The number one reason moms give me for not being in better shape? They can’t find the time to fit in fitness. And as reasons go, I consider it to be extremely valid.
We are ridiculously busy, and it seems that each week flies by. Whether you work or stay home, there are always a dozen things you could be doing.
The way that moms think doesn’t help matters. Even if the house is clean, the groceries are stocked, homework is done, and healthy meals are planned, we still can come up with a list of 100 things we would like to be doing or feel like we should be doing. We should really work on reorganizing the family photos, or that home improvement DIY project we’ve been wanting to get done. Or what about reading with our child? The list goes on and on.
So ultimately, it comes down to choices. You will never have it all done. You will never feel like the lists are all checked off. It becomes about values and priorities.
Today I’d like to share how busy moms find time for fitness, but first I want to get really clear on a couple things.
It isn’t that fit moms have more time than moms who don’t make fitness a priority.
We all operate with the same 24 hours in a day and seven days in a week.
It is simply about realizing that first, you’re worth it and you deserve to feel great; and second, it’s about getting really deliberate with your time.
Let’s explore seven ways that moms can carve out time for your workouts.
#1: Embrace quickies.
Yeah, I know where your mind just went, but I’m talking fitness here. If you know you truly can’t get in an hour workout today, or even thirty minutes, try to get three or four five minute bursts in! YouTube has tons and tons of wonderful short workouts. I recommend starting by checking out FitSugar’s workouts. If you were to do a 5-minute core workout, a 5-minute lower body workout, a 5-minute upper body workout, and a 5-minute yoga session, each at some point during your busy day, you will have done a solid 20 minute workout that day! Best of all, five minutes isn’t enough to really break a sweat, so you really don’t even have to change clothes if you’re wearing something that allows you to move.
#2: Think gray instead of black-and-white.
Fitness isn’t all-or-nothing. This is a mindset shift that will also help you embrace those quick workouts. Busy moms must remain flexible and roll with the punches. It’s not all or nothing. As busy moms, we need to let go of the idea that, if we can’t workout every day for an hour, we might as well skip it altogether. Anything you do is great, and when you adopt that mindset, you’ll feel much more confident about those quickie workouts! They do add up, and every one counts!
#3: All that said, still: schedule it.
You are I-don’t-even-know-how-many times more likely to do something if you write it down. So I absolutely recommend that you take time each week to look at your calendar and determine where your workouts will fit in. And here’s an insider tip: aim for more workouts than you really want to do. If you want to do three, schedule four. If you miss one, you’ll still feel great, and if you get all four in, you’ll be on top of the world!
#4: Examine your self-care mindset.
This is probably the most important shift you can make. When you begin to realize that you deserve to feel healthy and strong, and therefore you deserve to take time for your fitness, you will step into a mental space that is so freeing. Unless you’re working out 20 hours a week, and if you are, you probably aren’t bothering to read this article, then you should feel zero guilt for taking time to be a healthier and happier you! Just those two words, healthier and happier, when describing a mom, make for a happier household and a happier family! You, taking care of you, is always a good thing!
#5: Consider working out when your kids are at their activities.
Do you usually sit in your car or run an errand during the hour-long dance lesson? See if there’s a gym nearby and head there instead! Even if it’s only a thirty minute lesson or activity, you can still totally walk! And if possible, see if there’s another mom you’d like to get to know, and invite her to join you. Instant accountability, and a potential new friend! And along those lines…
#6: Find an accountability group or partner.
You know what they say about best-laid plans, right? What about mommy guilt? There’s a way to put them both to good use, if you play your cards right. Moms specifically, and women in general, tend to be really good at feeling guilty when we fail others, so make a plan to meet a friend and you’re less likely to skip, simply because you don’t want to feel like you’re not holding up your end of the bargain! (I’ve even got an accountability contract to make it super official and also super meaningful!) Even better, find an entire accountability group. Mom’s Running Club is just such a group!
#7: Make your kids your accountability.
This can be hard to do, but can also be really powerful. Either plan to workout with your kids, or tell your kids your workout plans. It’s a big deal to have your kids see you make your health and wellness a priority, and by telling them “I’m doing this to be healthy,” you are (a) the healthy role model you want to be, (b) teaching them good habits, and (c) covertly and indirectly turning them into your accountability buddies. I don’t know about you, but I hate to fail my kids. I rarely make a commitment to them that I don’t intend to honor, and if you’re like me, this can be a win-win in so many ways!
When it comes to your fitness, the reasons to make you a priority far outweigh the reasons to skip that workout. Yes, you could run one more errand. Sure, you could clean the bathrooms today instead of tomorrow. But ultimately, putting in that thirty minutes for your own physical, mental and emotional health is going to pay far greater dividends than any errand or clean bathroom. And best of all, with careful planning ahead, you don’t have to have messy bathrooms in the back of your mind during your workout! Part of Mom’s Running Club is the teaching curriculum, so we cover so much more than just running! We all totally get it. We know what it is to be busy! The curriculum covers everything from your very first wog (what we affectionately call those very first walk/run workouts) all the way to how you manage your weekly calendar, to finding the right undies for your run. We’re moms, and we cover it all, all while supporting one another towards success! If you’d like to learn more, email me here! Membership opens at the beginning of each quarter, the first Monday in January, April, July, and October!
To your fitness!