Making Time for Your Health as a Parent

It’s Not Selfish To Take Time for Your Health

Kelly L. Ross, MD, FAAP is a pediatric hospitalist at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and a mom of triplets. In an article featured on, Ross explains the importance of taking the time for your own health. Many parents believe it is selfish to take time away from their kids to exercise, get plenty of rest, have time with friends, or prep healthy meals. In reality, a parent who is well rested, eats a healthy diet, gets plenty of exercise, and maintains close relationships with friends is far more equipped to take on parenthood than those who do not do those things. It is also important to note that children watch their parents and want to be just like them. So if you make point to live a healthy lifestyle, you will pass that behavior onto your children.

Tips for Living a Healthy Lifestyle

As seen on Forbes, here are some healthy living tips from Chrissy Carroll, the dietitian behind the blog Snacking in Sneakers and Gina Harney, a NASM personal trainer and group fitness instructor, as well as author of the the healthy living blog The Fitnessista.

  • Fitting in Fitness: Giving yourself time to workout, clear your head, and relieve stress in an important part of parenthood. Consider joining a gym close to work or take advantage of your office’s gym so you can get a workout in before or after work. If that doesn’t fit into your schedule, look for a gym close to home that offers childcare. Carroll stated, “I’ve been taking my son to the Y since he was three months old.  He’s currently three and still loves it there. Knowing that I can have 90 uninterrupted minutes of training is a major blessing to my physical and mental health!”
  • Get Creative: Sometimes a gym membership, especially one with childcare, just isn’t an option. However, your workouts do not have to be overly structured or 90 minutes long. You can take family walks or bike rides, go for a jog pushing the stroller, or just go in the yard and play tag or throw the ball around. Harney also adds that you can do 10 minute mini workouts through out the day, each one focusing on a different area: cardio, strength, core training or stretching.
  • Have Go-To Healthy Foods: Slow cooker meals are a great option for dinner since they can be prepped easily in the morning and will be ready by dinner time! Overnight oats or oatmeal bakes are also a healthy choice that you can make the night before for a quick, healthy breakfast. It is also a good idea to shop smart at the grocery store and avoid bringing home junk food. Stock up on healthy snacks such as fruits, veggies, yogurt, or nuts. Although it may be time consuming, try washing and cutting up fruits and veggies right after the grocery store and put them in containers in the fridge. That way they are ready to eat when you or the kiddos want a snack!

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