A little while back, Heather over at Fitness Cheerleader wrote a post about Mother’s Guilt and Fitness and it struck close to home for me.
I have fitness goals but I also have two young kids and they don’t necessarily complement each other. As a result, I am learning the art of maximizing time. I’ve learned that the key to making fitness happen is planning and creativity. Take, for example, this stroller workout I’ve been doing. I love it! Link. I also have a bunch of mom-friendly workouts on my Training Plans and Workout page.
I want to introduce you to:
It’s a 5 step process to making sure you’ve made time for you!
Step 1: Look at the Week Ahead
Start by looking at the schedule for the week ahead. Look at evening plans first to determine what evenings are going to be free for workouts.
WHEN EVENING WORKOUTS ARE POSSIBLE…Plan what workouts to do on those nights.
What I Do: S likes to go to the gym so we make sure to try to get there once or twice a week. (Now that MiniE is old enough, the gym is an option again). I usually devote those nights to short runs and weights since I don’t have access to those at home. On any other evening workouts, I try to do things with the kids, runs/stroller workouts, etc.
WHEN EVENINGS ARE BUSY..Look at your work week calendar and find candidate lunch hours
What I Do: Look at what days have available lunch hours. Then look at what meetings you have after those available lunches. Those are the days when lunch workouts/runs are possible. I COULD do it on days with big meetings but out of courtesy for others, I just try not to.
Step 2: Plan your workouts and be realistic
If you’re working towards a fitness goal, now’s the time to consider it.
What I Do: I know that on a weekly basis, I would LIKE to get in 3-4 runs, 2 strength training sessions at a minimum. If I’m being honest with myself, I would also like to get a swim session in and a long run on a good week. What are your goals?
TIP: Lunchtime workouts are usually perfect for short to medium length runs (3-5 miles) or Core workouts and Cross Training.
Step 3: Pack It Up
This can be the most tedious part of the plan. If you’re like me, you have a LOT of packing to do without having to pack for workouts but it’s worth it I promise! So the night before can be busy. Try to keep a gym bag somewhat packed to make prep a little easier. In addition to workout gear, try to pack lunch on the days you workout, then eat at your desk or on the run. It’s not ideal for lunch but sometimes it’s necessary. Think of your gym bag as an extension of your Diaper Bag, be prepared for anything!
Step 4: Execute
Don’t mind the looks you get in the morning when you stroll in with 4 bags. Check your schedule when you get in and tell yourself that you’re getting away from your desk at XX time. Schedule it, set the reminder and get to work. If you know you sweat a lot, plan accordingly.
Tip: Grab a washcloth or rag from home, and a Ziploc bag. When you get to work, before you workout, fill the bag with ice, a little water and the washcloth. When you’re done working out, put it on the back of your neck to help you cool down quick. Then use the washcloth to wash up if needed.
Step 5: Feel Good!
You did it! You beat the odds, you found time, no matter how short or long. A workout is a workout!
What are your secrets to staying fit?