Pretty much everyone finds it challenging to stick to a certain workout routine, but for busy mums, it can sometimes feel like a near impossibility. Between taking care of your kids, household chores, workplace demands, school, doctor’s appointments and all the rest, finding time to exercise often seems impossible. Difficulty aside, there is no avoiding the fact that exercise is vital for a happy healthy life. So to that end, we’ve put together some helpful hints on how you can manage to fit exercise into your day.
Without further delay – because I know you’re quite busy – here are some tips on how you can find time to exercise as a busy mum, (and still keep your sanity, I promise).
1. Create a Home Gym
Forget your gym or health club membership; nothing beats the convenience that comes with having a home gym. Between diaper-changing, homework-helping, career-juggling, and dinner-making, you might not easily find time go to the gym.
Setting up a customized exercise space in your house or backyard can allow you to crank up some busy mums exercise as early or late as you want. You can also find time in between your daily chores to squeeze in some minutes of cardio. It doesn’t have to be something fancy, all you really need is some space, a jump rope, a workout mat, a couple of dumbbells and some good music.
2. Remember the Importance of Motivation
We all think about the energy our body needs to sustain us through exercise, but what about the energy our mind needs to keep at it? Motivation is the fuel your mind requires to be able to power on through things that may not seem pleasant at times, despite being necessary. Motivation is often neglected, but it is key to success in just about every human endeavour. Print out a motivating photo, like playing sport with your kids, or whatever reminds you of your motivating desire. Put that image somewhere you will see it every day around exercise time, and you’ll find everything happens a lot easier.
3. Include Your Kids
It’s quite difficult to find time for workout alone without kids, but maybe you don’t really need it. Instinctively, kids love to move. If you workout with your kids, they will soon learn that workout is important to you, and they will soon be looking forward to the workout sessions. As your kids grow older, workout sessions can be a great bonding time.
If your baby is not old enough to participate in the workout, (say 1 to 2 years), you can use them as a weight for your squats. There are many other ways of involving your kids and making the whole thing a fun bonding session.
4. Audit Your Schedule
Most people who work out regularly don’t actually find time; they just “take” time. Everyone has some chunks of unused time in their day. Think of those minutes you spend rereading emails, checking out Facebook, or cleaning. You need to take a closer look at how you spend your time each day and figure the activities you could “take” some time off from. Whenever possible, you can lump all these chunks of free time together and use it for your exercise.
5. Don’t Beat Yourself Up
While you want to try your best and stick to your home workout schedule, it’ important to note that there are days when your schedule will just crumble. To a busy mum, life happens in form of tantrums, sick days and all forms messes that will need cleaning. There are days when you will only have 20 minutes instead of the planned 45 minutes of workout. You will need to accept this fact and make the best of the time you have at the moment and put extra minutes in your next session.
6. Learn to sneak out
When you have an overwhelming schedule, you may want to adopt some stealth workout techniques. There are times when you will have to sneak around to do some busy mums exercise. For instance, you can sneak in some 10 to 15 minutes of strength workouts while your kids are eating. Alternatively, you can turn on a show they love and jump on the treadmill. Another good time is when they are asleep. Generally, you should be able to get about 20 minutes of uninterrupted workout when they are quiet and calm.
7. Be an early bird.
Most busy moms work out before the sun comes up. If this sounds like something that can work for you, you can schedule your early morning hours before your kids and husband wake up. Apart from keeping yourself fit and healthy, early morning workouts are a great way to start your day on a positive note and keep your energy levels high throughout the day. However, if you’re naturally not an early bird, scheduling workouts in the morning might invite procrastination and lots of missed workouts dates.
8. Block Out the time
Think of your workout sessions as an appointment, if you pin it on your calendar, there is a high chance you will attend it. Using the same tactic to plan your workout schedule can make it feel like an appointment, which can help you stick to the schedule. If you block out the time for your workout events on your calendar and make it non-negotiable, you’re likely to achieve better results much faster.
As you can see, finding time for workout is not entirely impossible. With some few adjustments, you should be able to stick to a fairly consistent workout schedule and achieve your desired fitness and health goals. Just remember to maintain a positive mindset by thinking about all the awesome health benefits of regular exercise.