If you have somehow mastered the dual tasks of parenting and working out – kudos to you, what a success! Between taking care of your family and playing catch up on everyday life, squeezing in time to workout is the best challenge you have conquered. But for many exercising parents, being able to exercise means they have found a fitness “routine” that works for them. Are you one of those parents? While that sounds great in words, it isn’t as effective when put into practice. Confused? This is what I mean.
Many people fall into a trap of a mundane fitness routine – doing the same exercises each time, boring the body to no success. Making sure you keep your “routine” fresh, vibrant and different is key to taking full advantage of your workout time. For health benefits to improve, the body demands variety, fun and change. Here are a few tips to upgrade your workout!
Search YouTube: Yes that’s right, YouTube. YouTube allows billions of people to share and watch videos providing a forum for people to inspire others across the globe. If you are in the market for new workout ideas, you should use YouTube to your advantage. It is convenient, free, and limitless. YouTube hosts countless exercise videos from original at-home creators to real fitness professionals. Zumba, interval training, yoga, pilates, belly dancing, strength training, cardio routines, and muscle-specific workouts like core strength, butt lifting . . . the list goes on and on. You can always find something new, entertaining and challenging as you follow along. With your own set of varying weights and YouTube, you have your very own gym conveniently right inside your home.
Invest in a top-notch stroller: Investing in a jogging stroller provides so many more benefits than you even realized you were paying for. Jogging strollers give you the miraculous ability to workout with your little one in tow, multitasking at its finest. Children love seeing the sights and sounds of outdoors, so take them on an adventure with you interacting as you jog along. Use your jogging stroller to be adventuous and time-efficient -- get outside, run (literally, run) errands and venture to new destinations. One of the very best in its class is the Summit X3 by Baby Jogger. Depending on the color and whether it is a single or double, these strollers costs roughly between $400 and $650. You may hesitate at the sight of that price tag, but once you get your hands on the Summit X3, you will realize why it is worth every last penny. The Summit X3 is suitable from birth to 5 years giving you several, durable years of usage. With an exhaustive list of features, a vital feature is the all-wheel independent suspension which means your kid will get the smoothest ride no matter the terrain! The stroller also boasts quick-release pneumatic tires for off road purposes, a full coverage adjustable sun canopy, comfortable padded seats that recline to near flat, a five-point safety harness with shoulder pads, and ample storage compartments. Another huge perk, this stroller could literally turn on a dime - a convenience feature rarely found in strollers. With no exaggeration, the Summit X3 is truly one of a kind in offering a relaxed ride for your little one while you push it with ease during your walk or jog. Hands down, an awesome investment! See the slideshow.
Shop for new workout wear: Having good exercise apparel can enhance your workout in more ways than you realize. First, studies show that wearing fashionable workout gear that fits your body appropriately will enhance your self-confidence along with your energy while working out. Make sure you allow yourself to buy a new workout outfit occasionally so you feel rejuvenated. Get something that is comfortable yet form-fitting (not slouchy) and also brightens up your day with color! Second, the performance of your fitness apparel will heighten the performance of your workout. For example, cotton clothes start to weigh down the body as it absorbs moisture and gets heavy. But breathable materials are designed to wick moisture away from the body and dry quickly keeping your clothes feeling lightweight and comfortable. Breathable materials are synthetic fabrics like spandex, nylon and polyester, which you find in many durable, technology-enhanced workout apparel. These moisture-wicking materials also regulate your body temperature so you remain cooler during warm workouts and don’t chill from being in your sweaty clothes post-workout. Since your body is saving energy by not carrying heavy, damp clothes through a workout, redirect that stored energy toward a more intense workout! Brands like Champion and Reebok offer affordable, yet oh-so-resilient, workout wear that do the job, or you can opt for a higher-fashion exercise look with brands like LuluLemon. And the most important upgrade to your workout gear, shoes! Never, ever ignore your worn out shoes. If your feet, ankles, knees or hips are screaming at you, maybe your shoes ran out of support. The second that happens, do something about it! Buying a new pair of shoes will improve your musculoskeletal endurance and improve your workout tenfold. A favorite and highly recommended brand for running shoes is Brooks, likely so since it is titled with numerous product awards. To name one, the Ghost 6 running shoe is named "Editor's Choice" in the Fall Shoe Guide of Runners World®. What makes this shoe so special? The technology enhanced shoe created with anatomical Brooks DNA provides a light, bouncy and smooth ride for the foot and disperses impact at landing, and the Omega Flex Grooves allow the foot to maximize flexibility while also providing cushioning from heel to toe. The Ghost 6 is constructed with a Caterpillar Crash Pad and a Forefoot Stable Pad which customizes stability, balance, and responsiveness to the unique individual foot from heel-strike to toe-off. Check out this video about the Brooks Ghost 6 for more details.
Sign up for a challenge: Challenges come in many shapes and sizes. I’m talking about walkathons, marathons, biathlons, triathlons, anything ending in “ons.” Mudruns are always full of adventure and usually welcome to all fitness levels. Also, if you are a member of a gym or fitness center, you can often find flyers announcing an upcoming fitness challenge. For instance, many gyms host weight-loss incentives, strength competitions, and attendance contests. It does not matter what type of challenge you choose as long as it is a challenge for you, giving your body a goal to take seriously and strive toward. Whatever type of challenge you decide, sign up early so you are committed and have more time to train your body for its upcoming endeavor. Training to improve your performance will increase your strength, speed, fortitude and energy making you a much better competitor and more likely to complete your initial intentions. If you’d rather keep it low-key, find a free online challenge like The President’s Challenge or Social Workout. Don’t hesitate, sign up now!
Pickup a new hobby: You are never too old to adopt an active hobby. As a parent, you work hard, you play hard, hustling day in and day out. But taking time for pursuits you enjoy can recharge your batteries leaving you feeling restored! Physical exercise is a necessity but mixing in a fun hobby that keeps your body moving will liven things up a bit and make your physical activity better-rounded. Instead of being camped in front of the tv or computer during your leisure time, pursue an interest and use it as an outlet to stimulate your energy. Not only do hobbies provide joy and fun, they also increase your eye for detail, keep your mind sharp and creative, and help you learn valuable skills that other activities in your life may not provide. Some ideas: take dance classes, throw a frisbee, join a recreation sports team, garden outdoors. In fact, you can make it a family hobby, something you all enjoy together.
Upgrade your “routine” with these tips and you’ll feel the difference. Comment on how these tips have helped you! For more health and fitness news and advice, subscribe to NY Cardio Fitness Examiner.