By Constance Ray
As a single parent, you have a lot going on. As a parent you have all the duties: good cop/bad cop; punisher and consoler; lunch maker and bread winner. The short and long of it is: you’re busy. So busy that you may forget to take care of yourself sometimes.
If that sounds like your life, you may not have a system worked out yet for staying fit and active… but it’s probably about time you work one out. Exercise is extremely important for human beings. We are not meant to be as sedentary as modern life allows us to be, and exercising regularly helps balance us mentally, emotionally, and physically. Getting in a light workout every day can help keep you healthy, calm, and composed so you can be a better single parent.
Why is exercise so good for you?
Exercise and Mindfulness
Exercising is a great way to practice mindfulness in your everyday life. As a single parent, you probably have a million things running through your head at all times just to try and stay on top of all your responsibilities. You want to be as prepared as you can for your kids sake, but constantly thinking about possible outcomes to situations keeps you from being in the moment.
Just like exercise trains your cardiovascular system and muscles, it can also help train your brain to be more mindful. When you are in the moment jogging, lifting weights, swimming, or doing whatever else you love, you get to escape from the to-do lists and what-ifs if only for a few minutes. Doing that over and over again (over 66 days, according to James Clear) makes it second nature to be mindful when you’re not working out.
Exercise and Motivation
Sometimes, as a single parent, you get burnt out. You don’t want to have to get up off the couch and drive your kids to the mall-- you want to lay here with your eyes closed. Of course, if you don’t take on parenting duties, no one else will. What you need is a shot of motivation.
Exercising daily helps keep you motivated as a single parent. ADrugRehab says, “Not only does exercise reduce stress, but it also boosts your positive, motivating emotions, too. Part of this is biology — the body is regulating itself during exercise, but it also has to do with seeing and feeling the results of your efforts.”
Keeping a regular exercise schedule helps prevent burnout so you can be there for you kids everyday, like they need you to be.
Exercise and Your Body
You want to be around for years to come so you can see what awesome adults your kids grow up to be. Exercising regularly helps ensure a longer, more enjoyable life. Inactivity leads to heart disease-- which is the leading cause of death for men and women of most ethnicity in the United States. Exercising regularly can also help keep your weight down, regulate cholesterol, and make it easier to manage existing ailments like diabetes. Taking time to get in a light workout now will help make sure you’re around for years to come to lecture your grown children about how they should be exercising, too.
As a single parent, you have a million things going on that can get in the way of taking care of yourself. With that being true, it’s still necessary to set aside time every week to exercise. Exercising helps you practice mindfulness, which in turn reduces stress and makes you a more present, conscious parent for your kids. It also helps keep you motivated so you can tackle all the challenges being a single parent throws at you. Finally, exercising will keep you physically healthy so you can be around for years to come and see your children grow into amazing adults.