There are only 24 hours in a day, so how can you add in more time for fitness if you’re already filling those hours? One way is to double up on activities, like dovetailing social engagements with fitness. Here are some ways to be social while you get active, and have fun while saving time.
Be healthy with your friends
Did you know that your friends are great predictors of your weight? Maybe you and your friends can get fit together! Here are some ways to incorporate activity into your usual meet-ups with friends.
Walk or go to the gym together before meeting for coffee
Sign up for a group fitness class or sports league with practices or games scheduled on your regular friends-out nights
Agree to talk on the phone with each other while walking
Make fitness a family thing
Don’t you want the best for you and for your family? While you are getting fitter, why not increase the amount of quality time you spend with them and help them get fitter at the same time? This can work for families of all sizes and any ages of children (or none). Just keep it age-appropriate and fun.
Here are some ways to be fit together.
Join in. What children really want is you. This is true for toddlers through older children, even if they don’t show it very well. Do what they’re doing as best you can. Whether playing hide-and-seek or basketball, you’re likely to get a great workout if you let them take the lead.
Let them shine. Ask your children to teach you whatever dance move, dribbling skill, or other skill they learned in preschool, school, or an extracurricular activity.
Include them. Children may want to mimic you or be treated as adults, so give them direction in your workout. Lead a “bootcamp” sort of workout that gives them plenty of fun options to rest or be active while you get in your own workout.
Use your baby as a weight
Lifting small children counts towards the recommendations for muscle-strengthening. Caring for a small child can work your arms, back, legs, chest, and core. A caregiver can tell you that caring for a baby or toddler can work muscles you didn’t even know you had!
You can sneak in additional exercises throughout the day. Get into the habit of doing calf raises at the changing table, squats between bites while feeding, and lunges while pushing the baby on the swing at the park, for example. Lift your baby over your head an extra 5 to 10 times each time you pick her up. Every effort you make counts.
Go on a fitness date
Dinner and a movie are nice, but what about finding a significant other who wants both of you to be at your healthiest? Better yet, what if you get there together? Try something active together before your romantic dinner or movie.
A walk is simplest, but when you’re ready, you can bump it up with partner workouts (look around online for ideas), personal training for two, or a fun fitness-oriented class, such as horseback riding or a circus class, where you both get to learn a new skill.
“I don’t have time for a social life”
Yes, that seems to happen to many people. The typical working parent may be booked from the second her child wakes her up in the morning to the moment she finishes her final email, shuts off the laptop, and goes to bed. And weekends? Should you find yourself with a spare moment, you are more likely to stay home than commit to driving across town to work on your social skills.
If that’s the case, you may consider turning your non-social engagements into active time. Walk around your office while on the phone, or take your call outside for a brisker walk when you know the call will take a while. You may schedule phone meetings for times when you are at the gym or at home on a stationary bike. In the office.
In the office, let your boss know what your goals are and propose ways you can all get active at work. You could have group walks at lunchtime or make it a policy to allow for meetings to be held while walking whenever possible. You may be surprised how receptive your boss is to these ideas.
Keep working on your friends, family members, and co-workers to help you be active. You might find that no matter how busy you are, you can achieve 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity, plus strength training. You may even build stronger relationships along the way. Don’t forget to log your activity in Lark so you know how you are doing and can get feedback and motivation to keep up the good work.
How Lark can help
Weight management and healthy living are easier when you have the resources you need. Lark offers tools and support. Your Lark coach is available 24/7 for nutrition and physical activity coaching and tracking. Lark can help you make healthy choices and establish habits that fit into your lifestyle so you can manage weight and stay active.
Click here to see if you may be eligible to join Lark today!
Lark helps you eat better, move more, stress less, and improve your overall wellness. Lark’s digital coach is available 24/7 on your smartphone to give you personalized tips, recommendations, and motivation to lose weight and prevent chronic conditions like diabetes.