Exercising regularly is an important part of staying fit and healthy, but it can be difficult to find time to work out when you’re a full-time childcare provider. However, just because you may not be able to make it to the gym consistently doesn’t mean that you can’t stay in good physical shape. There are several things that nannies can do to naturally incorporate a bit of exercise into their day. These 8 tips can help you stay on top of your physical game so that you’re able to be the best and healthiest nanny you can be.
- Make the Most of Daily Chores – There’s no escaping daily chores, especially when you work with children who tend to make messes faster than one adult can clean them up. Attacking your chores with enough vigor to raise your heart rate is a great way to make even daily drudgery good for your body.
- Plan Active Outings – Instead of hitting the multiplex for an outing with the kids, try to plan activities that require you and your charges to be physically active. Walk around the zoo, hike beginner-level hiking trails and visit the park for fun; your charges will thank you for an exciting day and your body will thank you for the much-needed work out. For even more exercise bonus points, push infants and toddlers in a stroller when they wear out and are tired of walking. The added resistance will help boost the effectiveness of your walk.
- Take Advantage of Downtime – When younger charges are napping or older ones are at school, resist the urge to collapse in front of the television for a few minutes and get in a few exercises instead. Lunges, sit ups and pushups can all be done from any open space in the house, and as an extra bonus there’s no equipment needed and minimal noise disturbance.
- Skip the “Good” Parking Spots – Rather than spending 20 minutes cruising around the parking lot for the spot closest to the door, take advantage of the opportunity to get more activity in by parking farther back and walking. This method is best used during good weather, though; dragging your charges across a frozen, rainy or blistering parking lot is a surefire way to land in professional hot water, especially if they become ill as a result.
- Forget the Elevator – If you or your employers live in an apartment building with several levels, or if you’re running errands in multi-level buildings, bypass the lift in favor of a brisk walk up the stairs. Not only will you get in a bit of exercise, you’ll probably also beat the people you watched climbing into the elevator to their destination.
- Take Pet Care to the Next Level – If pet care is part of your duties as a nanny, you’re presented with a great opportunity to exercise while you work. Taking the dogs for a vigorous walk rather than the shortest jaunt possible and picking up the pace while you do so are effective and fun ways of packing more active time into your work day.
- Resist the Snooze Button – Whether you’re a live-in or live-out nanny, getting up just 30 minutes earlier than you absolutely have to gives you more than enough time to fit in a morning workout. Get your blood pumping and your heart rate up and give your body an early-morning boost by working out before you leave your room or head to your employers’ house. Avoid taking the same tack at night, though; vigorous exercise can make it difficult to wind down in time to get a good night’s sleep.
- Play! – Just chasing active children around can be quite a workout by itself; one way to really amp up the activity is to join in your charges’ active play. Teach them the schoolyard games that you remember from childhood and indulge in a game of tag or catch; the options are almost endless. Take advantage of kids’ natural exuberance and wild imaginations to make up your own active games, or stick with the classics. Either way, everyone gets some exercise while having a blast and bonding.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children and adolescents get at least one hour of exercise per day, yet the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports reports that only 25% of children between grades nine and 12 actually receive enough. As childhood obesity rates continue to rise, it’s a good idea to make a fun-filled exercise regimen part of your charges’ day, that way both you and your charge can stay active and fit!