If you’re familiar with my material, you’ve certainly seen me highlight the potential of low-tech workouts that can be performed almost anywhere. I’m a big believer in training wherever you are with whatever you have. Yet, I don’t promote this message because of ill feelings towards any particular gym or establishment. I have nothing against anyone who trains at a commercial gym. Instead, I highlight home based workouts to dispel the myth that busy parents don’t have a time or place to exercise. It takes less time to perform a set of pushups than it does to explain why you won’t.Â
Health Is Wealth
Few things bother me as much as an adult who views exercise as a selfish activity that interferes with their parenting. For example, I recently read a Facebook comment from a mother who stated the following:
“I used to love the gym, but my priorities changed as a parent. I’ll pick time with my son over the gym any day.”
Parents such as the mother quoted above should not feel guilty about prioritizing their health. It is not selfish to take care of yourself. It’s also not selfish to lead by example. Children pay more attention to what you do than what you say. Active parents are much more likely to raise active children. If you want your kids to grow up to become healthy, strong, and vibrant, start by showing them the way. They will remember what you did long after they’ve forgotten what you said.
Manage Your Time
As a parent, business owner, and coach, I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t know what busy meant until I had kids. Everything changes as a parent. My life revolves around my children. Yet, like many busy parents, it seems like there are never enough hours in a day. There’s always something else that needs to be done.
Therefore, when I see a parent complain about not having time for the gym, I can somewhat relate. Speaking for myself, it would be very difficult for me to exercise at a commercial gym. There really isn’t a convenient time in the day (or night) for me to drive across town to train for an hour. I’m busy throughout the day and I’m on the fields coaching almost every night of the week.
It is much more convenient for me to exercise at home. I don’t need to commute anywhere to perform pushups in the driveway or lift weights in the garage. I can exercise in front of my kids, with my kids, or even when they are sleeping. I can always make time for exercise without interfering with my parental duties.
Gain Time, Don’t Lose It
Unlike the mother quoted above, I don’t view exercise as time away from my children. I actually feel that I gain time with my kids by staying physically fit. It’s much more fun to be the father who plays outside with his kids instead of the one who sits on the sidelines because he’s unable to keep up.
In other words, the investment that I make in exercise repays itself exponentially by adding much more to the relationship that I have with my kids. I’m able to do more things with them simply because I am healthy enough to keep pace. And even more importantly, my kids learn the benefits of health and fitness by seeing and living that lifestyle themselves.
In summary, I’m certainly not suggesting that parents should avoid commercial gyms. My real hope is that more parents take the initiative to take better care of themselves. As a father, I consider it my job to promote a healthy lifestyle to my children. A busy schedule is no excuse for me to overlook this responsibility.
If we truly wish to improve future generations, we all need to step up and lead by example. Fortunately, you can do so without ever leaving your home. There are plenty of effective and time efficient options that can be performed anywhere with almost anything.
Don’t use your inability to get to a gym as an excuse. And don’t be foolish enough to think that taking care of yourself is selfish. You may not realize it now, but improving your own health is one of the best gifts you could ever give your children.
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” – Jim Rohn