Four expert tips from Aaptiv coach Jaime McFaden on how to stay in shape as a family.
First some bad news: Finding time to exercise when you are a busy parent is almost impossible. Some worse news: Find time to practice when you are a busy quarantined parent? Really impossible.
Or so it may seem. Yes, the challenge of staying in shape while parenting has made it even more difficult after global events erased lonely time for millions of people with school-age children. The closure of the pandemic has also created another problem: children being glued to the sofa, their screens or both at the same time.
But the solution? Takes time to train as a family. With gyms still mostly closed, Aaptiv, our favorite home training app (and one whose services are included at no cost with the Haven Life Plus rider), is a great resource for just that. Jaime McFaden is a training coach on the app, who also happens to be a parent. We asked her for some tips on training as a family, regardless of your children's ages. This is what she told us about planning a group family workout, including her stress management exercises at the bottom.
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Be flexible (both mentally and physically)
When parents talk about their children and structure, they are more likely to talk about Junior's latest Lego creation than any regular schedule. And that's why it's likely that they will not work for them to do a certain amount of exercise at a certain time. Even if your family is older, the timing is complicated. Her suggestion to start a family training routine? "Try to cut out at least three times a week that works for your family" for group exercise.
"I used to have a certain amount of time that I would train," she says. “Now it is sometimes in the morning and sometimes in the evening. The bottom line is to make it happen. The best time of day to exercise is when you realistically fit it. "
Know Your Goals (and Your Family)
" As a parent, focus on why exercise is important to you, "says Jaime." Living a healthy, long life? Seeing grandchildren one day? To be able to run around with your children? What is your why behind the training? Once you know it, it will be a useful tool to explain to your children.As for expectations – take a minute with your family members and work on health goals.What is important for Share a common fitness goal and work together to achieve it. Maybe a family member wants to eat healthier, a family member wants to train for a marathon, and a family member wants to fly like Superman. ”In fact, the motivation for younger children can be as simple as to spend time with you. "No matter what your fitness goals are, work with your family to reach them."
"The best time of day to exercise is when you can realistically fit in."
—Jaime McFaden, Aaptiv fitnesscoac h
When trying to motivate the whole family to exercise, Jaime recommends showing them the positive aspects of it instead of considering fitness as an obligation. "Exercise has many benefits and you can start by just educating your children to feel good," she says. "Instead of focusing on pressure or bribing your children," make them aware that "there are hormones in our bodies that are activated by exercise and that make us feel good. I have become the queen of family exercise throughout my family, and "They usually agree to do it. They admit that if I did not pressure them, they probably would not do it, but they feel good about it and want more. It is such an advantage of training." And as mentioned above is a bit of your attention often enough motivation.
One way to get children to exercise with you regularly is to be open to what "exercise" can be. "I have a three-year-old daughter, and we exercise almost daily. , "says Jaime." Sometimes exercise takes a walk, other times it hugs the kitchen while we wait for pasta to cook. Depending on your children's age, you can try to integrate at least five to ten minutes of daily family exercise into your routine. Exercise can last of taking a walk with d your family, perform a number of strength training exercises from home, take a yoga class together online, play games like red light green light and get creative by adding a pull like squats or jumping jacks – there are so many options and luckily more and more resources, "especially mobile resources such as Aaptiv.
Lead by example
As with what you eat, what words you use and, almost everything else, your children learn by looking at you. Same for fitness and taking care of yourself in general. "I design my workouts for families to participate together," says Jaime. "But a 3-year-old and a ten-year-old will have different physical abilities and attention spans, so I suggest parents no matter what age their children – lead by example," says Jaime. "If you do and have fun, chances are your kids will join too."
Jaime's Exercise Routines
Speaking of Jaime, he has created a number of workouts at Aaptiv that have been specifically designed to help families improve their physical activity. Developing healthy habits early is not only good for the body, but it is also a great way to bring the whole family together. Her favorites include:
Family Walk in Nature: Take a walk with your family, your dogs and your children and play a game that notices what is outside.
Strolling With My Family: Take a quick walk around the neighborhood with kiddos. Take time to get in touch with your family, have fun, play a quick game with I Spy and take a moment to notice all the beauty of the nearby nature. You do not have to have a high level of fitness to go for a nice walk through your neighborhood park. The point here is just to break a sweat and get your family moving.
Family Fitness Challenge: A fun, nine minute workout for the whole family.
House of Cardio: A fun, sweaty cardio workout in the house, with simple moves – but a lot of fun.
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Our Editorial Policy
Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency supported and wholly owned by the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe that navigating life insurance decisions, your personal finances and general well-being can be refreshingly easy.
Our content is created for educational purposes only. Haven Life does not support the companies, products, services or strategies discussed here, but we hope they can make your life a little less difficult if they suit your situation.
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