Working out can be a drag, especially if you have a busy lifestyle and, like many single parents, have to carve time out of your schedule to fit in exercise. After a long day of work, taking care of the kids, or driving back and forth to various activities and extracurriculars, you’ll likely need a little motivation to fuel your desire to work out. It can get boring when you’re doing the same thing over and over again, so why not switch it up?
The key is to mix up your routine and stick with things you know you’ll enjoy doing. That’s right, working out can actually be fun if you know where to start. It also helps to have an accountability partner, so invite a friend, family member, or even the dog along when you’re working up a sweat. Getting the family or a friend involved will help you stay motivated and will make the workout seem less monotonous. Depending on the type of workout, your kids might be able to join in too for a little family fitness.
Here are some of the best budget-minded tips to get creative with your exercise routine.
Take up yoga
Yoga is a great way to get in a workout because it can be done from home with a DVD. Learn all the right moves, stretch those muscles, and work up a sweat in the morning before work, or after dinner. Or, if you want to be more social, you could take up a class and invite a friend to join you. Yoga not only strengthens the entire body, but it also focuses on meditation and mindful thinking, which can help relieve stress and anxiety. You can also find yoga videos online for free through sites like Yoga with Adriene. Need some gear to get started? Kohl’s has plenty of stuff to get you started, and you can use Kohl’s promo codes to help you save money.
Throw on some music and a pair of comfortable shoes and get to movin’. Dancing is a great workout and can either be done at home or at a class with a partner. Ballroom, swing, and hip-hop dancing are all wonderful workouts. If you’re interested in all of the latest moves, there are countless sites that provide excellent tutorials for free.
Dust off that bike
Unless you live far away from the nearest town, the chances are good that you could afford to lose the car a couple of times a week and ride a bike to run errands or even to work. Bike riding is great exercise, not to mention environmentally friendly. If your bike needs a little TLC, save some money by purchasing used parts to get it back in working order.
Use what you have
You don’t have to belong to a gym in order to get in shape. Use what’s available to you at home or at the office; go for a run up and down the stairs, or take a brisk walk around the block. Use a wall to steady yourself for squats, or invest in a stability ball to help you with stretches. However, if you’re still nursing, you might benefit from a nursing sports bra to help keep you comfortable during those at-home workouts. Thankfully, many companies offer great savings and promotions on nursing bras to help keep the costs as low as possible.
Exercise for a cause
It might be helpful to feel exercise is beneficial to someone else. It can be very motivating to know that you’re making a difference, so consider signing up for a walk or run for a charity. Training for such a task won’t be easy, but these things can give you a renewed sense of purpose.
Think back to your childhood
Sometimes, the things we did for fun as kids can be the best ways to get in shape as adults. Think hula hoops, jump ropes, and skates, and get your own kids involved. Heck, even strapping on your goggles for some games in your backyard pool or local community pool are great exercise. These options are great ways to spend time with your loved ones and burn some calories.
Although you might have parental responsibilities on your shoulders, it doesn’t mean you can’t find the time to take care of yourself. Look for ways to exercise where and when you can, and use some cost-saving methods to bring it all in under budget.