I’m going to go on a little rant here, but I absolutely hate it when someone tells me they don’t exercise because they don’t have the time. Um, yes you do! Everyone has the time!
NEWSFLASH: EVERYONE HAS THE SAME 24 HOURS IN A DAY.
I’m not given more or less time than working mom Suzy who also goes to the gym 4 times a week. It boils down to 1 thing when you feel you don’t have enough time to exercise: You are not making the time. You have to FIND the time.
A quote I love: If you don’t find the time to be healthy now, then you are going to have to find the time to be sick later! I don’t know where I heard that or who to give credit for that brilliant tidbit, but it is so true! You have to make the time!
So how do you go about doing that?
First of all you have to plan. Planning when you are going to go for a walk, or visit the gym, or take a class will help you make the time to get some much needed physical activity. Set a day and a time that you are going to commit to doing whatever type of exercise you enjoy doing, and treat it like its a meeting with your boss. You still go to those meetings your boss holds even when you don’t feel like it, right? I hope so, because I don’t want you to get fired! Treat your plans for exercise as if you can’t miss them. Like they are so important that if you don’t go you are going to get fired!
That’s why I love to plan exercise activities with friends. I feel like a really bad friend if I cancel on plans I made. When I commit to meeting a friend for a walk or a game of tennis, it becomes a lot more important to me than if I decide I’m going to walk my neighborhood alone. Inviting someone to come along with me, makes it a bigger deal if I don’t follow through. I am going to be less likely to break plans with someone else than if I have plans just to exercise by myself.
Another way I turn exercise into a can’t miss activity is by taking a lesson. When I sign up for a tennis or dance lesson I usually have to pay for it in advance. There is nothing better to motivate me than the idea of wasting money by not showing up for a lesson I already paid for.
Whatever does it for you, figure out how to turn exercise into something that can’t be missed! Like, your life depends on you doing it!
Ok, we figured out how to make exercise super important so you don’t blow it off. But we still have to fit it into our busy, working mom schedules. This is definitely not that easy. But like I said before, you have to make the time. Somewhere in your schedule there is time. It may take some rearranging and creativity to find it, but trust me, if its really important to you, you will find a way.
Take a look at your schedule and see where you might fit in a quick walk or follow a video. Sometimes writing down your schedule for the day helps with this. Fill in every waking hour with what you will be doing at that time. Even if you write down sitting on the couch watching TV. Once you have your day written out on paper, it is much easier to see where you can fit in some activity.
Still can’t find any time? Then you need to ask yourself why? Maybe you need to cut back on something? Maybe you need to ask someone for help to free up some time? Maybe you need to wake up earlier and/or go to bed earlier/later. For some reason a lot of people are against waking up early or exercising at night before they go to sleep. I love to exercise before bed. And don’t worry, I take a shower before I get into bed! However, you do it, you just need to get creative with your schedule. Working moms are super busy, and I know it’s hard to find the time, and energy to commit to physical activity, but, you must figure out what works best for you, your family, and your schedule.
Not a morning person? No problem! Instead of lounging on the couch watching “Real Housewives” after the kids go to bed, pop in a workout video. Need some time with your hubby after a long day at work? Take a walk during your lunch break to get the calories burning. Or, maybe your husband and kids would like to go for a bike ride?
Remember, your workouts don’t have to be heart pounding, clothes soaked by sweat, face turning redder than a tomato type of activities. In fact a lot of people suggest that lower intensity/moderate exercise works best to lose weight and maintain it. You just need to get moving. And if all you can commit to right now is a 15 minute walk during your lunch break, then that’s awesome! Maybe after being successful with that for a couple of weeks you can bump it up to a 30 minute walk. Or maybe these walks during your lunch break will give you the energy to wake up earlier in the morning and pull up a workout video. Or you will have more energy in the evenings to go take a Zumba class after work.
My main take away here is stop making excuses. You do have the time to work out, you just have to make it a priority. Take a real good look at how you are spending your time and figure out where you can squeeze in some sort of activity. Like I said, it doesn’t have to be this long, intense 2 hour Insanity type workout. Start by finding 15 minutes you can dedicate to getting your heart rate up and build from there.
Take inventory of your day. You may be surprised by how much TV you watch or how long you spend scrolling through social media! These are the major time suckers and if you get rid of one of these for a week you will be so surprised by how much free time you have on your hands.
When we moved, my husband and I decided we were going to get rid of cable. I really didn’t think it would be that big of a deal, but talk about an eye opener! I didn’t realize how much TV I was watching. All of sudden I didn’t know what to do with myself. It was a huge adjustment at first, trying to figure out how to spend my evenings. I started to save my workouts for the evening time rather than do them in the morning just because I didn’t have anything else to do.
And although I do miss “The Housewives,” I feel like I am much more productive at home, work, and caring for myself now that we don’t have cable anymore.
If you are stuck on trying to make the time to fit it some type of exercise then I encourage you to start with taking out television. Try it for just a week and see what happens. You too may be surprised at how much free time you all of a sudden have. And if this doesn’t work, then you really are going to need to do some self reflection and take inventory on your daily schedule. Figure out where you can make the time.
Again, if you don’t make the time now for a healthy lifestyle, then you are going to have to make the time later to be sick.
Keep me updated on your progress and let me know how you manage to make the time for exercise in your life.