I have a confession to make: my exercise routine fell way, way off my to-do list over the past two years. I gave birth to my second child, we sold our house, bought a new one and then we moved in. I work 30 hours a week, and often feel like I don’t have time to work out. But whenever I fit exercise in I have more energy, feel better about myself, have more patience and have much less stress. So obviously, there are huge pay-offs to finding the time to move my body.
Now that my youngest is almost 2 and my oldest is 5, we’re sleeping more and getting settled in our new house so carving out time to workout feels a little less daunting. And for the past month, I’ve been fitting exercise in around work and family. It’s still a work in progress but these strategies have been key:
- Embrace the morning. When I get up an hour before everyone else I can fit in a peaceful morning work-out before getting ready for the day. My favorite days start with a run or walk outside in the quiet, morning light. Getting to bed early was challenging at first, but after a few early wake-ups I couldn’t keep my eyes open past 10pm. So that was a problem that was solved!
- Reclaim your lunch break. Leave the office and go for a walk. As a working mom, I’ve come to see this child-free time during my day as a gift. Using this time for a brisk walk helps me fit in exercise, gives me time to re-center, and feels like a little oasis in the middle of a busy day.
- Take the kids. Sometimes, my toddler wakes up just as early as I do. When that happens I fill her snack cup with Cheerios, load her into the stroller, and she comes along for a walk/jog. It’s a fun time to be out with her - we stop to watch bunnies munching on clover, listen to the birds, look at the flowers. When we get back, we stretch together- toddlers love a good bend and stretch!
- Netflix and Sweat. Netflix, Amazon FireTV, and other on-demand set-ups feature a variety of yoga, pilates, and other exercise videos. These are a great option for mornings when you can’t get out of the house, or when the kids might join in (although attempting yoga with a 2-year-old around usually turns into being used as a human playground).
- When all else fails, have a dance party. Get moving and get silly with your family. Dance around, jump around, watch as everyone shows off their moves, and just laugh.