No matter if you’ve got toddlers or teens, figuring out how to balance a running regimen with taking care of your children can be quite difficult. Moreover, you know you need to stay fit to make sure that you are a good role model for your kids and will be around for them for a long time.
Fortunately, there are a variety of different ways that you can cater to your children and your health at the same time. While not every strategy listed below will be for you, there is sure to be something that gives you the opening you need to take off running.
If you are ready to start a running routine without taking time away from the family, lace up your running shoes, download a run tracker to your phone and check out these tips.
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Cut Back on Commitments
In today’s busy society, many people have too many commitments. They not only have work and family obligations but also social commitments, volunteer work, community leadership roles and the like.
If this sounds like you, then consider scaling back on some of your responsibilities to take time to focus on your health by getting started with a running routine.
Purchase a Jogging Stroller
Depending on the age of your child, a jogging stroller might be an excellent option for you. While it will make running a bit more difficult, it will certainly make getting out for a run much easier.
While many might blush at the price of some jogging strollers, it is certainly worth the investment, given the freedom that it will provide. Plus, when you take into consideration the other essential running equipment that you have bought, such as that Apple Watch with the engraved Apple Watch bracelet medical plate, AirPods, running shoes and similar accessories, this item is par for the course. That said, if the price is the one thing that is stopping you, try to get one secondhand on sites like eBay or Craigslist.
Get Out in the Morning
While getting up before the little ones can be a bit of a challenge, doing so will feel fantastic later in the day when you don’t have a run hanging over your head. Therefore, instead of trying to squeeze it in whenever you find a pocket of time, make it a priority to get up and get out for a run in the wee hours of the morning.
With your run done first thing in the morning, you will have the rest of the day free to dedicate to your kids.
Take Advantage of Downtime
While parents certainly have crammed schedules, there are usually small blocks of time between dropping the kids off at school, work, doing groceries or other errands to get in a run.
Take full advantage of these windows of time by getting out and running. However, since these pockets can be rather short, it is wise to keep an extra pair of running shoes and clothes in your car so that you can get your run in right after the kids have been dropped off at school, practice or a friend’s house.
Break Up Your Runs
Playing off of the last strategy of leveraging pockets of time, no one says that you need to get in your full 30- or 60-minute run at once. Instead, you can break your run up into shorter 10- or 15-minute segments and squeeze them in throughout the day.
Moreover, splitting up a long run can even be beneficial as doing so will enable you to get in your miles with better form, given that you are not as tired as you would be toward the end of a lengthier run.
Bring Your Kids with You
Another great option is that, if you have younger kids, have them hop on a bicycle or scooter and have them come with you on your run.
Alternatively, if you have a preteen or teenager, try and get them into the habit of running with you — at least for shorter distances. Not only will this allow you to get your run in but it will also foster positive habits and place an emphasis on exercise for your children.
Maintaining a Running Routine with Children
While it may seem a bit difficult at first, it is possible to maintain a running regimen — even if you have small children or teenagers. The key to achieving this is to be open to different ways of working your program and possibly bringing your kids along for the journey.
While you may not be able to dedicate yourself to a full training routine or adhere to it as strictly as you would before you had parental obligations, you can still maintain your health and fitness by going running several times a week.