The struggle is so real.
Whenever I do my yearly blog surveys, this concept is ever-prevalent and something I think that is challenging for most of us:
finding time to work out.
I totally feel ya on this one. Maybe you have fitness goals you want to accomplish, or like me, you NEED the endorphins for your mental happiness. Life gets in the way, chores pile up, kiddo-related to-dos are mounting, and the workout can slip lower and lower on the priority ladder. I know that I’m a happier, healthier human when I get in a consistent workout routine, and I thought I’d share some of the tips that help me make it happen.
Here are some of the things that help me find (or make!) the time to work out:
– The earlier it happens, the better. This is not to say that I’m an early bird (we all know I have difficulties with that whole “waking up” thing), but the sooner I can get it done, the more likely it is to actually happen. As the day goes on and tasks pile up, my energy also decreases. I have the most energy when I’m awake, possibly fed, and the girls are at school. By the end of the day, a workout isn’t as likely to happen, or I’ll just go through the motions because I’m so tired.
– Take advantage of gym and studio childcare. This can be a tricky one because not all kids like childcare and that can make it really tough. Liv wasn’t comfortable with me leaving her in gym childcare for longer than 15-20 minutes until she was at least 2. We kept trying, with zero pressure, and on the days when I knew it wasn’t going to happen, I’d work out at the base gym in the munchkin room. (They have a play area for the kiddos, so you can see them and they can see you while you work out. The equipment is very limited, but it gets the job done!) When Liv was younger, I was also fortunate to be teaching at a health resort close to the house, so many of my workouts were either classes I taught, or my own workouts when she was asleep and the Pilot was home.
With P, she got used to gym childcare very early. I was teaching at Point Loma Sports club and they have the BEST childcare I’ve ever encountered. It’s super clean, the girls who work there are all fun and caring (and genuinely love kids), and it was a great experience. It made it so easy to be able to let her play/chill in there while I taught or got in my own workouts. This was when she was at the height of her reflux, so I was strategic about when I’d take her to the gym (usually when she was just about to fall asleep or when she was just waking up. I couldn’t transport her within 15-20 minutes of her eating).
(Shout out to barre3 for their amazing play lounge)
– For my mama friends who don’t have access to gym childcare, or their kiddo hates it, try to work out at home or involve them in any way you can. When we were in Valdosta and the Pilot was gone, I’d spin in the garage while watching them play outside, they’d join me in dance cardio workouts, or I’d do barre on a mat. They usually copy me until they get bored and find something else to do. The beautiful thing is that Liv has noticed that I work out because I enjoy it and it makes me feel good. One day I was super tired (after multiple night wake-ups. Yeehaw) and Liv was like, “It’s ok, mama. When you work out, you’ll feel better and have more energy.”
– Start the day in atheleisure. This is so I don’t feel like I have to change to take a class or get in a workout. I’m already dressed for it, so might as well make it happen.
– Schedule it! I feel like when it’s in my schedule, I’m less likely to ditch. This is especially true for classes with online sign-ins and you lose the class money if you late cancel. If I signed up, I’m going. Even if you don’t have time to make a class, schedule in a workout block to get in a home workout or hit the gym.
– Work out at home! This is a HUGE one. I’m a big fan of online classes (there are so many great ones now!), apps, and fitness equipment (like Peloton). Some of my favorite at-home workout options are here.
– Break it into blocks. It can be daunting to try to find a 45-minute block in a jam-packed day. Instead, find 10-minute blocks throughout the day. There are 3 or 4 hiding somewhere, you just have to find them. For one block, focus on cardio, the next you can do strength, then core, then stretching. Boom; workout done, and bonus EPOC sessions from multiple workout sessions (assuming you’re working hard during those blocks).
How do you find time to work out? Any tricks or hacks that you’ve found to help?