Making time to Workout
One of the most frequent questions I get from moms is how to fit in time for regular exercise. Between work, kids activities, time with family/friends, chores, and limited sleep I see this as a big issue for lots of moms - Including myself!
Before I had children I would workout or do something active 5 or 6 days a week. Missing one day seemed odd. I used to think people just made excuses for why they couldn’t make the time. My view totally changed once I got busier with work and had kids! I barley had enough time in the day to get everything done. I would feel guilty if I didn’t fit in a workout or run. It was either I workout or do laundry, get groceries or miss out on sleep…
Now my priorities have changed. Being active is very important to me but it does not take priority over my family. Over the last 4 years I have learned ways that have worked for me to keep me active and happy!
1.) Only do workouts you ENJOY! This is so important. Too many people will do a workout they dread to just burn calories or get a workout. Life is too busy and short to do a workout you loath. I love running, lifting weights, hiking, going to workout classes and playing sports so that’s what I do to stay active. I do not enjoy yoga or dance classes so you will not see me doing those activities very often if at all. Even though Yoga is amazing and has a ton of benefits and I could use some practice with my dance moves… I have a limited amount of time now with a young family so I have decided to only do activities I really love and enjoy. These activities will look different for every women.
2.) Having said that, try something new! Whether you are an exercise guru or just starting out, increasing the diversity of your activities will result in a well-balanced workout regime. I get caught up in doing the same activities or workouts over and over and I get bored. My brother recently visited and invited me to a Jiu jitsu class. Normally I would not have gone, but I wanted to spend time with my brother and thought trying something new causes no harm. Turned out I really enjoyed the class and will go again!
3.) Having workouts written and set so you don’t have to think of what you are going to do. Busy moms have a lot going on and sometimes even having to think of a workout will be enough of a deterrent. I am very lucky that my husband has experience writing programs so I asked him to make my program I follow. I write programs for women all the time so I had a hard time taking the time and writing myself one.
4.) Join a workout class or activity - Sometimes it’s hard to get moving and take away time from your kids. Once I’m at a class or workout I feel so much better being able to focus only on myself and move.
5.) Keep workouts short - Not every women has a home gym or time to bring their children to classes every time, but you can do a lot from home with very little equipment! You also don’t need to spend hours working out! I usually do 2 longer workouts a week (one hour long) and 2 shorter workouts a week (20-30mins). Even if you have 10 minutes to do a little workout! This brings me to my next point…
6.) “All or something”- This is one of my favorite saying I learned from Healthy Habits Happy moms. (Follow them on Facebook if you don’t already!) If you don’t have time to do a full workout or go to the gym it’s better to do something then nothing. The fitness industry can push “all or nothing” on people and realistically this does not work great for lots of people. If you only have 10 minutes in a day then that’s fine! Go for a walk, dance with yours kids, do some kettle bell swings. Just do something! Once that 10 minutes is over stop and move on with your day or if you feel good then continue the workout.
7.) Be realistic with your goals - Currently my goals are to feel good and strong. I have no goals of having a six pack or stepping on stage as a bikini competitor so my workouts reflect that.
8.) Balance - Really think on what makes you happy. Working out 7 days a week and being 10lbs leaner or working out a few days less and eating a bit more treats with your family? Everyone’s goals are different and should be based on what they want for overall health, not what they think they should be doing.
9.) Workout for yourself. No one else.
10.) Don’t compare yourself to others! I wrote a blog post about this earlier if you want to read J
Overall I always encourage movement, but that movement is different for everyone. Do what makes you feel good! Consistency is key. Exercise should not be done to solely look good. Moving is about feeling good, having energy, being functional, and increase your mood. Changing your body composition is just a small effect of what exercising can do for you.
Find something you love and stick with it! Even for just a few minutes a day. ;)