We all agree that routine exercise creates a healthier more balanced self. Who doesn’t want that?! The number one reason women say they don’t workout is because they don’t have enough time.
Well, unfortunately, I cannot show you how to add more hours to your day. However, I can offer the next best thing, a few simple strategies for busy moms to find the time to work in your fitness workout.
Wake Up A (Little) Earlier
The early bird not only gets the worm, she also get’s the workout done! Yes, sufficient sleep is essential to keep you functioning at your best. The National Sleep Foundation recommends between 7 and 9 hours for most adults. So keeping that in mind, start with getting up a half hour earlier and heading out for a brisk walk or jog through your neighborhood. For something slightly more ambitious, like a trip to the gym, getting to bed earlier the night before may be needed to ensure those necessary Zzzzs. Whether long or short, a morning workout will start you off with a feeling of accomplishment and boost your energy for the rest of the day!
Turn Off the TV
According to the A.C. Nielsen Co., the average American watches more than 4 hours of TV each day. That’s 28 hours a week… need I say more?! Instead of decompressing with the television after work, stop by the gym instead. The late afternoon workout will help you shake off the stresses of the day and leave you more relaxed for your family.
Alternatively, after dinner, instead of camping on the couch, grab your kids and head outdoors for a walk or a bike ride. This is a great way to relax and reconnect with one another, and offers healthy benefits your whole family will enjoy.
Pencil it In
Okay, forget the pencil…and grab your sharpie! Schedule your workouts in advance. Take a few minutes at the beginning of each week to plan your workouts on your calendar. That’s right, treat them like appointments and you’re more likely to stay on track.
Make it a Part of Your Weekly Routine
Repetition can be habit forming… Assuming that’s true (and I believe it is!)…use it to your advantage. Start slow by committing to three workouts a week…and stick to it! One way to keep yourself motivated and on task is to set a goal. You might consider registering for a local 5K, at 3.1 miles this is a reasonable distance for most people. Additionally, most 5Ks offer a shorter “fun run” for children, which makes it a great family activity.
Workout On Your Lunch Break
Create a working lunch…and get the workout in! If you’re lucky enough to have a gym at your place of work, or close by, take advantage of the proximity and spend a half hour or so getting your heart rate up. Get a dose of camaraderie and cardio, by heading out the door with some of your co-workers for a brisk walk. An afternoon work out is just what you need to improve overall health and power through the rest of the work day!
Do Something You Enjoy
Working out is more than just sweat equity, it’s about a healthier, more enjoyable, quality of life. Now more than ever fitness is fun! Look into the offerings of your local gym and you’ll find everything from Zumba (a super fun, high energy, dance workout) to indoor cycling classes. Check out a kickboxing or Pilates video from your library, and turn your living room into your own personal fitness studio. Grab a couple friends and create your own running group. The key is to work hard and enjoy the process!
No matter how busy your schedule is, finding a few minutes a day to exercise is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and ensuring that you take care of yourself in the midst of taking care of your family.
We want to hear from you! How do you manage to find the time to work in your workout? What strategies for fitting exercise in have worked for you and which ones have not?