Top 10 Tips for Finding Time to Exercise
I know finding time to exercise can fall to the wayside in the midst of grocery shopping, cleaning, working, paying the bills and being your child's personal assistant...just to name a few. There is no doubt that you are busy and you are tired, but exercise is a must...there's no weight loss tip or trick around that. So, here are some tips I have used for finding time to exercise and fighting the battle of the bulge.
- Make It a Priority:
I know you've heard this one before, but I made it number one for a reason. Exercise and being healthy has to become a priority in your life...there are way too many benefits for it not to be. Finding time to exercise has to become a priority for you. Treat it just like a doctor's appointment or, even better, your child's nap time (so sacred...you moms know what I mean). Schedule it into your day and hold yourself to it. That brings me to number 2...
- Make a Plan:
Take a week or so to write down how you spend your days. Then, see where you could fit in your "ME" time. Do you have time in the morning? What about nap time? Pick 3-5 different time slots...come on, I know you can give me 30-45 minutes 3-5 times a week!
- Combine Cardio and Strength Training:
This is one of my favorites...it kind of makes me giddy. This is a huge time saver and really helps when focusing on finding time to exercise! We are busy, so get the most bang for your buck. Strength training is the number one way to lose weight...it's a fact. However, who has time to lift weights for 45 minutes and then run for 45 minutes. By performing strength training exercises in a circuit you will build lean muscle, while keeping your heart rate up for an added aerobic workout. Remember, according to The BIGGEST LOSER's Jillian Micheals , "When done properly, circuit training builds lean muscle and improves aerobic fitness simultaneously, making it nothing less than the most effective fat burning workout." Not to mention, this style allows us to fit in more exercises in a shorter period of time...finding time to exercise just got a little easier! Try these predesigned Workouts.
- Make It Fun:
Pick something you like to do, load up your IPOD and have fun doing it. If you don't like to run, don't torture yourself...do the elliptical. If you like to swim, find a gym with a swimming pool...and childcare. If you're going to stick to it, then you have got to find something your enjoy or make it enjoyable. Music is big for me. I love to put my favorite songs into playlists...it motivates me on my longs runs and rides. Regardless, make it your "ME" time and enjoy it. That leads me to my next tip...
- Find a Workout Buddy:
Oh, how I hate working out alone. Finding time to exercise isn't so hard when you do it with a friend. It is a million times more fun to workout with someone. Even more, a workout buddy keeps you accountable. If you are suppose to meet your friend after work or in the morning for a run, you are less likely to bail, or hit that snooze button if you know someone else is depending on you. Not to mention, it's a great time to catch up...something that also becomes hard with kids.
- Find a Gym with Child Care:
Now, this really is gold. If you can find a good gym with child care there are no excuses when it comes to finding time to exercise. You can exercise at anytime. It really does provide you with a good break. Added bonus...you can probably shower there too, in peace.
- Find a Good Group Fitness Class:
This is kind of like having 20 workout buddies...again, accountability and much more fun! So, if you can find a gym with child care, check out their group fitness schedule. Most gyms have a wide selection from cardio kickboxing and Pilates, to boot camp style classes (AWEEESOMMMME!). Added bonus, if you have a good instructor, it's like having a personal trainer without the hefty bill. You can ask him or her all kinds of questions.
- Take Advantage of Nap Time:
Nap time is so sacred in my household. I use it to do laundry, shower, check up on emails, and workout. When I can't make it to the gym, I use this time to do an "at home" workout. In 45 minutes, I can combine cardio and strength training for a kick butt workout and still have time to spare for a shower, and even a few emails. Don't know where to start? Try this predesigned at home workout...no equipment needed!
- Workout with your Kids:
One of my top barriers to finding time to exercise is the guilt sometimes associated with being away from my son. I fixed that by making him my workout buddy. From the get-go, my son and my jogging stroller were my two best friends. I can't even begin to tell you how many miles we walked and ran together. You can also do lunges, squats and pushups all while they are in the jogging stroller. They love the scenery and mom gets a workout in...a win-win situation. My son is two and still loves to go for a run. Talk about a kick butt workout when you're pushing 40 extra pounds!
- Buy a baby carrier (again, lunges, squats, long walks...perfect)
- Buy a baby trailer that you pull behind your bike
- Sign up for a mom-and-me class or mom-and-baby yoga class
- As they get older, have them ride their bike while you run next to them...challenge them to try and beat you during your interval sprints
- Put together what my son calls "Dance Time". We pump up the music and dance around the house for 20 minutes while dinner cooks (throw some squats, lunges and pushups in there...Griffin thinks that is hilarious)
- Play a family game of soccer, basketball or tag
The options are endless and a great way to get moving more and rev up that metabolism. With childhood obesity on the rise, this really isn't a bad idea. Kids tend to mimic our behaviors. So, if we include them in our exercise they are more likely to value exercise and health.
- Try Mini-Workouts:
If finding time to exercise for 30 solid minutes is still a problem, try 3 ten minute mini workout sessions. You could start out your day with 10 minutes of leg work (squats, lunges, jump lunges, etc)before the kids wake up. Squeeze in 10 minutes of upper body and core work during nap time and finish out the day with a 10 minute interval walk or run. This is hard for me because I like to get my workout done all at once or it weighs on me throughout the day. Still, I have heard a lot of people have success with this style, especially when they are just getting started.
- Exercise First Thing in the Morning: I don't do this one often but it is definitely worth mentioning. Research shows that those that commit to working out first thing in the morning are less likely to skip a workout. Things come up throughout the day and by the time night comes around you might be "too tired" to go for that run. Believe me, I'm a morning person and rolling myself out of bed an hour early is even hard for me to do sometimes. Still, I always feel awesome after I do. Those endorphins are flowin', I'm in a better mood, and fitting that workout in isn't weighing on me all day. So, if you can't fit it in anywhere else, this option definitely has its positives!
It's time to start putting yourself first, making it a priority and finding time to exercise. It will make you feel better and you'll be a better mom for it!
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