Finding the time to add fitness related activities into your day isn’t going to just magically happen. We have to commit to creating the time. It first takes a teeny bit of motivation, then some steady discipline and before you know it, you’ll be so pleased to have your healthy fitness habit.
Below are three tips to help make fitness a healthy priority.
1. Rise and Shine
The key to fitting in the time to exercise for most busy moms is to get up an hour earlier. Make an arrangement so that your partner takes care of the kids on the mornings you plan to exercise or get up an hour before your children usually do. I prefer to workout at the gym so I have access to more equipment and can focus on my fitness. But, there are times when I need to be home and use the equipment in my basement or do a walk/run in my neighborhood. One system that works for me is to lay out my gym clothes the night before. Select your outfit for the next day and have everything ready to go – if you put it by the front door or in the car you will be less likely to sleep in and skip your workout since it’s such a pain to go get everything and unpack it.
Don’t forget you need enough sleep to make getting up a possibility. You know what time you need to get up. Back that time up 7 hours, add in a little time for your evening bedtime routine and stick to this for 21 days to make your new habit.
Once your alarm goes off, whatever you do, don’t fall in the trap of looking at your social media or emails first thing in the morning. Just get up, get dressed, grab some water and get wherever you need to start your exercise. I promise the emails and news feeds will still be there an hour later. Focus on taking care of you first. Seize the day before it seizes you!
2. Sneak More Fitness in your Day
I’m a working mom like many of you. And I work in a fairly sedentary job. I sit at my desk or in meetings most of the day… 5 days a week. I’m constantly looking for ways to fit fitness in my workday. Here are a few things I do consistently, have tried, or plan to try:
- Take a brisk 10-15 min walk at lunch and soak up some Vitamin D.
- When you are meeting with one or two people have a walking meeting inside or outside the building.
- Ask your company if they will reimburse you for a standing desk. I have a Varidesk that I love!
- Park far away from the office entrance so you get extra steps on the way in and out of the office.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevators or escalators.
- Drink water to make lots of bathroom trips and force yourself to get up and move.
- Program your Fitbit or similar device to remind you when you have been sedentary for too long.
- Start a fitness challenge with your coworkers.
- Sit on a stability ball or stand on a stability disk.
- Ride a stationary bike while checking your email.
- Workout during kids’ practice or activity times.
- Do wall squats while you are blow drying your hair.
- Do some ab work while watching TV.
- Pace the house or office while you are talking on your cell phone.
All of these little changes add up to more movement than you had yesterday!
3. Involve your Friends & Family
On the weekends, I try to stay out of the gym and get outdoors! I love to hike a nearby Mountain trail or power walk the neighborhood with a friend. This gives us time to catch up and encourage each other.
My whole immediate family now owns a Fitbit. The kids got our old versions that didn’t have the heart rate monitor and Jason and I upgraded. We should have done this long ago as the kids are more receptive to walking the dog when they are getting credit for their steps and beating their parents’ step count in the process! I try to follow all my friends and family that have a Fitbit now that they have these great workweek and weekend challenges.
Fitness is not something that we can outsource. It’s also not something that we can put off or think that it’s going to magically happen on its own. I’ve witnessed firsthand with both my parents what putting off your personal health can do. I am choosing a different path. Particularly for a busy mom, it has to be scheduled on the family calendar. Make your plan for your specific workouts this week. Share this plan with your partner and children. Prioritizing your own health so you can better take care of your other responsibilities is a good thing.
Why not try a couple of the sneaky fitness tips above and incorporate them into your routine?
“They” say that it takes 21 days to make a new habit. I challenge you to commit to your 21 day stretch starting now. My recommendation is to determine which days are going to include your focused fitness, schedule them on your family calendar, and stick to this new routine for 21 days. I’m cheering for you!