Everyday life with a child offers a tight program in most families. If the offspring is still very small, mom and dad are needed almost constantly. Changing diapers, feeding, playing and reaching new milestones. As children get older, they tend to become more independent, but their schedules are often packed. In addition to school, homework and studying, there are numerous leisure activities such as sports or creative activities that also want to be included in the parental schedule. Besides work and household chores, there is little time for other things. Many parents don’t even think about their own hobbies, such as a regular sports program. Yet it would do mothers and fathers who are very busy in their daily lives a lot of good to have a sporting balance.
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Admittedly, dedicated parents do not lack activity in most cases. However, rushing from appointment to appointment together with the dear little ones and really giving it their all in the toddler group or on the playground is not necessarily an adequate substitute for a personal sports program. It can be a lot of fun to actively shape everyday life with children. But recreational sports are so much more. Especially for parents who were very active in sports before the addition to their family, it can be a tough break when there suddenly seems to be no more room for the beloved hobby in the baby routine. This way, despite family life, more exercise can be added to everyday life.
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Creating Space For Each Other
Ideally, parents will be able to create the space for each other to pursue their favorite sport once or twice a week. In fact, sport as a balance to stressful everyday life only develops its full potential when there is a little space to consciously experience it. For parents, this means consciously taking an hour or two out of everyday family life to do something good for themselves and their bodies.
Sports are an excellent way to clear your head, let your mind wander and switch off from everyday life. Those who regularly engage in a type of sport that they enjoy will quickly discover that the sports program is not only good for physical fitness, but also helps to effectively reduce stress and once again arrive in the here and now. A study conducted in 2012 by the Institute for Sport and Sport Science at the University of Freiburg showed that regular participation in a sports program over several weeks has been proven to reduce physiological stress reactions and also has a positive effect on health and psychosocial resources.
Of course, this only works if you can allow yourself the luxury of actually taking a little time out and exercising in peace. Going for a run in the great outdoors alone or with friends, doing a few laps in the swimming pool undisturbed, really letting off steam with your best friend at a Zumba class – the possibilities are as varied as your individual ideas of the perfect sports program. However, it is important to have the space to consciously enjoy this little time out.
In addition, a targeted sports program can also help the back out of trouble. Children put a lot of strain on the back. Carrying, lifting, putting down, romping, often perhaps also lying in a very confined space at night and not very relaxed in the family bed, a parent’s back is exposed to a wide range of stresses and often manifests itself in acute or chronic complaints. Sport can make a significant contribution to balancing out this strain and making the musculature and especially the back strong for its tasks in everyday family life. This means that a regular sports program can give you the physical and mental strength you urgently need in your demanding everyday family life. This also helps a short time after the birth. That’s why you’ll find some great tips here on how to get fit again after pregnancy.
Parents would therefore do well to create the space for each other to exercise regularly. It’s already a big help if each parent can attend a sports class one evening a week, play sports with friends, go to the gym or simply do a few laps around the park. The effect is even more positive if everyone is allowed to take an hour or two off more than once a week for a bit of physical activity. Maybe it works well for you if you take turns putting the kids to bed in the evenings and the partner is allowed to take this time for his or her personal workout. That way, one parent gets to spend some really intense exclusive time with the kids and the other gets some time to themselves. It’s a real win-win situation, for the kids too, because they’ll enjoy their exclusive mommy or daddy time and also get to enjoy more balanced and satisfied parents.
Of course, especially parents who are heavily involved in their careers know that this is a nice suggestion, but one that is difficult to implement. Shift work, overtime and other imponderables often make it difficult to give sport a regular place in everyday life. In this case, other strategies are needed to meet the need for balance.
The Gym At Home
Especially with a baby or very young children, it is not easy to leave the house regularly. If going to the gym or sports class just seems too utopian, maybe a gym in your own home is a solution. Here you can work out any time you have a little free time in between. When the baby is asleep or the little ones are playing harmoniously, you can enjoy a little downtime in your home gym on the spur of the moment.
Perhaps a part of the basement or an unused room can be redesigned. But often a small area in the bedroom or living room is enough. After all, it doesn’t have to be big equipment for strength training. A sports mat, a few dumbbells of different weights, a theraband or an exercise ball can cover a wide range of training possibilities for the whole body. In the meantime, there are also abdominal and back trainers or steppers available for home use, which are easy to use and offer a variety of training options.
Of course, good music should not be missing during the workout. If there is no more room for a small music system in the home training area, the smartphone with a few micro boxes can also provide the right accompaniment. By the way, high-quality streaming services can also be used to play relaxation music for a few relaxing yoga exercises or guided training sessions. Those who like to work out via video can also make themselves comfortable with their sports mat in front of the TV and incorporate a little workout there.
By the way, children often find it quite exciting what mom and dad are doing with the exercise ball and the gym mat. If there’s good music playing, it’s often even possible to incorporate a joint training session in which everyone can have a lot of fun.
Sports Courses With Child Care
If you still prefer to take advantage of the variety of equipment and classes available at a gym, many facilities offer childcare options. Many gyms have long since recognized the signs of the times and want to give parents the chance to continue using their services despite the addition of a family. In many cases, parents can leave their children in a childcare room by the hour, where trained staff play with the little ones and lovingly take care of them while mom and dad work out on the equipment, do a few laps in the swimming pool or take part in their favorite class.
Depending on the course selected, it is also possible to take the children to the sports. There are various parent-child courses that put the parental fitness program into a child-friendly form, making it possible for the whole family to work out together. Especially for parents with babies, there are many interesting fitness offers where the little darling is welcome.
However, such courses are in great demand and should be booked as early as possible. There are often long waiting lists and it takes patience until you can actually start exercising together. To bridge the waiting time, however, there are also great home videos with training programs that can also be completed on the home training mat together with your offspring.