By Michelle Dozois
We all know being a parent requires a tremendous amount of energy and patience. Add to that the demands of raising a child with special needs and our personal health can easily get shoved to the back burner. I make my living helping others get fit yet, when my son was diagnosed with autism, I put all my energies into him, neglecting myself. I felt drained, tired and depressed. Who wouldn’t? By getting back into a regular exercise routine, I felt a million times better and was able to put even more energy into my family.
We all want to be there to help care for our children but how do we find time to take care of ourselves?
Here are some easy tips that can help the busiest of moms.
1) Take advantage of an energized child – opportunities to work in a heart-pumping mini-workout are everywhere. Play freeze dance or a good game of tag, build obstacle courses with pillows and things around the house, chase them at the park, pull them around the house on blankets, or give them piggy back rides. Not only will this help create great social and interactive opportunities for them but it will help YOU burn extra calories, keep you agile, coordinated and flexible. You’ll both be sweating out toxins and getting more oxygen into your blood.
2) Plan ahead – Are you kids on a special diet? Do you pack food for them everywhere you go? Why not do the same for you? Keep healthy snacks in your purse or car for in between meal options. By preparing your meals ahead of time you save money by not eating on the run, you keep empty calories out of the equation by planning ahead and you keep your caloric intake in check.
3) Eat breakfast and drink more water. Start your day off right and get your metabolism pumping by giving your body a healthy breakfast. Fill up with water to aid your body and help keep hunger in check.
4) Remember exercise is your health and sanity vitamin. A good round of physical activity will add years to your life. Our motto at Breakthru Fitness is “Move More, Live Better!”
5) Take one day at a time! Being healthy is not an all-or-nothing opportunity. Every little thing counts for keeping us fit. Every good meal choice you make, every extra bit physical activity you work in and every quiet stretch and moment of relaxation will help you be a healthier person and a better parent.
Michelle Dozois is a fitness veteran who has starred in fitness videos including Buns of Steel, Pilates For Dummies, Weight Watchers and more. She is also the mother to a child with autism. Her newest DVD series, “Your Body Breakthru” includes a special message about autism.