I want to introduce one of my girlfriends Samantha. Samantha is a wife, mother, former High School teacher turned stay at home mom, she free lances for local magazines, currently training for a half marathon (she is always finishing in the top of her age group) and all around a sweetheart of a person! She has 4 kids all under the age of 8. I personally think she is a superhero! I have never seen anyone juggle kiddos the way she does with ease and efficiency. What I love about Samantha is she does not let her passion for running take a back seat in her crazy schedule. She does not make excuses when it comes to working out! She doesn’t care if she has to get up at 4:15am to run (which she does do 4 days a week) to make sure her workouts are done. She offers some moms out there some great advice on how to fit in even the smallest amount of exercise. Something is better than nothing! I admire her so much for her go to attitude and nothing is going to stop her. I asked her to write an article about how she finds the time to get it done. Here is my friend Samantha………..
The most common excuse I hear for not working out is, “I don’t have enough time.” And I totally get it, I really do. I don’t have enough time for many things in my day. I don’t have time to shower, sometimes not enough time to cook dinner (unless Chik-Fil-A counts), and definitely not enough time to sit on the couch and catch up on my favorite TV shows. But I always have time to fit in a workout. It is a non-negotiable for me, like brushing my teeth. (which luckily I do have enough time for) So as a busy mom of four children under the age of 8, people often ask me how I fit in my exercise regimen. It’s definitely not an easy task, but if you can commit to making a healthier lifestyle change, I guarantee you will be able to find time to work out. Whether you are lunging to and from the laundry room or doing pushups while cleaning cheerios under the couch, every little bit counts!
I always tell people to work out whenever they can fit it in their day. If it means waking up early before the kids go off to school, or popping in a work out DVD during nap time. It doesn’t matter when you exercise, just as long as you fit it in. For my family, it works best if I exercise in the morning right after I drop the kids off to school or at the crazy hour of 5am. My favorite form of exercise is running and I prefer to run outside. So, if I have my youngest child with me, I pack a couple of snacks (that inevitably end up on the ground) and put her in the jogging stroller and head outside. Again, for me, this works best. For other busy parents, it may be better for the family if you exercise after work, or when the kids go to sleep. It doesn’t matter what time of day you work out, just get it done! You also have to learn to be flexible with your workouts. Sometimes my very stubborn 3-year-old insists on being naked, (trust me, I can’t win this battle) and apparently going to the gym with a nude child is frowned upon, so I must rethink my plan for exercise. In this case, I usually do my own workout in the house, in between Caillou episodes of course.
Exercise can even be a family bonding time. Many weekends my husband and I will go for a run together in our neighborhood with the two younger babies in the double stroller and the two older kids riding next to us on their bikes. *Disclaimer- do not think this will be a relaxing stroll or a nice jog to clear your head. In my experience, each child complains at least once, someone is always thirsty and at least one scuffle or fall is bound to happen. Can’t you just envision it now; the Hallmark movie family of 6 running and bike riding together? Now take that picture and throw it out. The reality is 4 kids screaming or crying, parents bickering over nonsense and by the time you get back, all you want is a glass of wine (yes I know it’s 10:00 am) and about 3 days to recover from all the family time. BUT, if you can get past those nuisances, realize that you are getting your work out in for the day, maybe just maybe, you will try to conquer the dreaded family bike/run another time. (An added bonus, it tires the kiddos out just in time for their nap time and maybe yours.)
I have heard from other moms that they feel “guilty” for spending time away from their child exercising. One thing you need to remember, it is ok to be a little selfish and have “me” time. Taking 45 minutes to an hour and going to the gym or going outside for a run will not hinder your child’s emotional growth. Listen, I have 4 kids and they all went to the gym with me or running in the jogging stroller and somehow turned out just fine. If anything, it will teach your children the importance of taking care of their own health and instill in them a healthy lifestyle that lasts throughout their childhood. It is not about looking like the women on the cover of magazines, it’s about being strong, healthy and the best versions of ourselves. With childhood obesity becoming an epidemic, let’s lead by example and show our children how we can stay strong, fit and healthy. Because at the end of the day, a happy Mom just makes life easier for everyone.
I hope these tips can help you squeeze in a little time to get your fitness on and remember, I never promised you would be clean and showered, (I am still in my dirty running clothes from this morning) but I do promise you will be healthy and most importantly happy. 🙂