When you become a parent something happens. Your time that you previously invested in yourself now is invested in your children instead. While to a certain extent this is a good thing, it can also cause you to neglect your health and weight maintenance, causing you to gain weight and lose muscle. But how can you maintain a healthy weight when you are a parent? Here are some quick tips to help you out:
- Move Deliberately – As a parent you are always moving, but try to make your movements deliberate. Make use of every opportunity to fit fitness into your life. A walk to the park with the kids can turn into a vigorous jog with them riding alongside on their bikes. A trip to the pool or beach can turn into racing laps and showing your kids how to do the backstroke. Even having races in the knee deep water along the sea shore can be a fun and active way for you and your kids to stay fit.
- No Wasted Time – Even television or play time can become an excuse to work out. Help your kids to play active games like relay races, freeze tag, and soccer. They love to have their parents playing alongside! While watching a movie or show get up during the commercials and do activities like jumping jacks, sit-ups, or push-ups. See how many you can do before the show comes back on, or set up a competition to think of a new activity for every commercial. Not only does this help you stay fit but it helps the kids from becoming couch potatoes too!
- Healthy on the Go Snacks – In the car and hustling from school to activity you tend to be harried and rushed. That does not mean you have to stop at a fast food place to pick up an unhealthy snack. Instead make up grab and go snacks for you and your kids. Homemade trail mixes, dry cereal, dried fruit and more can be great tasty snacks that keep you fuller longer than French fries. Plus you can tailor make the snack to you and your child’s tastes. Don’t like apples? Leave them out! Love almonds? Throw them in! Mix it up for tasty snacks that can go anywhere anytime you need them.
- Balanced Mealtimes –Dinner time comes around again and you are stuck out. Do not order a pizza; instead whip up a tasty and healthy meal in moments. There are many ways to make meal time healthy without a lot of work. Plan your meals ahead of time so that you have the ingredients on hand. You can even chop or prepare them on the weekend and have them ready to go. Slow cookers are a great way to have a hot meal waiting for you when you get home. Or whip up a double batch one day and freeze half so that you have a meal you can pop in the oven at a moment’s notice. Be sure to be aware of portion sizes so that you and your child get the nutrition you need without any extra calories. For dessert trade cakes and cookies for fruit and berries and feel better!
- Get Some Sleep – For both kids and adults, sleep is vital to a healthy lifestyle. People who do not get enough sleep eat more, are less active and gain more weight. Instead, set up a schedule where your family has plenty of time to get the recommended amount of sleep for their ages. Remember that children need even more sleep than adults. You can also stay healthy by maintain the same sleep schedule even over the weekend or on vacation. The human body likes to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day. Even during the summer you can still maintain your sleep schedule and feel more active and fit during your day.
These are just a few of the ways you and your kids can maintain a healthy weight together. As a parent you are responsible for the health of your children. Give them a good example to look up to and help them to grow up with healthy habits that will serve them for a lifetime. Remember they will do what you do, so stay active and fit for your kids’ sake!
This post is contributed by Christine Maddox. Currently she is pursuing her Master’s degree from University of Texas as well as blogging for www.4nannies.com. She loves to write anything related to parenting, kids, nanny care etc. Send Christine an email