Six Tips to Help Parents Get in a Running Routine

For those of us with a family, sometimes it can be difficult to work in our running and exercise program along with the duties of being a parent and spouse, not to mention the duties of our work life.  So how do get in the habit of running when we have all of these responsibilities?  Here are a few tips that may help.

6 Tips to Help Parents Stay in a Running Routine

Obviously the tips here will vary depending on your exact situation. Some of you are single or care for the kids during the day, some have older kids while other have little ones at home.  Hopefully, though at least one or two of these ideas will help you work in a run a couple of times a week even if you have several ankle biters to deal with.

* Take the Kiddos With You – Kids love to do what we do.  So, even if you have real little ones, they may want to run down the block and back.  Get them interested in running early so they can enjoy the benefits of this great sport.  but if your kids are a little older, they may be able to run a little farther.  Just take it easy on them, and make sure they are enjoying it.  Even if you get a short run in that is better than nothing.  Another idea that may work for you is to let your kids follow you on the bicycle

* Get a Jogging Stroller – If your kids are the right age, a jogging stroller can be a great way to get out and run with small ones.  I did this strategy for a long time with our oldest boys.  I would come home and go for a run after work with them in the double jogging stroller.  I will admit that running with a jogging stroller is a challenge compared to not having one.  But I figure that it makes you appreciate the days that you do not run with a jogging stroller.

* Use a Treadmill – Having a treadmill can be a great way to run when your kids are asleep at night, or taking a nap during the day.  Depending on how independent your kids are, you can even run on a treadmill while they are awake.  If you can afford a treadmill, it can really add some flexibility to your

* Go to a Gym – Many gyms have a nursery or day care that can watch your kids for an hour or so while you get a quick run in.  A bonus is that you can run on a variety of treadmills, or you may decide to do some cross training as well.  In addition, you can shower afterwards and take care of other things afterwards if needed.

* Get up Early – Sometimes the best way to get in a run regardless of your life situation is just to get up before everyone else and do it.  I know that it can be difficult to get up in the morning, but i will tell you I have never regretted getting up early to go for a run.  On the contrary, I have often regretted sleeping in and skipping exercise. If you want to ensure you get a run in, I believe the best time to do it is first thing.  Of course, this may be a challenge for you if you are single, or have a spouse who also likes to get up early.  You will need to be able to communicate with your spouse, and let them know your needs.  You also may need to be creative, and try to come up with solutions that work for everyone.

* Night runs – Sometimes the best time for me to run is at night after the kids go to bed.  For some reason, I enjoy night runs more than any other time of day.  Maybe I have more energy then, or maybe it is the fact that I do not have the thought of going to work like when I run in the mornings.  Just be cautious about safety if you decide to adapt this strategy.

* Be Creative:  There are probably many other ways that you can get some running or some form of exercise in despite your situation.   If it is a priority, then you will find ways to do it.  Be creative about it.  Don’t have a treadmill? Then run up and down your stairs.  Do an aerobics tape as cross training.  There are a ton of things like this that I have done to get a workout in as a parent.  The question really is: ‘Is running a priority?’

Bonus Tip: Go for a Family Evening Walk – Okay, so this is not actually running.  But if you go for a twenty or thirty minute walk with the family in the evening, then you can log that as a walking day, which can be considered a light cross-training day.

Check out this link for even more ways to squeeze running into a hectic schedule.

What do you think?  
Are you extremely busy person with kids and a family to raise?  

What is the best way for you to work in running into your routine?  

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