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Last week I received an email from a reader with a GREAT post request. As a fellow busy lady with children, she wanted to know how I manage to make time for my workouts regularly…and do I ever feel like NOT working out?
Let me answer the last part of that question first. Uhh…YEAH! I have my times where the last thing I feel like doing is heading to the gym for a workout. In fact, this past Saturday would be one of those days. I did NOT want to go to cycle class. I even asked Makenzie if she thought I should go, figuring she would say “Stay home, Mommy!” and I could then have a viable excuse to opt out. Wouldn’t you figure the little bugger said to me, “I think you should go because the gym helps you be healthy and strong”. Gotta love when the lessons you teach your kids come back to bite you in the butt.
Did I regret it, though?
Nope! I felt a million times better for getting it done – so good in fact, that that’s when I came home and did that little workout I shared with you all yesterday. I was on a roll!
So, I certainly have my times where I either don’t feel like doing a workout or when finding the TIME for a workout poses many challenges. I know that I need that time, though. I need it for my own personal sanity and well-being…and apparently my actions do speak louder than words and are making a positive impact on my kids. Fitting in workouts brings way more positives than negatives to my life. That alone makes them a priority to me. However, that doesn’t mean it’s any easier to make it happen day in and day out.
So, how? Here’s how I personally almost always find the time to workout, even as a busy mom.
I plan ahead. It sounds trite, but it is SO true and necessary in order to be successful! I take a look at my weekly schedule and try to loosely plan my training. If that means an early wake-up call to workout before the kids get up, so be it. If it means working out during naptime and not having the time to write a blog post, so be it. If it means trying to keep my motivation up to do a workout in the afternoon after Peter gets home from work, so be it. I make a plan and I just do it.
I’m not afraid to get help. My gym offers child care that I use at least a couple times per week. I ask Peter and don’t feel guilty about having him watch the kids when he gets home from work so I can go for a run. I have a great sister-in-law who helps watch Braedon a few hours a week when Makenzie is in school so I can get work done. If I need to use some of that time for a workout, I will.
I make the most of my workout time. I have plenty of days where I have to cut a workout short or do something quick and to the point. I will use shorter workout DVDs – like Jillian Michaels’ or Jackie Warner’s – or put together a fast paced circuit to do at home, so I don’t have to use time driving to and from the gym or that I can fit in during nap times.I consider which workouts will get the most bang for my buck and do those.
I prioritize my workouts. I’m okay if I have to let go of some of my planned workout goals for a time. When training for races, I don’t fret if I can’t fit in as much strength training as I would like. I instead focus on fitting in the runs I need to do and move on. There have been other times when wanting to lose weight that I might have scrapped as much running and focused more on challenging weight workouts with short, intense cardio blasts. I make my workout fit my goals and my time.
If all else fails and I still want a workout, I workout WITH my kids. I have done a strength workout in my gym basement with Braedon crawling on my back as I do my planks or push-ups. I have had Makenzie sitting by my feet coloring as I do a set of squats. I have done rounds of plyometric drills while having my kids pretend to do them with me – Makenzie has a mean squat jump. I have even put a DVD on while I ran a few miles on the treadmill a few feet away from them.
Overall, I make my workouts a part of my lifestyle. They are a priority. I think a lot of times we may feel guilty for wanting to make time for the gym as a mother. I’m here to say that it’s OKAY to make that time. You can even make that as time WITH your kids – they think it’s FUN! You just need to take a look at where your workout time can fit in your life…then make it a habit. Who knows? Before you know it, your kid may be pushing YOU out the door to the gym. And then you may be the one coming back with more energy than when you left…and a smile on your face thankful for all the other times you fit in your workout and set that good example. Think about it.