Do you wake up each morning after 9 hours of restful sleep to the smell of fresh coffee brewing and the sweet sounds of your children helping one another get ready for the day?
DIDN’T THINK SO.
As moms our mornings are hectic and that pace usually doesn’t slow down all day.
I feel your pain – believe me. You are right-your kids do need you- They need you to be healthy so you can take care of them – and be there for their kids some day.
Personal fitness needs to be an item on your to-do list or you probably won’t do it. Most of us moms make a list of things to do for the day- add exercise to that list and make sure it gets checked off before you go to sleep. Believe it or not there are chances throughout the day where you can sneak in exercise even with small kids at home – stop rolling your eyes now . Here are a few ways I managed to find time to exercise when my kids(who are 13 months apart -so yes there were a few pretty rough years there) were home with me 24/7.
1. If you have the luxury – drop your kids off for 30min-1hr at the childcare in your local gym. I did not usually have this luxury b/c at least one of my kids screamed so loudly in protest when I brought them there I wouldn’t dare try that again! But if you have mellow kids – take it!
2. Take advantage of nap time – obviously if you completely exhausted you may need a nap yourself and you should take it. However if you are just feeling a little sluggish some exercise will boost your energy levels and make the rest of the day easier to get through.
3. Exercise before or after the kids go to sleep or when your husband gets home. I am a morning person so I would (crazy as it sounds) get up at 5 am to exercise. That worked for me. Some of us would be better served fitting fitness in after 5pm. If your husband gets home at a decent hour let him have some time with the kids – remember he hasn’t seen them all day and the kids would love some time with daddy – this is your chance! Grab another mom or two to join you. It’s a win-win for everyone. If that isn’t an option take 30 min after the kids go to sleep – you will be glad when you are done- promise.
4. Break out the stroller! If you have a jogging stroller great! Take a walk with a regular stroller is great too. If you want to run behind a stroller try to get a jogging stroller – consignment stores often have these. I have tried to jog behind a regular one and it didn’t work that well – especially my front/back double stroller, which I nicknamed “the train”. This is a great way to exercise with another mom as well if you don’t like to exercise by yourself.
5. Break out the dvds and entertain your kids with your exercise! There are two ways to do this. You can do the obvious and put a movie on for them which works great – most of the time. If you have a child that loves to be with you every minute despite what is on t.v. (that really is sweet but…. you have to check exercise off your list today remember) let them watch you exercise. I have done this one many times as my son (moms of boys you know what I mean) loved to be near me ALL the time. So I would put him in a safe spot and let him watch the exercise show. Yes they will laugh at you and ask you what and why you are doing this…. that’s okay. All the needs are being met – your kids are safe and entertained, and you are fitting in fitness for the day.
6. Swap exercise/free babysitting with another mom. This works great b/c you are getting fit, helping another mom get fit, getting free babysitting and letting your kids have a playdate – another win-win. This also works great for accountablity since you are coordinating with another mom. We all need encouragement, and this is a great way to encourage one another.
7. If you are at work all day- the lunch hour is your hour!! I know the lunch hour is your time to decompress or catch up on more work or talk with that co-worker. You should make time for stuff like that, but 2-3 days a week try to take even just 30 min of that time to go for a run/walk or if you are lucky go to the nearby gym. My husband has started this and was skeptical at first. He now looks forward to it, and it is just part of his schedule.
Exercise can become a good habit. Just keep at it! Pretty soon you won’t feel the same without it!
Did you exercise today?