The pic below sums it up pretty perfectly: “Someone busier than you is running right now”. Everyone is busy. Everyone has days when they legitimately can’t squeeze in a work out. But there are ways to make time. It just has to be high on your priority list. I talked a bit about how I juggle motherhood and workouts in yesterday’s post but here are few more tips for fitting in workouts:
1. Schedule Runs/Workouts on a Calendar
I do this. In fact, I keep a calendar for a lot of things. Blog posts, workouts, meal plan, family schedule. If you make it an appointment, you’re more likely to keep it. And it sure does feel good to check things off your to-do list!
2. Do it early
Get it over with. Otherwise, you spend the whole day thinking about whether you’re going to get in a workout and then the afternoon rolls around and you’re too tired or the day just gets away from you. I also prefer to do it early so I don’t have to get ready twice in one day. Early workout, shower, and then ready for the day. This might be at 5am if you work out of the house or want to work out before your kids are awake. For me with a baby who still gets up many nights, I often do it during the baby’s first nap around 9 am.
3. Be Flexible
Do what works with your schedule. Work around things that “pop up”. Schedule your workouts around planned special events (for example, Thanksgiving day I knew would be super busy since we hosted and had about 12 people staying in our house overnight, so I got up and worked out at 6am before every one got up!). And then I enjoyed my Thanksgiving meal and some wine with no guilt knowing I started the day with a good workout!
4. Think Quality, Not Quantity
A high-intensity 20 min run can be just as effective as a long walk. I find I burn about 100 calories per 10 minutes of running so 200 calories is pretty darn good for a 20 minute workout.
5. Fuel up on the go
Not only are the mornings chaotic trying to attend to all the kids, I’m also not a big breakfast person. But I know it’s important to eat in the morning to get my metabolism going and to fuel my workout so I usually drink a shake (I love the Organic ready to go shakes by Orgain. It’s my breakfast every morning and it’s light so I don’t have to wait to digest before I run/work out. For post-run I usually eat one of my kids Clif ZBars. Tasty and less calories than the adult version).
6. Take turns
With kids, everything is a juggling act. When we’re both home, the Hubs and I will take turns working out while the other one takes care of the kids.
7. Make it a Family Affair
On nice weekends, we pack up the kids and strollers and a lunch and head to a local trail and run there. There’s a great trail here that goes through the parks around the zoo. After we run, we head right into the zoo (which is free here in St. Louis!). A whole day of being outdoors that costs nothing and burns a lot of calories! Get creative and get the whole family involved.
This article also has a lot of great tips for fitting in workouts while managing a family.