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Find Time to Exercise as a Single Parent

Do Each Exercise for 60 Seconds, and Let Your Kids Time You

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Finding the time to exercise can be a huge challenge when your time and energy are already limited. However, the benefits of regular exercise–-like warding off depression and helping you get a better night’s sleep–-can be particularly helpful in maintaining the stamina you need to raise your family as a single parent.

To make the time for getting fit, without having to hire a babysitter, look for exercises that you can do on a regular basis that will also allow you to include your kids. For example, create a routine out of the following exercises, and have your kids use a stopwatch or timer to keep track of your time.

Jog in place to warm up.

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Give your body several minutes to warm up. Begin with some simple stretches, and move into a slow jog (in place).

Do push-ups.

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In the beginning, you'll probably want to do push-ups with your knees resting on the ground. As you get stronger, though, you can begin to do them up on your toes. See how many push-ups you can do in 60 seconds.

Do full sit-ups.

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Do as many full, complete sit ups as you can in 60 seconds. You may find it helpful, too, to have one of your kids stand on your feet while you do this exercise.

Do squats.

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See how many squats you can do in 60 seconds. As you work, make sure that your knees do not extend beyond your toes.

Do biceps curls.

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See how many biceps curls you can do in 60 seconds. If you don't have light weights available, use a pair of soup cans, instead.

Do triceps curls.

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See how many triceps curls you can do in 60 seconds. Again, try using a soup can as your weight, if needed.

Do ab crunches.

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See how many ab crunches you can do in 60 seconds. Again, you may want to have your kids stand on your feet for stability.

Create Your Own Routine

Ideally, you'll want to cycle through all of these exercises at least twice. As you get stronger you can do them up to three times, and even extend the length of each exercise to 90 seconds.

In addition, see if you can’t fit in a long walk or jog once or twice a week, with your kids, as well. Or, if that would be impractical due to your kids’ ages, try taking your children to a local park that’s situated near a hill, and jog or walk up and down the hill for ten minutes while they play. Once you begin to think creatively about how to make time for exercise, you'll find that fitting fitness into your busy lifestyle is doable, after all. With time, the benefits of regular exercise will begin to become their own source of motivation, too.

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