Personal trainers, gym time, yoga classes, and top-notch workout facilities are all wonderful. But for many on-the-go parents, those types of sometimes time-consuming fitness outings are as feasible as a weekend trip to Cabo.
Heck, maybe all that running around of parenthood is all you need to be fit.
Not likely, though, says Tim Kruger, manager of Peak Performance Omaha. But, he says, parents need not surrender in the battle of the bulge. They just need to go Old School.
Got 20 minutes somewhere in between the school play and the baseball practice? Throw on the shorts, T-shirts and trainers, and go for a jog.
Kruger makes his case for arguably the oldest and most time-tested exercise technique in human history–running. It’s cheap, he says. It’s available 24/7. It only takes a few minutes to get out of work clothes and on the road.
The solitude can be therapeutic for a parent overwhelmed by work and kid time. That nice rush of endorphins, that calm that comes when you’ve gassed your muscles. A jog can take the edge off the frenzy of a parent’s schedule.
- Set a goal (from as simple as being able to run for 30 minutes or something more ambitious such as completing a half-marathon) to keep motivation up.
- Research several different training programs to understand what will bring the goal into reach.
- Get a good pair of shoes that fit. If your shoes don’t work for you, you’re much more likely to quit.
- Don’t try to be a superstar. Start out slowly to avoid injury and to give yourself a chance to really enjoy your jogs.
Once You’ve Hit the Road:
- Always start with several minutes of warm-up. Do some light movement followed by slow and consistent stretching that focuses on leg muscle groups such as the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves.
- If you get bored running alone—and time allows—you may want to find a running partner or running club to stay motivated and accountable (and maybe even have an adult conversation!).
- Always dress for the weather with moisture-wicking fabrics (Nike’s Dri-FIT, for example) and use layers that you can unzip or remove as needed.
- Hydrate properly before, after, and during (if possible) each run.
- Spend the same amount of time cooling down and stretching as you did warming up to avoid injury.
- Always plan for at least one rest day per week.
Some Great Places to Run in or Near Omaha:
- The local school track. If you have bad knees, the rubber surfaces on many tracks may make running more pleasant for you.
- Any of the increasing number of Omaha trails. Hitting a trail may not be possible every day, but mixing in a trail run every week or two can keep your regimen fresh. Get more information at
- Take on one of the region’s great runs, the Wabash Trail beginning in Council Bluffs.
For more information, or to meet with Tim or another Peak Performance running expert, visit Peak Performance at www.run2peak.com.