Fitting in Fitness: Working Out When You Don’t Have Time

Let me start with some truth here: I’m writing this post as a fairly new CONSISTENT exercise enthusiast.
I’ve been “active” all my life – I played sports growing up, I’ve run some 5k’s here and there, and once I even {somehow} completed a half marathon that I was completely unprepared for. I’ve always known the importance of getting my body moving.
But somewhere along the way, I let myself forget HOW important it was for my overall well-being, and I just stopped. I didn’t make exercise a priority in my life, and instead I made ALL the excuses – the main one being my kids. When they were tiny – how could I possibly leave them to go work out? I was nursing, after all – they might neeeed me! (Let me pause for an eye roll at five years ago me and my stash of pumped milk in the freezer that my husband was perfectly willing to/capable of warming up.) And as they’ve gotten a little older, schedules are busier, so where does a workout fit in? If you’re a parent, maybe you can relate to this. If you’re not, maybe your work schedule, a lack of motivation, or any other number of things is keeping you from hitting the gym.
Honestly, the reason doesn’t matter. Whatever our excuses are, we have to push past them and find a way to get our bodies moving, because the benefits are just too good to pass up. When we’re letting other things get in the way, we’re missing out on increased energy levels, improved mood, better sleep quality, wearing our favorite jeans from high school that we’ve kept ‘just in case’… the list goes on.
Getting it done on the regular will look different for everyone, but the idea is the same. You just have to decide it’s important to you and make it happen.
For some people, that might mean scheduling a workout into their calendar at a certain time on particular days of the week. For me, it looks more like getting it in where it fits in as often as possible – preferably every day. So if the former works for you, pick your days and times (even if it’s 5:00am – ugh) and put them down in ink.
If you relate more to the latter, and especially if you have little ones, check out this list of ideas to get it in where it fits in (and have fun while you’re doing it!)
Get it in where it fits in:
    • Put on a Kids Yoga DVD for your little ones (mine LOVE this one) and slip into the next room for your own yoga sesh.
    • Wake up earlier than everyone else (even if you don’t want to) and hit the gym, go for a jog, throw on a workout DVD – whatever works for you – just knock it out early so the craziness of the day won’t keep you from getting your sweat on.
  • Make your workout a fun activity to do WITH your kids – let them hang on you like a koala while you do squats, have one sit on your back and count while you do pushups, teach them the yoga poses you’re doing – the possibilities are endless here! (I’ve done all of these things, by the way – my kids have a blast!)

    • Baby or toddler? Put him in a stroller and walk the neighborhood – or if one is older, let her ride her bike or scooter while you walk/jog.
    • Pick something you love to do – biking, rollerblading, whatever – and find a moment to do it solo or make it an after dinner activity with the family.
  • Use what you’ve got – kids chair? Cool, you can do step ups – and grab some dumbbells for an extra challenge. (The one I’m using here isn’t the sturdiest, so my extra challenge was really just trying not to fall.)

    • Work out at the play park! Play parks have so many ways to get you moving while your kids are having fun. Monkey bar pull ups anyone? Triceps dips on the bench? (Who cares if a judgey mom is eyeing you – invite her to join!)
  • Set your alarm for 20 minutes earlier than normal and try this workout right when you wake up (no equipment required):
    1. 2 sets of 15 squats
    1. 20 second plank
    1. 2 sets of 20 jumping jacks
    1. 2 sets of 5 push ups
  1. 10 lunges on each leg
The options are endless – but what it really comes down to is wanting it. It took me a while to get to this place, but once I decided I WANTED to do this for my own physical and mental well-being, it became much easier, and now there’s no turning back. I’m definitely not perfect (by a LONG shot) but now, instead of making excuses, I make time. And I haven’t been healthier or happier in a hot minute.
Do you have any tips for fitting in fitness? Drop one in the comments!

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