Strategies for Staying Fit During Parenthood | Fit Feature

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Strategies for Staying Fit During Parenthood | Fit Feature

Vanessa M. Kercher, Ph.D., SSC, M.Ed., BESS |  Nov. 19, 2019

Staying Fit During Parenthood ACSM

Simple strategies to help encourage and support PA in parents and caregivers.

We added a new family member to our household this fall, a wonderful corgi puppy named “Dash.” He has turned our daily routines upside down and added endless excitement to our household. The time and energy it takes to consistently train Dash to sit, stay, walk, and stop using your hand as a chew toy is fun and at times exhausting. Fitting in physical activity is definitely not as easy as it used to be! It requires lots of extra planning and a reprioritization of our time. We’re very thankful to have friends and students that help us tire him out so we can get some work done.

Fit Feature Parenthood Fitness ACSM

Find strategic times when the entire family can be involved in fitness

We all have to adapt to things in our lives that challenge our workout routines. It’s important to get creative as new responsibilities come into your life like puppies, newborns, or new work opportunities. For instance, set a family goal or challenge related to health and fitness. We have a daily push-up and pull-up goal that we interchange. We can do it anytime when we’re at home whether we’re cooking or doing laundry! A quick dose of exercise is a great option to help stay physically active.

Health & Fitness Professionals: Physical Activity Promotors

For health & fitness professionals working with clients that are parents or caregivers here are a few things to consider while encouraging physical activity (PA)!

  • Promote autonomy! What do they like/want to do?
  • Create a list of PA exercises to do anywhere, anytime
  • Short, PA breakouts count
  • Set small goals
  • Make PA fun, consider using games or competitions 

Learn more by reading the full article “Strategies to Support Physical Activity for Parents and Caregivers of Young Children" in the November/December 2019 issue of ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal®. In the article, Kristi King and colleagues provide great strategies and important information to help encourage and support PA in parents and caregivers.

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Article based on: 
King KM, Hartson K, Della, L. Effective strategies to increase physical activity in the working years ACSMs Health Fit J. 2019; 23 (6):63-7


Vanessa Kercher PhD
Vanessa M. Kercher, Ph.D., SSC, M.Ed., BESS, is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Kinesiology Department for the School of Public Health at Indiana University. Dr. Kercher's research passion focuses on helping individuals optimize their physical activity experiences to promote sustainable, positive health behaviors. She serves as the digital editor of ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal®. 

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