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10 Easy Ways to Stay Fit While Being a Parent

Photograph by Getty Images/Vetta

A lot of fitness professionals and enthusiasts will talk about staying fit once you've gotten over the hump of getting into shape. They will tell readers to make a schedule, follow a set of rules, indulge but not too often; things along that line.

These are all very helpful tips, but when parenthood enters the picture, a lot of those tips become moot points. Kids have a way of throwing off our plans. So here are my tips for how to keep the weight off and keep your shape in CHECK once kids have entered the picture.

Freezer Meals

Some nights dinner is impossible. Either you are tired from a sick baby, didn't get home until 8 pm from a soccer game, or you had a long day at the office. FREEZER MEALSgive you a healthy option that is homemade which you prepared ahead of time. You can find a variety of options right here!

Find Time For Your Workout

There are never enough hours in the day, but there will be times when you can squeeze in a workout, so do it. Whether it is a 20 minute at-home workout, a run through the neighborhood before anybody else wakes up, or a late stop at the gym after your husband or wife has returned home, get it accomplished. You will feel better and so will your family because it will be reflected in your attitude.

Set Goals

We all need a goal. People feel successful when they're working toward something. Whatever your personal goal may be, make goals that work for you.

Know Your Weaknesses

My weaknesses include carbohydrates: baked goods and late night snacking. Know your weaknesses and manage them. Remove the temptations from your line of vision, and be mindful when you encounter one of your favorite things to eat.

Involve the Family

When you plan your meals for the week, think about your family and their growing needs, too. We stick to our staples that we know and love but switch up how we put it together, whether it is a different marinade, putting in fresh herbs, or turning a crock pot meal into a stew.

Find an Activity You Love

I was a swimmer growing up, but I didn't really love swimming. A few years ago I started running. I did two miles at first, then built up to three and did my first 5k race. I was learning what it was like to excel at something again and I loved it! I found something I truly loved and that made all the difference in the world. Suddenly going for a run wasn't something I HAD to do to be in shape. It was something I wanted to do to improve myself, to see how much better I could become.

Find Your Community

Whether you are lifting weights with a friend, going to class with a group of women, or going for a run with a club; working out together is significantly more enjoyable than working out alone. Knowing someone is relying on you or just hoping to see you there will make all the difference in the world. I go in the morning, see my ladies, get a good sweat in and laugh about my family and go home happier than I left. It's the best therapy.

Be the Example

Sometimes as parents we forget just how big of an impact we have on our children, our spouses, our siblings, even our parents. Do you know how much better it feels to be the example rather than the person everyone else is trying to motivate? Trust me, I've been on both sides, being the example is oh-so-much better. Be the person you want your kids to look up to. Be the person you want your husband or wife to look up to! It's all about attitude, folks.

Make Healthy Choices Eating Out

Sometimes you have to eat out, and when you do, make good choices. Restaurants all over the world now have healthier options. You can make modifications as well. Care about what you're putting into your body.

Stop the Excuses

Get off your ass, go to the gym, run down the block, or flip over to my fitness page and pick a workout. Just start! Be healthy! Throw out the snickers and buy some rice cakes and carrots. Make the right choices for you and your family. As Nike so perfectly put it: JUST DO IT.

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