When asked how they stay so slim, celebrity moms will often answer vaguely, Oh, I burn it all off chasing my kids. That might be true, considering the latest celebrity trend: eating air.
But, a new study suggests that chasing your kids really isn't much of a workout after all.
So why am I so tired at the end of every day?
Parenting can be mentally and physically exhausting. When researchers at the Central College in Pella, Iowa, measured the daily physical activity of 58 mothers of young children, they discovered that most of the women reported getting at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise in every day.
In reality, only about a third of the women were. And, those women were taking part in regular, scheduled workouts.
It's common for parents -- especially women -- to let exercise slide off their list of growing responsibilities. But exercise isn't just good for physical fitness, it's also a natural way to combat stress and depression. Instead of avoiding exercise, try one of these tips for fitting it into your new way of life:
- Invest in a quallity jogging stroller. These are far easier to push than regular strollers, and can handle off-road terrain so that you can visit your favorite trails, too. We used ours so much, it wore out.
- Ditto on the bike trailer -- or at least some sort of safe and sturdy carrier that your baby can ride in while you bike. Our kids are on their own bikes now, but we still use the trailer to run for groceries, or for beach, or picnic supplies.
- Put it on your schedule. My husband comes home for lunch every day, and in those early years, he'd find me standing by the door with my shoes on ready to go for a brisk, 30 minute walk while he entertained the kids. Find a time that works in your day, and make an unbreakable date.
- Instead of getting a sitter for date night, have them come over on a weekend afternoon and plan an active date with your spouse. You'll both be healthier for it, and it's much better bonding time than staring at a movie screen.
- Even though chasing your kids isn't a workout, you can workout with your kids. A favorite indoor activity of many parents is just blasting music and dancing in the living room with their kids. I can remember once, when my kids were really tiny, being desperate enough that I worked out to the Wiggles.
What's your favorite tip for working out when you've got small children in the house?