Fitting in fitness is hard enough as it is but when you work full time and have a family it may seem nearly impossible at times. From the time my daughter was born (she is 3 now) up until August I worked weekends and holidays only, which left me plenty of time to work out during the week if I planned appropriately. I used to say to all my friends who worked full time it’s not so hard to fit in exercise, just do it, I mean staying home with a baby is full time work too and if I can do it so can you!
In August I started back to work full time Monday through Friday 8-4 and everything I preached to others about fitting in exercise went right out the window. Between work, the kids, cooking, cleaning, and everything else working out just didn’t happen like I thought it would, not only because I was exhausted but I also felt guilty taking time for myself after working all day. I knew this had to change because I needed to exercise for both my physical and mental health without drowning myself in “mommy” guilt. I now schedule my workouts into my day leaving no excuses not to work out.
Here are my tips for fitting in fitness:
- Wake up early: I get up at 4:30 to get to the gym by 5:30 so I can get home by 6:45 and get to work by 8:00. When I first started working I was so exhausted I thought I couldn’t possibly get up this early, but with proper planning I am now able to get up and go to the gym. The key is in the planning, I have everything I need for the gym ready to go so when I wake up I don’t have to even think about it, I just get dressed and head out the door. If I am working out at home I make sure to have my workout area set up and if I am using a DVD it is queued and ready to go. The easier you make it for yourself the more likely you will get up and actually workout. The benefit of working out in the morning is that is done, if you wait until later in the day it becomes easier to make excuses not to workout.
- Work out after the kids go to bed: The last thing I want to do at 9 o’clock at night is work out but sometimes it is a necessary evil. There are times that my schedule doesn’t allow me to fit in an early workout or sometimes I am just too tired to get up so I am left with working out at night. t do not make this the norm because waiting until 9 o’clock at night is asking for trouble, the excuses build up and before you know you have missed your workout.
- Include the family: On the weekends and sometimes at night I try to include my family in my workouts. We go out for, walks, bike rides, rollerblading, swimming (in the summer) or to the park. I have a jogging stroller that I use when the weather is nice, I just strap my 3 year old up and go for a run or roller blading. Making fitness a family activity not only helps you find the time to fit it in but sets a good example for the rest of the family.
- Childcare: Use your spouse, mother, mother-in-law, babysitter, or anyone you can find and trust to watch your kids. Join a gym that has babysitting services or swap with a friend, one day you watch their kids and one day they watch yours. Your health is important and making it a priority is an absolute must, even if that means enlisting in help.
- Do what you can: Squeeze in workouts whenever, wherever and for however long you can. There may be days you only have 20 minutes and figure why workout? I say why not? 10, 15, 20 minutes is better than none. I have workouts ranging from 10 minutes to 90 minutes and depending on how much time I have that is what workout I will do. Working out on your lunch hour is another possibility if you can squeeze it into your day, whatever works!
- Schedule it: Your health is important so make appointments with your self to workout, you wouldn’t miss you child’s doctor appointments and you shouldn’t miss your workout appointments either. Put it on your family schedule so everyone knows this is your time to workout, no excuses!!
My name is Toni and I am a mother, wife, runner, blogger and RN. I blog about health, fitness and my life. I am passionate about running and am hoping to run my first full marathon in 2012. Follow me on my journey as I try to live my life to the fullest.
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