Our physical health is a cornerstone of our overall well-being. As a parent, it is so easy to put the focus on our kids and as a result, our self-care often suffers. One of the most important things you can do for your health is exercise. Over the years I have found the best way to stay motivated is to find something I actually enjoy. Some of my favorites are dance cardio classes, yoga at home and walking my dog. I have also talked with friends as what has worked for them to help give you a wide array of options. I find that variety in workouts also helps to keep me interested and sticking with it.
Out of all the options I have for you, dance cardio classes are the most expensive. Most gyms have these classes and some studios are only dedicated to dance cardio. If dancing is your thing, I encourage you to contact gyms in your area to find out what is available. Also, a dance studio that offers specific training for types of dance would be another great way to get moving. The rest of the options I will share are of little or no cost. Most can be found on-line for free and are great introductions to workouts that I have found effective and enjoyable:
- Yoga with Adriene: This is a great resource for starting an at-home yoga practice. She has a library of over 400 videos that you can view for free. I had done yoga in the past and was looking for a way to practice at home. Adriene’s yoga was the perfect fit. She is motivating and welcoming. Her 30 day challenges offer variety to keep you interested as well as building on each day’s practice from one to the next.
- DoYogaWithMe: This free website has an awesome library of yoga videos taught by different teachers. It also has varying degrees of difficulty as well as different types of yoga. As I have done yoga more regularly, I am feeling ready to deepen my home practice and this has been my go-to site.
- 30 Minute Barre Workout by Shauna Kathleen: The dance studio I attend had a special offer to try a barre training session for free a few months back. Until it was offered free of charge, I never felt inclined to try a barre class. I was under the impression I had to be a super flexible professional dancer to be successful at it. This isn’t the case. It’s a series of low-impact moves that build strength. The bonus is that it also is a cardiovascular workout. If you try the Shauna Kathleen workout I shared above, you will know fairly quickly if it is something you would enjoy. She has other barre classes on YouTube that are great and longer in length. I also recommend searching for other barre workouts to find other teachers that may appeal to you.
- Couch to 5K: This is an app that helps you train for a 5K run even if you aren’t an experienced runner. I’ve had friends use this app (which costs $2.99) to get them moving. The consensus is that it is very user-friendly, easy to follow and leads to running success.
- Being active outdoors: This is obviously dependent on the climate you live in, but with summer approaching, for most of us this is a good way to get out there and get going. As I mentioned, walking my dog is a way I keep myself active, going for a bike ride, playing sports with your kids, hiking on a trail and swimming all are fun options for outdoor exercise.
Hopefully, something I mentioned will appeal to you. Making ourselves a priority in a busy world is essential and regular exercise is a great start. I wish you well as you find what works best for you.
Written by Diana DeVaul, MSW and Parent