This blog normally focuses a lot on resumes and jobsearch and family friendly employment concepts; we are a family friendly employment website, so it does stand to reason. In addition to helping parents find family friendly employment, we also like to provide support, entertainment and advice to working parents like ourselves. Between work and kids, we are all pretty busy, so any assistance we can get is good right!
As parents it’s easy to get carried away looking after other people, typically our kids and/or spouse/partner and in the process, we can be neglectful of our own needs. All parents are guilty of this at times, especially mums. As a full-time worker and primary care giver to our 8 and 9 year old daughters, I know how easy it is to run out of time to look after myself from a physical sense or to be simply too exhausted to bother.
Does it matter that much? Yes it does. In short, your physical well being is extremely important and should be a focus from when you are very young until you get very old. Inactivity is linked to all kinds of diseases and the older you get, the more chance you get of contracting them, but it is never too late to start addressing it. That brings me to a neat concept I about recently called a “Fitness Resume”. Similar to an employment resume, a fitness resume lists what you’ve achieved and what you hope to achieve with your fitness (goals are good/great, whether personal or professional).
Now a “Fitness Resume” isn’t something I’d heard of before recently, but upon hearing about it I was instantly drawn to it (thank you Robson Bond from Active Stride). Just like you are with your employment resume, you should be conscious of how your fitness resume reads. What does your fitness resume look like? Are you proud of it? Or would you rather it never sees the light of day? If you fall into the latter category, then read on because there are some tips to help get your fitness resume in order.
There is nothing on my fitness resume – If your resume doesn’t have that much on there, or anything at all, don’t despair, there is always time to improve it. Also remember it doesn’t have to contain the New York Marathon or Hawaii Ironman a to be worthy; any activity from dog walking, playing with your kids, aerobics, yoga, etc all count, so make sure you include those. If you haven’t done a lot of exercise prior to now and you want to correct that, be sure to start slowly to allow your body to adjust. A little each day/week will add up and enable you to do more and more. If you’re unsure of what you can/should do, always speak to a professional first, that is a doctor, personal trainer or coach of the activity you’re proposing to doing.
There are gaps in my fitness resume – it’s natural for there to be gaps in a fitness resume as people’s circumstances are constantly changing. Having children definitely interrupts even the most dedicated exercise pattern – when they’re newborns or toddlers, when they start sport, the endless school commitments or when they get a part-time job; what about when you get a new job or go through a career-focussed phase or if you start studying and even the change in season can impact an exercise regimes and it’s all completely normal. What you can’t do is allow these changes to permanently derail your exercise commitment because it by all accounts, it appears to be really important – your life can depend on it! If you’re in a lack-of-fitness rutt, the only way to make a change is to make a commitment and stick to it! It’s not always easy to start, but once you string together a few sessions it should get easier. These articles on goal setting might help too.
I’m concerned about the quality of my fitness resume – This is where an employment resume and a fitness resume couldn’t be further apart. Unlike your work history and professional goals, quality doesn’t really matter all that much; all that matters on a fitness resume is that you are doing something. As mentioned above, you don’t need to have a swag of marathon finishes to your name to have a good fitness resume, you just need to be doing something physical and you need to be doing it with some regularity – daily would be great, but multiple times a week is adequate. And if you have kids, while it may appear to be a good excuse, it’s not. You need to work around them or work with them to make it happen; walk or run in the morning before they get up or at night after they go to bed, walk to the local park a few days a week and actually play with them, take them for a bush walk or a bike ride on the weekend, take them with you to your gym, training or sport session (double benefit because they see you exercising and kids learn best by seeing what you do); there are limits of course, but they’ll sit happily with an iPad or colouring books while you do something/anything for 45mins or so.
I only found exercise late in my late 20’s as it wasn’t a focus in my house when I was growing up. Not long after I found it I had kids and exercise disappeared again. Both my wife and I packed on a few kilos until one day we decided it was time to get back into it and we haven’t looked back. While we’re now in our 40’s, we feel younger than ever and agree that we don’t function properly without a regular exercise session. Now not too many weeks go by when both of us don’t somehow manage to log 7 hours a week – that’s done by going for a run or a ride while the kids do their extra curricular activities or before they get up, after they go to sleep or taking them along (we’ve all been learning karate for 3 years now together). It’s not perfect, but we’re making it work and I strongly believe any family can too. After a short while it becomes a habit and when a habit is formed, a habit is hard to break; before long you’ll find you love it and can’t live without it. Enjoy making exercise become a habit and enjoy the benefits that come with it.