How can moms find time to work out?
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Staying active while being a parent can be a challenge, but it's not impossible. Especially when you have children of various ages, finding time to work out can seem harder than ACTUALLY working out. In the past, I've experimented with working out early in the morning before the kids wake up, sneaking in workouts during naps, or working out after they go to bed. I've also squeezed in strength building exercises throughout my day - doing some stair leg exercises as I'm heading upstairs, abduction exercises while brushing my teeth, and squats while flying my 30-pound preschooler on my feet like superman while I'm laying on my back. Now that my kids are older, I've managed to get them involved in my workouts, which can make it fun for all of us. They love moving around trying to exercise with me, cheering Mommy on, and they burn off a little energy in the process.
Motherhood is MY workout. But it's not enough given the need I have for the companionship of delicious, deeelicious food.
The BEST thing I've ever done was found a bunch of moms that wanted to workout too. We did it through our church. Three times a week we'd bring our kids to the basketball court in our building. We worked it out that the kids had a play area that we could see, but couldn't get hit with what was coming...
...a hockey ball. We played indoor hockey.
It was the most fun thing I think I've ever done. We'd play for close to TWO HOURS and it would go by shockingly fast. We always had subs, so the mom that was out, would wrangle the children until it was her turn to go back in (usually in four minute shifts). It was excellent!
The best thing I think you can do is to take some time for yourself. I needed that time. I needed to let out some of my stress and pent up aggression. Find another mom. Workout together or swap kids so each of you can work out separately.
I'd like to write about my activities with my daughters. Sorry, I am an ordinary father in Japan, however I may have much more opportunities to be with my daughters. I believe that being with them is the most precious time of all. So I always take them out seating them on my Mama Bicycle. To a park, a river side to go fling a kite, a grocery shop, a library, a meet shop, a school, a Karaoke bar, a temple and every where I can go briefly. Recently I took them Sento. I would appreciate if you check these all activities on my blog. http://mamabicycle.blogspot.com/ Thank you.
For me, I try to find time to work out by getting my kids involved in some kind of cardio activity. Whether I'm chasing them around my apartment being the "Tickle Monster" for 20 mins, or I turn on some music and we just go "bananas" dancing and jumping around for 20-30 minutes. It gives me a workout and helps them burn some energy...which tires all of us out!
I also try to only do activities I like (yoga, dance) because I find that if I like it, I'll actually make time for it.
I love these answers, they are all really helpful. I'm going to try some of these out myself.
I love all these answers! I'm honored to be a part of this great community of wisdom!!
I do think that making exercise a treat instead of another thing you should do but really don't want to is key. We are constantly thinking we are bad people that should be doing this and this and this. Gentleness is the key here! The more you are gentle with yourself, the more likely you are to change. It seems counter-intuitive, but it works! Give yourself permission to take a day off. Shifting your inner voice from "I am so lazy and fat" to "I choose health and strength" motivates exercise as a treat. You can do it!
I would have to say that for me, it is a necessity as it helps with my mind just as much as with my body. For someone who has experienced PND, it helped with my recovery and its time that is just for me or I also have a gym buddy that I go with.
I tend to either go in the morning at 06:30am and usually run/walk 5k and i make sure that I do some weights and am probably there for approx 1 hr or even longer depending on what day due to having more time if my daughter is at nursery and I am at work. I find I would rather go to the gym rather than the cinema ect depending on my mood and I have to say that it certainly makes me much brighter and happier after finishing a work out. I feel that at times when I have not wanted to go , especially when tired, I am glad that I did as my energy levels go through the roof.. I think if we can make time for illnesses, we can make time to work out.
Oh, there are so many TABO (True And Bleedingly Obvious) suggestions around this topic! Of course it helps to find a gym that offers child care or use a workout video when the baby is napping. But not everyone has access to a gym, other child care or a baby who naps predictably and soundly.
My first suggestion is actually a permission slip. You hereby have the right to completely redefine your workouts. Short workouts still count.
You don't have to do the same workouts that were possible for you before children. Fitting in 10 minutes of core workouts like crunches or lunges is far better for your body and mental clarity than nothing. A 15-minute bike ride or run is enough to clear your head and get you out of mommy mode for a while.
My second suggestion is to do appliance workouts. While an appliance with an automatic shut-off is running, get moving. You'll feel virtuous for multitasking without having your attention pulled in two different directions!
For a quick workout, get moving while the rice cooker or coffee maker is running. For a longer workout, use a dishwasher, washing machine, or dryer.
Most of all, consider looking at workout time as a treat. A time to breathe. A time to get outside your usual responsibilities and the worries rattling inside your head. You'll be more likely to make time for exercise if you see it as a relief rather than one more thing you oughta do before you can sleep.