This is headline worthy. Homeschool moms and dads are notorious for allowing family commitments, extracurricular activities, co-ops, and church to all take precedence over actively making time to stay healthy. So when we do actually make the decision, really commit to it, and follow through even though it isn’t the most convenient thing, it is newsworthy.
5 Reasons to Make Fitness a Priority
- You’ll sleep better. What homeschool parent doesn’t want better sleep? A 2013 poll showed exercisers got better sleep than their sedentary peers. Only around 17% of the exercisers said they got poor sleep, while half the non-exercising subjects reported poor sleep.
- You can become more productive and have better concentration. Harvard Men’s Health Watch reported in 2013 that moderately intense exercise “stimulates brain regions that are involved in memory function to release a chemical called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF rewires memory circuits so they work better.” Employees of dental healthcare who gave up 2.5 hours a week for exercise reported a decrease in sickness and an increase in productivity, as opposed to the workers who just rested during their extra time away from work. See, exercise really is good for you!
- Exercise can reduce your cancer risk. The CDC released a collection of studies showing a reduction in colon and other cancers for people who are active.
- When you work out with your spouse exercise is even more fun. It can bring you closer, reduce stress, create an accountability team, and more.
- Working out can inspire your kids. When your children see you putting your health as a priority, it makes an impression. When you serve healthy meals, they become more aware of food choices when they aren’t at home. When you exercise together as a family at the jump park, on a hike, or crossfit with your teens, you are building a better family bond. The example we set for our families colors a wide array of the decisions our children will make as a adults. Setting the example of taking care of our health is one that should be at the top of our list.
5 Resources for Getting In Shape from Home
Most homeschool families are single income families. That means there’s not always extra money for a gym membership, especially one with childcare! That means making home work for more than just schooling. Working out at home doesn’t need to be boring. Have your children become your accountability partners or start a small homeschool PE class that includes the moms. Make it work however you can. We all want to be around and healthy to take care of our families and this is one way we can help ourselves do just that.
- Fitness Blender on YouTube. There are many workouts of various lengths, strength, cardio, Pilates, and more. All free! YouTube is a secular channel so advertisements could be questionable, this isn’t a reflection of Fitness Blender, just be aware if you have littles in the room when you are working out.
- Pinterest. You can find outdoor active games for your whole family, fitness ideas for busy moms, healthy meals, and more. Remember that if weight loss is a goal, you cannot out exercise a bad diet.
- Clare Smith’s blog is full of great workouts and recipes. She is especially geared to Christian mom’s. Her Train Hard page is a great starting point.
- Meal and Recipe Ideas: The Whole 30 Blog, Well Fed by Melissa Joulwan (one of my absolute favorite cookbooks), Beachbody Blog has a huge collection of yummy and mostly easy recipes, and for a treat or weeks when I know our schedule is going to be crazy, I love HelloFresh!
- Home workout options: For hand weights and resistance bands, Amazon usually has the best prices. 21 Day Fix is a favorite program for many moms; the workouts are only 30 minutes, it comes with a meal plan that has color coded containers so there’s no measuring or kitchen scales needed, and the food is yummy. For whole families, FamilyTime Fitness is a great homeschool PE resource. For dads, moms, and teens who may want to just get a workout done and get on with their day, 22 Minute Hard Corps is fast and gets your heart rate up quickly. At our house, screen time must be earned by exercising, so we have a laminated chart that keeps track of each child’s activity: 5 minutes of screen time for 10 bear crawls, or running the stairs five times, or doing 10 wall pushups, etc. 10 minutes are earned for completing FitKids Club (a kid’s workout DVD) or doing 15 minutes of yoga (we have a list of specific stretches from our occupational therapist). It’s amazing what a child will do to watch an episode of Liberty’s Kids.
However you decide to get in shape, remember that you can’t put a price on your health and your family needs you. Moving forward to better health is a gift to yourself and those you love.