There are twenty four hours in a day. The average person spends (or should spend) seven of those sleeping. That leaves 17 hours in your day…eight of which are spent at work, so that leaves nine hours remaining. Factor in around three hours for drive time to and from work and picking up the kids of course (because after all you are a busy parent), plus the national average of five hours of television that you might watch each day, and you are left with one measly hour to take care of your body through physical fitness. Now although I do not want to believe the prior statistic of watching five hours of television a day, I fear that what the NY Daily News reports is actually true…there may be times we even watch more. Can you see where I am going with this post?

Whether you are a busy parent, social butterfly, high-powered CEO or just an everyday Joe, you have to carve out special time for your fitness. The truth is, anyone is able to set a realistic goal for themselves…even busy parents. Before you make excuses as to why you can’t find the time to do something active, make sure that you honestly analyze your life balance first. Where can you find some extra time to do something active? Do you need to shave off half an hour of that tv time and do a fitness DVD in your living room before the kids wake up in the morning? Try going to bed half an hour earlier! Perhaps it’s just a few pushups during that morning time. You could even set a five minute stretching routine for yourself that could help you with your flexibility. Turn that dog walk into a dog RUN. It will be good for both of you! Whatever you do, the point is that you are doing it and you are purposely setting time aside in your busy life to take care of YOU.

If motivation is something you need and you have the luxury of a babysitter or supportive partner, a gym membership might be for you. Group classes with real live people, who are doing the same thing as you, are really encouraging. We all know your main job and number one concern is to be an excellent parent for your child. But in order to be the best parent you can be, you must take time for yourself. If you can’t find time alone, incorporate your kids into your fitness routine. Run around the playground with them. Try doing a jumping game. Act like a three year old…that is a workout in itself! Just do something! Being active is something that will set a great example for your kids and keep you happy and healthy. Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day. You have one of the hardest jobs in the world and you are doing great. Do what you can, when you can…the rest will take care of itself!

Cory Warren
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