Dr Susan Baxter
How To Fight Tiredness with Exercise as a Parent and Why Should We Bother?
Updated: Feb 28
Are you a parent? You can use physical exercise to help you in various areas of your life: to get more flexible and stronger, reduce stress, and get quality sleep. You can also use regular physical activity to improve your immunity and boost your energy throughout the day.
What Is Immunity, And How Can Exercise Boost Your Immune System?
Immunity can be described as your body’s ability to resist sickness or infection by preventing the growth of a pathogenic germ. And different individuals will have unique immune systems with different potentials of fighting germs within their bodies.
Even though immunity varies among individuals, exercise can boost any parent’s immunity. That is because physical activity accelerates the white blood cells (WBC) and antibodies circulation during each of your workout sessions. WBCs, (also called leucocytes or leukocytes) are white blood cells that defend the body against infectious illnesses and external invaders such as viruses and bacteria. The fast movement of antibodies or WBCs aids in the detection of illnesses before they become serious.
Regular moderate-intensity exercise or altering your daily parenting lifestyle with some physical activity can also enhance your immunological responses to vaccination and numerous immune indicators in illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes. Additionally, the leukocytes will also contribute to resistance to influenza and flu, which are very stressful to manage when contracted by children. You can also read about how to fit exercise into your busy schedule here.
Besides, during your workouts, your body will produce a variety of proteins (cytokines) that aid in immunity maintenance by moving immune cells straight to any of your infected areas. As a result, exercising can help prevent transmitting illnesses to your vulnerable groups that are more susceptible to illnesses such as your kids.
However, even though regular exercise can boost your immunity, you should avoid over-exercising. Excessive physical exercise can do you more harm in the long run.
How Does Exercising Boost Your Energy?
Fatigue is a frequent complaint among parents.
While you may be tempted to try one of the energy drinks or supplements on the market, using these products will not offer long-term benefits in the long run.
If you want to recharge your batteries and have more energy for your kids, the easiest way is to practice healthy behaviors such as exercising. Although exercising when you are drained may seem counterintuitive, workouts can help you feel alert and boost your energy.
That is because exercise facilitates two critical energy-generating processes in your body: increasing your circulation and forming new mitochondria. Improved circulation will help move oxygenated blood throughout your body to essential organs such as the brain. And mitochondria will turn this oxygen and the food you ingest into useful energy at the cellular level.
Before creating your training routine, keep in mind that high-intensity exercise will increase your endorphin levels, boosting your energy all day long but may not be best before bed time! Check this blog, to know when is the best time to exercise!
On a less scientifically tested note, but one I know from anecdotal evidence is that fitness improves every part of being a parent (but not being fit won’t make you a bad parent, no one has the authority to tell you that at ALL!).
Take for instance one of my clients, he started with me when his child who was 3 ran away at the beach and he couldn’t catch him. He was scared because it’s harder to protect your children when you can’t keep up with them. Another similar story, my client started when her child attempted to cross a road unsupervised and she didn’t get there in time to catch her, but the car thankfully stopped in time.
Or simply when your child asks you to take part in sports day with the other parents, or when they want you to play tag with them? It’s hard to grow up and think that exercise is something that “just kids do” because then as a teenager you wont think that exercise habits are for you anymore. Role modelling the behaviour you want for your kids is a sure-fire way to make sure you are being the change you want to see.
Lets be honest, being a parent is HARD, but having an exercise routine is one way that you can ensure you are focused on your health ☺ And unlike other things that will take away from your cup of energy, exercise adds to your cup of energy!
If you have any questions or need help coming up with the best workout routine, you can reach out to us.