Finding the time to workout can be difficult for anyone in this busy world. For single parents, it may seem downright impossible at times. Not only is it hard to juggle all your responsibilities and still find a few moments for yourself, but it can also be costly if you decide on a gym membership. Not to mention the cost of finding the energy to do it.
Yet getting in daily exercise is extremely important for everyone, and most people find that if they do it right, they can actually feel better. 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.
So how do you find the time, money and energy to work out when you’re a single parent?
The key is to think outside the box and not get tied up in how other people work out. Tailor your plan to your needs, set specific goals and get your kids involved in your routine so that it will be easier to stick with. Here are a few of the best ways to get healthy on a budget this year.
Include your family
One of the best ways to stick with an exercise routine is to include the people you love. Not only will this motivate you (and possibly give you someone who can help you stay accountable), but it will also allow you to spend quality time with them. Whether it’s your kids, your sister, or your dad, ask someone you care about to join you in a workout. It doesn’t have to be the same exercise every time. You might go running with your sibling a couple of times a week, play a game of kickball with your son, or go for a swim with your dad. Getting healthy as a family is a great, budget-friendly way to bond and stick with a plan.
Make it fun
Take something you love to do and work it into your exercise routine. It can be a hobby or simply a fun way to get moving, such as gardening or jumping on a trampoline. Think of some fun ways to get your heart rate up and involve them as much as possible throughout your week. This will keep you from getting bored. Think outside of the structure. For example, you can push back the living room rug and have a dance party with the kids. You can throw on some music while you’re doing household chores and turn it into a better way to move. Finding kid-friendly dances online doesn’t cost a penny, and there are countless dances to choose from.
Take a class
While most classes cost a little money, it’s possible to find a few in your area that are free or at a reduced price. Consult with your local YMCA for ideas. Depending on where you live, there may be dozens of fun things you can try, such as a kickboxing class, a barre workout (a cross between ballet and cardio), or using aerial silks. If you need to save money on new activewear, look for savings and discounts at retailers such as Old Navy to keep the costs low.
Remember that exercise is your friend, and it doesn’t take a lot of money to hit your goals. Taking away the feeling of dread that it’s something you must do and replacing it with the positive idea that you want to exercise can boost your mood and keep you on track.