Parenting is Not a Workout

Flickr: Photo by ericmcgregor

Hold onto your jiggly thighs Mom. Parenting is not a workout.

At least that's what a super small study out of an Iowa college is telling us.


MSNBC reports the study, presented to the American College of Sports Medicine, tracked 58 moms with wearable monitors to track their physical activity for a week. The data was compared to questionnaires the women filled out on how much they thought they were moving around during the day -- just chasing their kids.

You know what's coming. The data just didn't line up. Only about a third of the women got the recommended amount of physical activity in their day, and there was an increased likelihood of hitting the guidelines if they actually set aside time to exercise rather than counting on the run to rescue toys from the toilet before a tot hits "flush."

At first I was inclined to disagree with this study. I'm exhausted at the end of the day, and running after my daughter is a big part of it all. But stepping back from my contrariness, I have to admit a few things.

  1. Walking with someone with such short legs doesn't really get your heart rate pumping.
  2. Much of the exhaustion is borne of frustration -- the 15th request for her to clean up the puzzle pieces, the 12th plea to just stop putting tutus around the dog's neck.
  3. My days of "real" exercise are limited with a child who wants to sit on me while I do sit-ups.
  4. Once she was out of a stroller, my days of taking the kid along for my power walk were over.

Literally running after our kids takes its toll. But do the math -- how much time do you spend "running," and how much of it do you spend sitting on the living room floor watching them burn off all that energy?

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