Finding time between diaper changes, helping with homework, building forts, having tea parties, sports practices, and band concerts to get a workout in is tough on the best of days.
And on those not-so-best-of-days, it can seem impossible. But here are some tips to get a workout in even on the super hectic days.
1. Schedule it
Put your workout time right into your planner, bullet journal, wall calendar. Wherever you are actually going to pay attention to it. And don’t feel guilty for scheduling some time for yourself in your day. You need it and deserve it!
I actually plan in what activity I am going to do and when and talk to my husband about it during our weekly planning meetings. We sit down and plan out our week – who is going to pick up my son from school each day, what we are going to eat, what expenses we need to pay for, and what our workouts will look like. That way it feels like a priority and we can keep each other accountable.
2. Break up the workout into manageable time chunks
I’d love to have an hour of uninterrupted workout time, but that is a rare luxury these days. Sometimes, I am lucky to get 10 minutes in before my three year old just absolutely NEEDS a snack or my baby gets bored in her exersaucer.
So, I go into the workout, whether it is an exercise video or weightlifting in my house, with the idea that I will break it into 10 minute chunks. I may have to turn the video off a few times to tend to my children, but I can usually finish the workout.
And if it is a crazy day and I can’t finish, at least I got 10 or 20 minutes of a workout in. It’s better than nothing! In fact, there are new studies that show that 10-15 minute HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts may actually be better for you in the long run than longer lower intensity workouts because you burn calories throughout the day and not just in the moment.
3. Be an early riser or a night owl
Some children seem to always be awake (and if that is the case for you, I feel ya and I’m so sorry!), but the majority of babies and toddlers either wake up early or go to bed late. Try to adjust your workout schedule so that you are working around their schedule. An exception to this is if your baby is very young. In that case, sleep every chance you get and worry about working out when your body has recovered from being super woman (aka birth!)
4. Entertain your child during the workout
Sometimes we have to work out when our children are awake and with us. In that case, try to make a game out of the workout. My son likes to put on his sneakers and shorts and work out with me. Obviously, I have to modify my workouts, but we count the number of times we have done a jumping jack together or play patty cake as we are running in place. And with my daughter, she loves when I am doing burpees (which I am convinced were created by the devil himself) because after I jump to finish the burpee I give her a kiss on the forehead. She giggles every time and it keeps me going!
This goes along with entertaining your child. What better entertainment is there than food?!? As long as they are old enough to eat food, give your baby or toddler a snack, preferably one that takes a while for them to finish but you don’t have to be breaking into small pieces while trying to get your sweat on.
Getting a workout in as a busy mom may fall to the bottom of the priority list but try some of these tips and see how they work for you. They may help to de-stress on one of those kinds of days.
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