Finding time to exercise is one of the greatest fitness challenges we busy mommies face. As I tell my children whenever they’ve lost something and expect me to magically produce it for them, “It won’t find you. You have to go find it.” The same thing applies to working out. The time to make it happen won’t find you. You have to be deliberate about hunting it down.
Making the time for something important you want to do means you have set aside something else you want to do that you have decided is less important. We’re all given the same 24 hours a day. No one gets any more or any less. It’s what we choose to do with those hours that matters. If we aren’t intentional about assigning our time to work on our priorities, then it will mysteriously evaporate in cyberspace or in front of the TV.
The best way to get in shape is not to get too far out of shape in the first place. Yeah, well. I personally didn’t do so well at that and I found my perfect excuse in multiple pregnancies. I wish I had stayed more active during pregnancy and, at least, made some effort at fitness once the baby was born. Of course, that’s much easier said than done. Morning sickness, bed rest, C-sections, and sleepless nights all compound the problem and conspire against us to keep us from fighting for our fitness.[tweetthis]If you can’t find the time to exercise, it won’t find you. You have to make the time![/tweetthis]
The way I see it, a busy mom has 3 options:
I have finally found what works for me. I love to use exercise DVDs at home.
My littles get to watch PBS on the other TV while I exercise. (PBS is a free babysitter I am not ashamed to use when necessary.) They know mommy works out every day and they just accept it as a normal part of their routine and mine. My favorite workouts are mixed martial arts combat for cardio and lots of weight lifting.
Squeeze it In
If you just can’t make the time to block off a half hour or so to work out, then squeeze it in. You can do 10 minutes at a time 2-3 times a day. There’s no rule that says you have to do it all at once. Here’s one example:
There are 100’s of great ideas for short workouts on the internet. Search Pinterest to find the one that works for you.
If all else fails, try to sneak in exercise wherever you can.
Women (and men) used to get a great workout just doing their chores. Carrying the water, taking clothes to the river, hanging them on the clothesline, hoeing the garden, taking care of the farm animals, pulling the goat out of the flower bed . . . The whole day was one big workout born out of the necessity of providing for one’s family. They didn’t have to schedule exercise. It was already built into their day.
Try to think like a pioneer and build exercise into your day as much as possible. Instead of always taking the path of least resistance, how can you make your daily tasks more physically demanding?
We’ve all heard that we should take the stairs and park far away to incorporate more movement into our lives, but that’s just the beginning. Busy moms have SO MANY ways to add exercise to their crammed schedules.
It’s not all about us. Yes, we want to take care of ourselves, but we also want to teach our children this important life skill as well. Brainstorm how you can live a fit life with your family. Choose activities that keep you moving!
These activities are especially good for you because most of them are outdoors, so you also get fresh air and Vitamin D. It’s great for your spirit too because you get to be out in God’s creation and praise Him for His wonderful works![tweetthis]Fitness for the whole family is fun. Find ideas here![/tweetthis]
Fitness is More Fun with Friends!
A support system of other people who are also building stronger bodies is in an invaluable asset. We can challenge and motivate each other, while keeping ourselves accountable. We have buddies to share our victories with and friends to encourage us on the hard days.
Whether it’s fitness, or family, or faith; always run with those who are running the same direction you want to go. There are lots of ways to get connected with others who are motivated about exercising and not all of them are in person.
[tweetthis]Always run with those who run![/tweetthis]
This is really just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many ways to exercise your body. Hopefully, this gets your juices flowing so you can think of ways to make time for your workout. The key is to find a way to move your body that you enjoy and do it consistently. It’s really that simple. You just have to give your excuses the boot to get going.
In the next post, I’ll address how to incorporate your spiritual health into your exercise.
Week Four: Exercise Consistently
Part 3: Putting Your Christian Faith into Your Fitness
Elizabeth is a military spouse, veteran, and mother of eight. Above and beyond caring for her family, her mission is to offer words that sustain weary moms and to empower and equip them to live and parent with purpose.