Three Tips to Staying Fit as a Single Parent


You value your fitness and want to exercise and eat right, but as a single parent, it’s hard to balance your time and energy. You know that taking care of your body is important, and staying in shape will undoubtedly help you meet the demands of single parenting. So, here are three tips to getting fit, without sacrificing too much of your time, money, and energy.

Finding the Time

In your youth, you had all the time in the world to dedicate to your fitness. But when you are a parent, it’s hard to find time for anything else. Your biggest challenge when getting back into shape will be setting aside time to exercise. On such a tight schedule, you may even think that setting aside enough time is virtually impossible, but it’s not.

Once you realize that you need less than two and a half hours out of your week to dedicate to working out, you can start to visualize making it happen. That’s only three 45-minute workouts each week. As a single parent, you already are juggling many activities and responsibilities. Surely you can squeeze 45 minutes out of your day?

To help balance your schedule, list out your weekly obligations and find the time out of the week you need to keep an effective regimen. Remember to keep things flexible and have a backup plan for when those unexpected schedule changes pop up along the way.

Staying Energized

Your next challenge, will undoubtedly be keeping up the energy to put in a hard 45-minute workout. As a single parent, energy can feel like a precious commodity that you never have enough of. To counter this, you may consider finding ways to boost your daily energy. Some of this energy can be drawn from slight changes to your daily habits. Consistency is key, and the more consistent your bedtimes and meal times, the readier your body will feel at all times.

Another strategy for extracting some extra energy is changing your diet. As you become more health conscious, it should be no surprise that how you feed yourself is a huge determining factor when it comes to how you feel. Some foods will make you feel more lethargic, while other foods can give you a significant boost of energy. Knowing which foods give you a second wind will help you get the most out of your workouts and lead you to seeing improvements in your fitness sooner.

Working Out at Home

The next question you will need to address on your quest for fitness is how and where you will be exercising. As a single parent shouldering so much of the financial responsibility, you might find it hard to set aside enough money for gym memberships, spin classes, and yoga lessons. While these methods are effective weight-loss strategies, they are not essential to a healthy life. In fact, you can achieve most of your fitness goals from home. Building a home gym that’s catered to your own regimen can greatly reduce the cost of working out, as well as simplify the whole process for you as a parent. Keep yourself motivated by listening to your favorite playlist. Many Bluetooth speakers cost less than $50 and are the perfect complement to your home gym. Working out at home allows you to stay in close proximity to your children, making it easier to transition from parent to fitness freak with less time and effort. And you don’t have to worry about wasting time in traffic or fighting over the last treadmill at the gym.

It will be a challenge to readjust your schedule as a single parent, but the long-term benefits of working out will vastly outweigh the negatives. 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. The boost you get from working out will not only make you feel better, but also trickle down to your family, creating a positive and healthy home environment and encouraging your children to stay in shape as well.

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