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Active Parents Are Better Prepared For Childcare

mum running with child on bike

By David Saunders | UPDATED: 05:28, 21 February 2020

ACTIVE PARENTS are better prepared to cope with the daily roles of parenthood, although many are struggling to find the time to exercise, a new study finds.

A survey of 1,000 UK adults commissioned by the North’s leading mid-market health club, Total Fitness, has found that 38% of parents with young children struggle to fit in exercise around looking after a family.

According to the study, 42% of parents to young children would like to be fitter, however only 19% regularly working out.

The data also shows that parental tasks can affect your body physically, as 21% of parents with a young child admit they suffer from stiff joints as a result of lifting or carrying their youngster.

1 in 10 of those with babies have even experienced breathlessness or aches from pushing a pram.

According to the findings, being a parent doesn’t just affect your physical health. Almost a quarter (24%) of parents with young children confessed they struggle with childcare-related stress and as many as 22% said they often struggle to sleep at night.

As a result, nearly 1 in 5 (19%) parents admit that they can often be irritable and grumpy.

However, the benefits of exercise are clear and can help mums and dads cope with the daily activities of parenthood.

21% of those surveyed agree that exercise or sport helps them to cope better with looking after young children, while nearly 1 in 3 parents say that exercise helps to boost their mood.

More than 1 in 4 (26%) believe regular exercise or playing a sport helps them to cope better with stress, showing the benefits of maintaining an active lifestyle.

When asked what exercises parents felt benefited them, 24% of those with young children say yoga provided a good relief from stress.

Steven Virtue, Fitness Content and Programming Manager at Total Fitness, comments: “Being a parent to younger children can be physically and emotionally taxing, as you learn to cope with a reduced amount of sleep, disrupted routines and the physical effects of daily activities – and not to mention the strain of lifting babies and toddlers.

“There are countless benefits to establishing a fitness routine and staying active, as it can help ready yourself for the different roles of parenthood. Functional exercises such as squats and lunges are a great way to strengthen the muscles used when lifting and carrying children. Yoga is another great exercise, as it helps to build core strength whilst also aiding relaxation and stress relief.

“It can be difficult to maintain an exercise routine when you’re balancing family life and work, but even a 20-minute workout at your local gym or at home once a week will make a difference.

The important thing is finding an exercise and routine that you enjoy and which works for you. This will make your goals easier to stick to.”

Total Fitness is the leading mid-market health club in the north and provides more ways to get fit, stay in shape, and more support to keep members focused.

With 17 health clubs across the North of England and Wales, Total Fitness provides a full-service fitness offering; guided by knowledgeable and supportive fitness teams, the brand works hard to meet the individual needs of its members.

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