Are you a single parent struggling to find and achieve balance in your life? Do you sometimes feel incredibly overwhelmed and alone???
Well... you are not alone. I'm here to tell you that not only do I completely understand what it's like (I've been a single parent now for 2.5 years), but that I can testify that you absolutely can achieve the balance you so desperately need for yourself and for your children.
Being a single mom is both extremely difficult and also incredibly rewarding. I get a lot of quality time with my little girl, and I've been able to also incorporate a healthy lifestyle that is good for the both of us. A lot of that is because I'm a personal trainer... so of course I have time to exercise, right?
Actually... when I first became a single mom, I was struggling to find time to work out between work and parenting. Just because I'm training doesn't mean I'm working out myself. In fact, it's difficult to do both when you're monitoring your client, making sure they're using proper form and technique, and keeping up a good pace. And because I wasn't working out, my life suffered a lot in the beginning. My brain was foggier, my energy levels were poor, and my weight was going all over the place. I was miserable for so many reasons.
If that sounds familiar to you, I have good news... I can help you :)
Exercise has so many benefits and so few downsides. The downside is, you might have to find a spare hour to do it. The upside is, you can absolutely find that time... and it doesn't have to take away from your sleep nor from your child.
What can exercise and good nutrition do to help you out as a single parent?
- increased energy levels
- better sleep
- improved mood
- improved circulation
- increased brain functioning/ it makes you smarter
- improved physical appearance
Not only can exercise and good nutrition drastically improve the way you feel, it can also improve how you look. All of us who have had to go back into the world of dating can appreciate that, now can't we?
So how can you get in a workout without sacrificing sleep and/or time with your child... while also working to keep that child fed and a roof over your heads?
There are several ways you can do this. Not to say you won't have to do some sacrificing or maneuvering, but it is totally doable.
1. You could work out WITH your child. - I offer a boot camp (as do several other trainers) at 7pm for working parents. We do the boot camp in my extremely large and fenced in back yard. Many moms bring their kids. The kids have other kids to play with, and the moms get to work out while their kids play. It's a win/win. Some kids also enjoy working out next to mom.
2. You could space out your workouts - If you don't have enough time during your lunch break or before or after work, you could get in 15 minute bursts of exercise. Do 15-30 minutes before work, 15minutes during your lunch break, and then 15-30 minutes after work of exercise.. whether it's weights or body weight or cardio exercises... something is better than nothing.
3. You could try to go to bed earlier, wake up early and go see a trainer... or go after work. A lot of my clients are able to come see me before or after work, and I have no problem with them bringing their child to the session as long as the child is well behaved enough to stay off of the weights (for safety reasons) and machines.
In my case, I work out with one of my seasoned and capable clients who I know has the form down to do things safely without super close supervision. On days that I am home with my daughter, we work out together, or I work out with my boot campers. I eat healthy food and share it with my daughter to keep both of us happy and healthy. Doing this has improved my life so much. I feel happier, more capable, and I look a lot better than I did when I wasn't taking care of myself.
Being a single parent can be incredibly hard. Staying healthy is vital to our survival both at home and at work. Don't forget that you have to take care of yourself in order to take good care of your children. So eat right and exercise... take care of yourself.