Busy moms across the world can identify with the comic above. We’re all so busy tending to the spilled milk, the form that needs to be signed for the teacher, the project that needs a piece of posterboard, the lunch that needs to be packed, the birthday gifts that need to be purchased, the prescriptions that need to be picked up, the clothes that need to be folded, the soccer unifrom that needs to be washed, the dishes that need to be done … whew! Where was I? Oh yes! Moms are busy!
So when do you find time to exercise as a busy mom? When I’m faced with questions like this, I often turn to my friends to seek their advice.
A running friend in my town who is a pediatrician and a mom of four shared that she runs at 2:00 am (with her running partner!). She commented, “It’s the only time that somebody doesn’t need me.” She’s an amazing and inspiring woman.
My family is very active with Big Buddy participating in mountain biking and training for half-marathons, and I’m an active runner. We both prefer to run first thing in the morning – early. But there’s usually not enough time for us to both exercise before he has to leave for work. So, we negotiate our mornings to take turns according to our training schedules. And, if you snooze, you lose – your morning that is. No adjusting the schedule, unless the other plans to snooze.
There are ways to incorporate fitness into your schedule. Here are some tips I’ve learned across the years, and I invite you to share your tips in the comments section.
Put your exercise time on the calendar.
Make sure to include your exercise time on the calendar as an item that is equal in importance to all other items. It’s especially helpful to be working from an established training plan. This will take the guess work out of how much you need to run or how far, and will facilitate easier schedule management. Even better, make a date to workout with a friend. That works wonders to keeping the commitment. Whatever you do, don’t put yourself last!
Exercise while the kids are at practice.
I am a mom who stays at all of the practices to be available. However, that doesn’t mean I need to be sitting on the sidelines in my camp chair. Most practices are held at athletic fields where it is easy to go for a run either on the field, or in a close but disconnected location so that your kids are not
embarrassed distracted by their mom running.
Find a gym that has a quality day care center.
The gym can save your sanity by allowing you to have a break to exercise. I found that my gym has a very nice day care, but they are overwhelmed with kids when popular classes are in session. My kids don’t like being in the day care when it is so crowded, so it works best if I go during off hours.
Participate in a Challenge
Many blogs sponsor monthly fitness challenges that are great ways to incorporate extra fitness into your daily routine. Kids love challenges and will encourage you to stay on track. In my #PlanksALot Challenge, my kids have participated and even chided me when I did not get my planks in!
Work Out At the Park
When you take the kids to the park to play on the jungle gym, you can sneak in some extra working out on the equipment as well!
Take the Kids For Bike Rides
Because Big Buddy is an avid mountain biker, we often find ourselves going on family bike rides. We may take our bikes out to the mountain bike trails, or we might ride our bikes to our local taqueria for breakfast on the weekend. It’s all part of incorporating an active lifestyle!
Monkey See, Monkey Do!
I’ve found that the more active I am as a mom, the more active my kids are. Today’s a great example of this. I want to get to the track to do some speedwork, and the kids are out of school for Presidents Day. I know I can convince the Fashion Queen and Miss Sassy Pants to come run with me, and I’m hoping Little Buddy will see the benefits of playing in the sandpit at the track.
What are your favorite tips for fitting exercise into your busy schedule? Share in the comments!
One Tough Mother Runner Scheduling Update
Instead of a daily blog post, One Tough Mother Runner is moving to a 3-days per week posting schedule (Monday, Wednesday, Friday). There will occasionally be posts on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday – but these will be short in nature (quotes, inspiration, jokes, etc.).
Keep reading – and keep running!
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