Finding the time to exercise when you’re busy can be a challenge, especially if you have little ones. One mom shares 5 ways to fit exercise in your days (even if you are super busy) from the creative to the obvious, everyone can find time to squeeze in a little exercise!
One of my goals this year was to work out at least 4 times a week. If you have been following along with my monthly reviews you might have noticed that I haven’t been doing so hot at meeting that goal.
We all know that exercising is important for the health of our bodies and we know that it can greatly enhance our quality of life. We have all the knowledge and we know that it’s important. So what’s stopping us?
We are all busy. Our days are packed. Whether you work outside of the home or like me, stay home, time is limited.
Not only is time an issue but sometimes we are just dead tired.
I tend to believe the lie that if I’m tired, exercising will only make me more tired. But in truth it’s actually the opposite. Usually by just getting up and moving you are gaining more energy and your whole body will fill better and more energized.
So how do we fit in exercise as busy moms, wives, and professionals? Simply put (and yes, wait for it… my favorite word is about to pop up!)…
We have to be intentional and create the time.
5 Ways to Fit Exercise In, Even When You Are Super Busy!
Today I’m sharing some simple and even creative ways that you can carve in time to exercise and to make it a priority in your life. Here are 5 ways to fit exercise in your busy days.
1. Wake Up Early
I know, I know… no one wants to get up early, let alone get up early to exercise. But think through your day. Chances are that early mornings may be the only practical time to get in a good workout before the day even begins.
Two or three mornings a week I set my alarm for 5:00 am. I do my best to get up when the alarm goes off. I set out my workout clothes the night before so all I have to go is put them on. I prepare my water bottle the night before also and place it in the refrigerator so it’s ready to go too. I head out to an early morning Jazzercise class. I make an arrangement with my husband so that I can leave the house and workout a few mornings a week, he gets up early the other mornings.
I have a plan in place.
Maybe you get up early and leave for the gym too, or maybe you go for a run around the neighborhood. Or maybe you get up early to use your own personal workout equipment at home either through a DVD, personal weights or a treadmill. The possibilities are endless, the point is that you make the choice to get.up.early.
Think about it, when you rise before the kids you have time to yourself. You can get a workout in, you can start your day with purpose, you can be ready to greet your children when they do wake up.
Yes waking up early is hard, but you are putting your personal health first and making it a priority to get a workout in.
If you are new to waking up early to workout don’t set the bar so high that you will fail. Aim for one or two mornings at first. If you find that you enjoy working out first thing in the morning, you can add more time in. I also highly recommend this course to helping you implement a morning routine.
As I mentioned above, I wake up at 5:oo am a few mornings a week. I go to Jazzercise and am home by 6:30 to hop in the shower and am dressed and ready for the day by 7:00 am. Usually my kids wake up anywhere between 7:00 and 8:00, they aren’t really predicable 🙂 So depending on when they wake up, I usually get time for my Bible reading, planning for the day and sometimes even some writing/computer time. I am much more productive on the mornings where I make the choice to get up early and exercise.
If you need a little more motivation towards rising early, I also highly recommend Kat, from Inspired to Action, eBook Maximize Your Mornings (free to email subscribers). She walks you through the process of creating a morning routine to include working out.
2. Get Moving By Walking
You’ve heard it before,“A body in motion, stays in motion” so get moving!
Walking for just 30 minutes a day can greatly improve your health and help maintain a healthy body weight. Best of all if you have kids they can come walking with you! No need for a babysitter or to pay for the childcare at the gym.
I have a great double jogging stroller that I load up both kids in and head out for a walk a few times a week. Do the math, my kid’s combined weight is close to 65+ pounds that I am pushing through our neighborhood, which also has a lot of hills. It’s a good workout and my kids love the ride.
Sometimes I don’t even take the stroller and we just walk together, sure I’m not really busting a sweat but I am moving and so are they. We are outside together, walking, exploring nature. I am modeling for them the importance of getting outdoors and moving.
Walking is also a great activity to do with friends because while you are walking you usually are getting some uninterrupted mommy time by visiting. Workout plus adult conversation equals double the benefits! I have even heard of stroller clubs where you can sign up and walk with a group of other mothers to make new friends.
Also don’t discredit the regular walking you do every day. Purchase a pedometer (I personally use and a love my FitBit to record my steps among other things) to record your steps and get into the habit of trying to take a certain number of steps a day. To make it easier there are a few things you could do to help including taking the stairs whenever possible or parking a little farther away.
3. Use TV Time for Strength Training
We are not a TV free house, though there are some limits we have in place. I’m also not opposed to vegging out watching a favorite show or two but how about multi-tasking and putting that TV time to good use?
While cardio exercise (like running, walking or aerobics) are important, so is strength training. The old advice was to use commercial time to do squats, crunches or weight training with small handheld weights but these days thanks to live streaming or the use of DVR’s to record shows, watching commercials is almost non-existent.
But you can still use the time you are watching TV for good.
Purchase a small set of hand held weights or a resistance tube to do some strength training intervals. You can also do squats, lunges, crunches, core work on a stability ball, Pilates or yoga moves all while watching your favorite show.
I have a three ring binder where I keep various magazine clips of at-home workout moves using very little equipment that I can do anytime anywhere. Pinterest, even YouTube, is also a great resource for easy strength training moves you can do at home.
Make it a goal to spend the first 10 minutes of your show to get your strength training in then reward yourself with some wonderful stretches as you complete your favorite program. Productive multi-tasking at it’s best!
And another extra benefit, if your body is moving when watching TV then you are less likely to mindlessly snack and undo all of your hard work from the day!
4. Purchase a Gym Membership (if the budget allows)
Sometimes the best motivation to workout is by actually purchasing a gym membership. No one likes to throw away money so usually if you purchase a membership you are more inclined to use it.
This doesn’t always work for everyone though and sometimes the budget is too tight to even allow for this extra expense, but if the budget does has a little wiggle room that could be just the motivation you need.
My husband and I each pay for a membership, he goes to local fitness center where as I pay for Jazzercise. We set up our budget to allow for this monthly expense. We also know that we are both prone to not workout at home so we have to have the motivation to get outside of the house to workout.
If you’re not sure you would like working out at a gym you can always look to see if they offer a one month trial, which is usually a cheaper rate and doesn’t penalize you for canceling a yearly contract. Also community centers are usually much cheaper than the state of the art fitness centers, but do look around and compare rates if you have a few gym options nearby.
Sometimes Groupon, or other daily deal sites, have deals on gym fees too, so look around and ask your friends. Sometimes you can get a referral rate if a friend or family member workouts at the gym too.
Another benefit to waking up early to workout is that you don’t have to pay to use the childcare facilities at the gym if you have a husband is who is willing to stay home in the mornings too. This is why my husband and I have an arrangement to switch off in the mornings and rotates who gets to workout early.
5. Get Moving. Period
Whether you go to the gym or go on a walk, it’s important to just get moving everyday. Sometimes just doing basic chores around the house will get your blood pumping. Some other ideas include:
- Turn on your favorite uplifting music and dance while you do your chores
- Have an impromptu dance party with your little ones.
- Go to the park and actually play with your kids instead of just sitting on the bench watching them.
- Ride bikes together as a family in the evening
- Go on nature walks together
- Blow bubbles and run through them to see who can pop the most
- Get in the pool together and splash and swim around with them while they swim.
- Play tag together.
- Jump with them on the trampoline.
- Push or pull them in a wagon (trust me that alone is a full workout!) or stroller
You get the point… get your body moving everyday, several times a day.
Be an example to your kids that exercise is important. Plus by some of these mentioned above, you are not only lightly exercising, you are spending time building up your family which is just as important.
So whatever method you prefer, there are lots of ways you can get your body moving everyday to help improve your health and maintain a healthy body weight, even for us busy women, wives and/or mothers.