dinner, handling household chores, and getting the little one/ones ready for the next day you look up and you have about 1 hour to yourself. Now, if you are in school, or pursuing a trade/certification, you can go ahead and take away that hour. Now, you have no time.
Did you know that time is our most precious asset? There are different amounts given to each of us throughout our entire life, and how we allocate time is crucial. I do not believe in wasting time. And I know you don’t either. As a single parent, I’m sure your patience has become thinner over the years, while you decide who gets the little bit of free time that you have. In this article, I hope to convey to you some 5 simple tips for how you can get fit while handling all of your household responsibilities.
1. Organize Your Schedule:
As a business owner and entrepreneur myself, there is nothing more gut-wrenching than forgetting to ship a package, or missing a training session, or consultation call with a client. This is where organizing your schedule and sticking to it can help you tremendously. You need to know exactly where all of your hours are going. This means that your day is listed from the moment you wake up, to the moment you go to sleep. Do not skip a minute. This means that you include traveling, and even stopping at the gas station. It seems outlandish, but you may soon realize that you have a spare 30 minutes, or even 1 hour, available in the day. This can be used to perform a quick errand that you need to do. Furthermore, it can help you understand how you can better utilize your time.
2. Refine Your Schedule:
This will be the hardest part of this blog for me to write because I do not want to tell people how to live their life. Yet, the fact of that matter is that as a single parent your time is limited, severely. You can’t just get off work and go to the bar, you can’t simply come home late on a school night and head straight to bed. You have a person/people who are depending on you for survival. Therefore, you must refine your schedule. That favorite show that you like to sit on the couch and watch will have to go. You can record the show and watch it later. The hours you spend browsing on social media serves you no purpose. If you are not advertising your business or using it as a study tool then your time on social media needs to be limited. Many phones now track your usage of apps each day and they can show you how long you were on the app. The time you spend chatting with friends on the phone, or in passing will have to be reduced. Of course, you can speak and say hi, but those 20-minute conversations about absolutely nothing need to come to an end. Once you organize your schedule and then refine the organized schedule I guarantee you that you will be able to find some free time.
3. Include Exercise In Your Schedule:
Now that you have freed up 1 – 2 hours in your schedule you can begin to incorporate exercise into a time slot. I did not say that you have to go to a gym, I said that you can begin to incorporate exercise. The level of fitness you want to achieve will be dependent upon the amount of time that you have to devote to training, nutrition, and recovery. If you only have 1 spare hour each day, you won’t be able to spend 1-hour lifting weights and 1-hour doing cardio. You simply don’t have time. Here is what you can do. In that hour, go for a walk/jog. To maximize your time it’d be best to jog, but if you are unable to jog then walking very briskly is fine. 1 hour of brisk walking is a great form of cardio, and depending upon your weight and the intensity that you walk you may be able to burn 300 – 500 calories in 1 hour. If you can go to the gym for just an hour that’s even better. You can perform your resistance training for 30 minutes, and cardio for another 30 minutes. You may burn 500 – 800 calories total (the calories burned will vary greatly). If you cannot go to a gym you can perform calisthenic workouts. Push-ups, pull-ups, air squats, walking lunges, planks, and more are all great body weight exercises that you can do without the need to go to a gym, if you don’t have the time.
4. Include Meal Prepping Into Your Schedule:
Meal prepping is one of the most underutilized tools available when it come to getting fit. When you are attempting to get in shape, especially lose weight, your diet is crucial. As a single parent with limited time, foregoing meal prepping is costing you time and money. Imagine bringing your child/children home and all you need to do is heat the food you cooked previously. Now, imagine picking up your kids, hunting for a place to eat that is quick, spending extra money, and waiting in line to get your food. That’s an extra 30 minutes to 1 hour that could have been used for something beneficial. Meal prepping allows you to know exactly what you are cooking and eating, and also allows you to save time each day. Meal prepping also saves you money. Eating out alone regularly can add up. Even if it’s just $10 a meal. Factor in an additional person/persons and you are looking at $250 – $500 a month spent simply on eating out. Skipping meal prepping is a task you cannot afford.
5. Include Your Child / Children Into Your Exercise Routine:
I’m not saying have your young daughter spot you while squatting or have your son hand you dumbbells for your shoulder press set. What I mean is that you can bring your kid/s along with you on your 1-hour walks. This will ensure they get some form of exercise that day, you will be able to keep an eye on them, and it will be an opportunity for you to bond with them even more. Often, children can feel neglected when they don’t get to spend ample time with their parents throughout the day or week. A one hour walk is plenty of time to discuss any issues they may be dealing with. Besides, you will enforce healthy and positive behavior. Children mimic their parents. If they see you walking, doing calisthenics, meal prepping, going to the gym, etc. they will certainly want to do the same. Children seek the validation of those they value most, which is you. Childhood obesity is ever-growing in America. It is a sad and very real trend that has not slowed down. I was obese as a child and I know many other children who were obese. Life for an obese child is difficult. From bullying to being picked last during sports, to feeling depressed for looking different, and many more damaging consequences. You give your child the best opportunity to be fit and healthy if you establish good habits while they are young.