Why keeping fit as a parent is vital

A man doing some pre-exercise stretches.

I was surprised to read some recent research which discovered that almost half of adults confessed that the furthest they could run is half a mile. Despite working from home, having three children and asthma for good measure, I manage to keep fit so anybody can! If that’s not motivation enough, here are some other reasons why keeping fit as a parent is vital.

Staying young

Nobody wants to be old before their time but, when you bear in mind how tiring it is having kids, it’s easy to let things slide and that’s where it catches up with you! My dad, who is 66, still plays five a side twice a week and I want to follow in his footsteps by being that active when I’m that age. If I’m going to achieve that, though, I need to keep up the good work now.

Setting a good example

I’m already worried about Dylan and Xander becoming couch potatoes. Although we limit their screen time, they still spend a lot more time in front of the telly than I did at their age – mainly because kids’ TV is much more readily available than it was in the 1980s! Leading by example, then, is very important. As well as being seen to get exercise myself, I do little things like making a point of taking them long way round when we’re walking into town.

Getting away from it all

Life with little ones can be very stressful at times and I readily admit that I sometimes get wound up by their behaviour – show me a parent that doesn’t and I’ll show you a liar. It’s essential, then, to get some regular exercise to let it out. I find kicking a ball around for an hour and roaring in frustration every time I miss an open goal to be extremely therapeutic!

Healthy body, healthy mind

As well as being good for the body, exercise is great for the mind. I’m one of life’s worriers and am always fretting about something or other, so keeping physically fit is a great way of stopping concerns getting the better of me. Even if I play badly, I always feel better after football every week. Perhaps fortuitously, I play on Sunday evenings so I’m always fairly optimistic ahead of the new week and that can’t be bad.

Of course, getting regular exercise can be a bit of a challenge for busy parents but there are ways of making the most of the opportunities. For example if, like me, you can only commit to one hour a week, taking protein-based sports supplements can help your body make the most of the hard work you’ve put in.

Disclosure: this post was produced in collaboration with MaxiNutrition.


  1. Evelyn Taylor

    I love the fact that one of the motivation factors for you keeping fit as a parent is so that you set a good example for your kids.

    This reminds me of the fact that whenever I’m on any type of public transportation, almost everyone’s eyes are glued to their electronic devices.

    I think making a point to go outside, exercise and keep fit shows kids that there are lots of things much more important than being glued to electronic devices.

    Thanks for sharing this!

  2. jaime kendler-arnold

    From a lot of parents I know, fitness gets pushed to the back of the priority list, especially as they get past 30.

    It’s a shame that more parents don’t consider their own health and fitness to be not only good for them, but also establishes an environment of health for their kids.

    I also wholeheartedly agree with you that exercise is a great release from the stresses of life. I really feel the difference in my patience levels with my son if I don’t work out for a week!

    Thanks for sharing, Jaime

    1. Post

      Thanks Jaime – yes, I know what you mean; I’m in a foul mood if I miss football! Good for the mind as well as the body!

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