As a mom, it can be difficult to find time to exercise, especially if you work full- or even part-time. You have to get everyone ready in the morning, pack lunches, drop the kids off at school or childcare, go to work, pick the kids up, take them to any extracurricular activities, and then hurry home to get dinner on the table (not to mention helping with homework, if you have older children). By the time everything is done, you are probably too exhausted to even think about exercising. If you don’t work, your day can be even busier: You have housework, laundry, grocery shopping, errands to run, bills to pay, or finishing any other projects around the house. Being at home is a full-time job, too! How can you incorporate exercise into your already jam-packed day?
I schedule exercise into my day and make other plans around it. Working out is such a part of who I am, I couldn’t function without it! Since I do CrossFit, they only have certain class times throughout the day. I go to the 4:00 p.m. class and bring Keenan with me. He plays with the other children in the kids’ area while I work out (rather, get my butt kicked) for an hour. It’s great, because I get “me time” as well as my exercise in, while Keenan gets to play; it’s a win-win for both of us! Since Keenan naps from 12:30 to around 3:30, he eats a snack and then we head to the gym Monday-Friday. When we have something in the afternoon, we go to CrossFit in the morning. Most importantly, I look at my calendar at the beginning of the week to see what we have going on and then schedule my work-outs accordingly.
If you work outside of the home, have you thought about including exercise into your 9-5 work schedule? What about making an appointment with yourself at lunch time and joining a gym that is close to your office? Pack your gym clothes the night before, go to the gym during your lunch, do a 30-45 minute workout, take a quick shower and be back at the office in an hour. Make sure to bring a lunch or at least some snacks you can eat at your desk afterward. Or, take two 15-minute brisk walking breaks, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
If you are at home with the kids and can’t get away to a gym, get up an hour before your children wake up and go for a jog, bike ride or put on a fitness DVD. If the thought of getting up early makes you cringe, join a gym that has childcare and take the kids with you. They can play for an hour while you work out. Or, you can always exercise while your children are napping, doing a quick exercise DVD. Also, you can always include your children in your workout by going for a jog while your little one rides along in your stroller, such as a BOB (Keenan loves riding in the BOB while I jog!). By including your children in your workouts, they see you modeling healthy habits, so not only are you spending time together, but they see you taking care of your health.
Don’t let the excuse of not having enough time in your day be the reason you don’t exercise. Make time! In order for you to be the best mom that you can be, you need to take care of yourself by scheduling “me” time! Remember, by exercising, you are also being a healthy role model for your children, which helps them develop healthy habits as they get older.