On day 4 of Women’s Month I want to chat about where and how to fit exercise into your routine as a busy, working mom (if this applies to you). Moms with small children find it very challenging to find the time for exercise. Here are some suggestions that work for busy moms who manage to fit exercise into their busy schedules and might also work for you:
- Timing Is Important. One tip is to do your exercise first before the day gets busy. Another tip is to do it in a time that is generally not used for working, such as lunch-time, or “RUNch time”. Where-ever you have a 30 min time-slot, use it.
- Plan To Exercise. Block a time-slot out in your diary. If you have an appointment planned, it is easier to show up and also easier to prevent other things from disrupting that time.
- How Will You Sweat? Don’t show up at the gym with no idea what you will do there. Plan your routine in advance or employ a coach or trainer to plan your work-outs for you, so that you can get there, do your stuff, and get back to your other responsibilities as soon as possible.
- Don’t Sweat The Outfit. Don’t spend too much time stressing about what to wear or how it looks on you. It is more important to sweat IN the outfit than about it!
- Include The Kids. If you will be spending most of your time with the kids, pick activities they can do with you. Cycling or going walking or skipping and playing games like cricket, soccer and swing ball on the lawn can be great work-outs and fun for the kids.
- Jungle Gym Boot Camp. Take your kids to the park or playground and turn the jungle gym into a boot camp. There are so many options for fitness training in a park with a jungle gym.
- Invest In A Running Stroller. If you have a small child, invest in a running stroller so that you can do your cardio walk / jog / run with the baby. They can be expensive, but there are many second hand strollers for sale, which are still perfectly functional.
- Break It Up. If you really can not find a spare hour to do your exercise, do several smaller sessions throughout the day. While the kids are watching their favourite TV program or eating lunch or having a nap, do some body-weight exercises or skipping. Three 20 minute sessions throughout the day makes up your hour and is sufficient to maintain your fitness.
- Ditch The Wheels. If you are close enough to walk to where you need to be, don’t take the car. Walk to school to fetch or drop of the kids. If you are office bound, include a walk in your lunch hour and take the stairs instead of the lifts or escalators.
- Build A Support Crew. Network with your friends and neighbours to build a like-minded group of people that share the same circumstances. Having a group to train with is very motivational. Another suggestion is having share-time with other moms – take turns watching the little ones while each mom gets a turn to exercise.
Remember, it is your responsibility to care for your body and maintain it in a healthy state. You can not pour from an empty vessel, so make sure you don’t forget to take care of yourself!