What's the No. 1 excuse for not working out? LACK OF TIME!
Sure, we're all busy handling multiple priorities and rushing around from here and there every day. But as busy as we may be, we have less trouble finding time for television, social networking or even dull household tasks than exercising.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day and how we spend those hours is our choice. If you WANT to exercise, you’ll make the time.
Below are a few strategies to help you fit in a workout into your day, if you look closer, you'll discover that you do have the time to work out—and you deserve to use that time for yourself.
Remember, when Mommy’s happy and healthy, everyone else has a better shot of following suit.
Plan your meals ahead of time
Don't know what you are having for dinner and then waste 30-40 mins trying to think of something?
Or end up having to pop out to the supermarket to get that one elusive ingredient you don't have!
Planning your families meals in advance has many advantages, including freeing up more of your time for other activities.
Don't know how? Check out my FREE guide to saving time in the kitchen:
Turn Your Commute into a Workout
If you are lucky enough to be able to walk or bike to work – do it! When I lived in the UK I would walk 40 mins to and from work every day – I was the slimmest I had ever been and it was so easy to fit it in.
If you cant walk the whole way, park your car 10 minutes away from the office.
Set Your Alarm Early
Becoming an A.M. exerciser means you get to cross your workout off your to-do list ASAP. Don’t skip out on sleep in favor of a workout, but try to get to bed 20 minutes earlier and wake up 30-40 minutes earlier. Can't quite get yourself out of bed that early? Wear your workout clothes to bed or at least have them wear you will trip over them when you wake up. In the morning you don’t want to have to think about anything ;)
Sneak In a Lunch Break Workout
Make use of your precious 60 minutes by hitting the gym or going for a walk. Not only will it keep your waistline in check, but it’s also been proven that you are more productive during the day by logging off for an hour than you would have been by eating lunch at your desk.
Even better make it social and get a few of your walking together!
Get the kids involved
It’s hard to find dedicated “alone time” as a parent — but do you really need it? Got a young brood? Invest in a jogging stroller to get your miles in without paying big bucks for a sitter. Or strap your bundle of joy into a carrier and do squats for extra resistance and a fun distraction.
If you have older kids they would love to do the workouts with you, or sometimes, you may have to grease the wheels in order to fit in your workout. I have occasionally been known to bribe my children. Often it is with a fruit smoothie afterwards (when I have my protein shake) or sometimes a board game or time at the park, whatever it is my kids are more willing to participate with minimal complaining when there is something in it for them. No shame in that!
Or how often have you taken the kids to one of their classes and had to sit around waiting for them – use that time to get a quick walk/jog in – gymnastics for them, jog for you!
No More "Couch Potato"
Just because you're catching up on Dare Devil on Netflix doesn't mean you can't do push-ups, crunches, jumping jacks, and squats too. Clear up some space between the couch and the TV so you don't miss anything while breaking a sweat. Need an extra nudge? Move your dumbbells, jump rope, and other fitness tools near the tube to give yourself visible reminders.
Audit Your Schedule
“Regular exercisers don’t find time, they ‘take’ time”. Most of us have unused chunks of time in our day. Those 30-minutes we spend on Facebook or Pinterest. Those 10-minute intervals we spend checking email or cleaning. For just a few days, record how much time you’re spending your surfing the Internet, checking personal email, watching TV and playing video games whether it's on your computer or your phone. Now figure out which activities you could ‘take’ time from. If possible, lump them all together and use them for a workout. If not, spread your activity throughout the day.”
Block It Out
Now you “found” time BLOCK IT OUT. If you have an appointment on your calendar, chances are you show up. I set aside specific times in my planner, they feel more like an appointment I have to keep. Schedule it as part of your day and make it non-negotiable.
Be motivated by money.
Putting some money on the line may provide you with the motivation you need to show up for activity. Sign up for a yoga workshop, book some sessions with a personal trainer, or plunk down some cash for a race or workout program. Schedule a babysitter to watch the kids while you go for a run.
I have consistently found that people who pay for their workouts or fitness classes are much more likely to succeed than those that borrow, or do free classes. Think about it, it is cold and miserable outside are you more likely to go to a class if you paid for it or if it was for free?
Psychologists suggest that actively editing your negative self-talk patterns is a powerful way to support healthier lifestyle choices. For example, anytime you catch yourself thinking, “I am too busy to work out,” rephrase the thought in more positive, empowering terms, such as, “I choose to make myself a priority.” Or, “I do have time to be healthy.” Or, “I am willing to do something active today.” Over time, those positive thought patterns will elbow out the negative ones, helping you to see your available choices more clearly.
Part of the reason you can’t make time for exercise may be because you’re not focusing on the right workout for you. For example, don’t assume you’re a runner just because your best friend loves to run. Instead, analyze your lifestyle and personality to find a routine that suits you. Once you find something you enjoy you are much more likely to make time for it! If you are interested in the different types of at-home workouts available just contact me and I can talk you through some options.
If you've gone through this entire list of tips and don't think a single one will work in your life, then it's time to look at your priorities and responsibilities. Do you really have to bake cookies for that fundraiser? Babysit for your sister? Take on that extra project at work? Attend that wedding shower of your second cousin? Remember that there's nothing wrong in saying no. Yes, we all have obligations to others, but don't forget about the obligation you have to yourself to take care of your body and your health!
Save time in the kitchen: Practical Tips for busy Moms
In this guide I have detailed the steps I use to save time in the kitchen so I could spend more with my kids and not feel guilty about taking 30 minutes of my day to work out. I have also included three bonus sections:
The benefits of meal planning – why you should be doing this
8 Practical meal prep tips, and
Types of meals that work for meal prepping
Comment below if this article has helped you, or if you have any other ideas to share.
And if this article did help, please share it with your friends and let it help them too!