Every parent knows life can be busy. Between school, work and other obligations, you probably wear many figurative hats on a daily basis — and you probably don’t have enough time to exercise as a result. However, you may want to start making time, as physical activity can help you manage life in so many ways.
Here’s a look at how exercise can make a difference in your life as a busy parent.
1. Promotes Better Sleep
How much sleep do you get? It’s crucial for adults to sleep for at least seven hours every night to stay healthy. If you fall asleep too late or wake up too early, you put yourself at risk for wellness issues, including diabetes, obesity and cancer. Additionally, you’ll feel much drowsier throughout the day, which isn’t great when you have a lot to accomplish.
Those who exercise fall asleep faster because their bodies stimulate the recuperative process. There’s also a link between body temperature and sleep quality, which means you sleep better when you exercise due to how your body temperature rises. Plus, who doesn’t like to hit the hay after a gym session?
2. Boosts Mood and Energy
There’s nothing worse than feeling drained when you get home — only to still have tasks you need to complete. If you find yourself in a bad mood because you’re busy, you may want to use exercise as a quick fix. It’s the perfect way to boost your energy to prepare for a long day.
Anyone who runs probably knows about the “runner’s high,” which refers to how positive and happy people feel after physical activity. That’s what happens when the brain produces endorphins after a specific action. It may even be better than a nap to help you feel recharged and alert.
While you’ll still have days when you feel a bit drained, you can tackle most days with a renewed approach when you exercise often. That’s essential when you have a laundry list of tasks to complete. This energy may even help you look forward to jam-packed days.
3. Encourages Social Interaction
It can seem like you don’t have room in your schedule to visit friends. Plus, you may even struggle to meet new people as a parent. These situations can feel lonely — and while your kids are awesome, you can’t beat a genuine conversation with someone your own age.
These relationships matter for various purposes, but they’re most crucial for mental health. If you prioritize social interaction, you’ll feel happier and safer. Additionally, you can even increase brainpower. Humans are a social species for a reason.
Those who exercise regularly have the chance to meet new people. Whether you like running at the park or lifting weights at the gym, you can find fellow exercise enthusiasts whenever you work out. It’s the perfect chance to put yourself out there to make some friends.
4. Reduces Chronic Disease Risk
No one ever wants to learn that they have a chronic disease. That’s especially true when you have a family who depends on you. It’s not always possible to avoid illness, but you can improve your chances when you’re physically active on a regular basis.
It turns out that lack of exercise contributes greatly to chronic disease development. That’s due to how physical activity boosts cardiovascular fitness and body composition. If you maintain a healthy heart and weight, you’ll be much less at risk for illnesses.
Actions as simple as a daily walk or jog can help. It’s simply about moving your body to ensure everything functions properly. If you’re concerned about a specific chronic disease, you can ask your doctor to see what workouts will be best for you.
5. Improves Brain Health
What’s more frustrating than forgetting an item on your to-do list? If you can’t seem to remember important tasks, you should work to boost your brain health. There are many mental stimulation tricks you can explore, such as reading books and completing puzzles. But you can also use exercise to help you be more mentally aware.
During physical activity, your brain receives more oxygen-rich blood in the areas responsible for thought and memory. Those same endorphins that improve your mood can also help build your memory skills. If you exercise regularly, you’ll ultimately have a more agile and adaptive brain that’s ready for anything.
Be sure to work out at least a few times per week so you have enough brainpower to tackle your busy schedule.
Physical Activity Should Be a Must for Parents
Whenever you get a chance, you should consider getting outside for a quick walk. This physical activity will only take up an hour in your day — and you’ll be able to sleep better, think better and feel better. It’s the best way to help you balance life as a busy parent.