I recently asked the question on Instagram: What prevents you from working out? And basically…it boils down to not having the time and energy. AKA MOTHERHOOD.
Listen, friends. I get it. I spent my pre-motherhood, after work hours at the gym. I went to a class 4-5 days a week most weeks, including Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons. I took the Les Mills classes like it was my part time j.o.b.
And then I got pregnant with Harlyn. I went to the gym a few times in the very early days of pregnancy. I had also been running a bit, so I actually ran 2 small races when I was 8 and 12 weeks pregnant. But then…I stopped going. And I had Harlyn, and I went to the gym once. ONCE. I kept my gym membership for years, constantly thinking..I’ll go back when I’m out of the first trimester…no, when I have the baby…no, when I breastfeed less often…no, when I am done breastfeeding. And finally, I cancelled the stupid membership, because I had come to terms with it: I wasn’t going back to the gym.
Fast forward to Harlyn’s early years, then another pregnancy, another year of breastfeeding. I spent 5 years not working out, constantly citing time, energy, work, babies, toddlers, pregnancy, two kids, whatever, as my reasons.
And I’m telling you this so you can see: even when you are committed, you can be derailed. And then, you can still start back over. You can find the time after years of saying there’s no such thing. And if you’ve never worked out, that doesn’t matter either. You can start finding the time. TODAY.
So I have been thinking a bit about how to help other moms find the time again. And while I know that for many of you, finding 2 hours isn’t in the cards, I’ll just point out that I didn’t think it was possible either, until I just started doing it. I’m working full time, blogging, and raising a family, how could I possibly work out?? And let’s say you just DO NOT HAVE THAT TIME. Can we replace just a little bit of your social media or TV time with a work out?? Let’s try!!
Here we go!
1. Take the Kids Outside
So maybe you don’t have the luxury of a partner who can watch the kids while you work out. That’s okay. Grab the stroller, have the big kids grab bikes or scooters, and head outside. A brisk walk counts. A bike ride counts. And an added bonus: the kids will love it! Bonus points if you have a park close enough to walk/jog/bike/scooter to, because then you can run around with the kids on the playground too!
2. Do a 10 Minute YouTube Workout
I get it, it’s so hot out right now! So maybe you have to wait for cooler temps to load up the kids for a walk. In the meantime, plop your kids down with some toys, a puzzle, a snack, an iPad, the TV…whatever works…and then head to YouTube. If the kids are still distracted at the 10 minutes mark, keep going! You might just find that your babes will let you work out near them for 20-30 minutes while they have fun and eat a snack. ☺
3. Get Up Early
If you DO have someone who lives at your house who can watch the kids, then get yourself out of bed early! I do my long runs on Saturday mornings, which means I am up at 5:45AM to be out the door by 6:00. And then my husband gets up with Harlyn and Maverick, whatever time that may be. Even though I have to get up while the rest of my family sleeps, I actually really enjoy Saturday morning runs. The weather is so much cooler than any evening run!
4. Work Out When the Kids Are In Bed
After Maverick goes to bed, I head out the door. This leaves Brandon with only one kid to watch, and since it’s time to wind down, they just play a few games and then get ready for bed while I’m gone. When I get back, it’s bedtime for Harlyn…and as easy as that, everyone’s in bed on time and I have done my workout! And if you don’t have anyone to stay home to watch your littlest family members, just do something right there in the living room once everyone is tucked in.
5. Join A Gym With Childcare
I don’t personally do this, but if you’re a mom who could use a gym with childcare, look into it! I know that places like Fitness Connection, YMCA, etc. often have childcare available, so you can work out in peace. The gym I used to use offered childcare starting at 6 months old.
And that’s a wrap! A few things I do, or have done, and an option to try that I haven’t! I hope that you find a small way to get started. Just because you don’t have one hour doesn’t mean you can’t be active!! Involve your family, or start with a small, realistic goal of 10 minutes a few times a week. You can always add time and days as you find the time!!
What other ways do you make time to work out as a mom? Be sure to let me know in the comments!!