Image by Mallory Matson
Time is basically nonexistent once you become a mom. Am I right? So I don’t blame you for chuckling when I tell you I’m going to help you “find the time” to exercise. Time’s not lost like your son’s Iron Man Lego piece, or your husband’s favorite baseball cap. Time is more like money: it’s always running out.
I know I don’t have to remind you (or do I?) that exercise will help your body strengthen and function better. Nutrition goes hand in hand with exercise, and eating better is just a matter of grocery shopping with a different list. Same goes for exercise; with a little creativity and new perspective, you can give back to your body without adding something else to your packed schedule. The time for you to exercise is already in your schedule. Here’s where to look.
1. Exercise With Your Kids
Whether your munchkin is walking or not, you can incorporate them into your workout routine. If you’re in the delightful newborn stage (and got the OK from your doc to resume exercise), don’t be hesitant to put your baby in a bouncer and do pushups while you’re making funny faces at her, or lie her down on a mat while you do some bicycle crunches.
If your baby’s rolling over and crawling, pick a room where you can let her crawl under you while you plank. And if your babe’s a walker, invite them to exercise with you. You can have a dance party!
No matter the age, you’ve already got the gear to keep your baby with you while you exercise. Use your stroller or baby carrier to take your exercises outside! And if you really just want some alone time, there’s always nap time where you can take a little bit of time to reenergize with a workout. Speaking of nap time…
2. Think In Short, High-Impact Intervals
I know nap time is sacred. It’s the only time where we really have a chance to get important tasks done, so you might feel hesitant to spend that precious time on anything else. But with a little bit of planning and a new way of thinking, you won’t use up all your time. Designate three to four days a week where you’ll block out 15-20 minutes (ideally, every other day). On those days, you already know what you’re going to wear, so in the morning, put on those yoga pants instead of your jeans, and skip the shower. The moment your kiddo’s in her crib, hit the mat! Focus on short exercises with high-impact so you’ll get the most out of your workout in less time.
3. Invite Friends
Got a neighbor with kids? Invite them over! Aside from keeping yourself accountable and motivated, it can be so much fun to exercise with someone else who’s in the same boat. And if you have a friend without any kids but who also wants to get fit, have them swing by and call it bonding time. Use the people you have around you as your support system––it’s what they’re there for!
4. Keep Your Gear In the Car
If you’re a stay at home mom like me, you might feel like a huge chunk of your day is already spent running: running after your kids, running to the store, running upstairs with your baby in hand because he just blew out of his diapers (true life). Since you know you’ll already be running, then put on those running shoes! Once you drop one of the kids off for school, drive to a nearby park and go for a quick jog before starting your errands. Or if you’re at the office, keep that pair of running shoes at your desk or in your car. Take 20 minutes to run (at the gym in your building or around the block). If you don’t have a place to shower, save your run for the end of the day. Don’t overthink it.
5. Don’t Overthink
I can’t emphasize this enough. Overthinking is the one thing that has stopped me from exercising. In fact, the more you think about it, the less chance you’ll actually do anything. Stop caring what you look like in public; wear the yoga pants and holey running shoes all day if that means you’ll be able to sneak in an exercise. Don’t pay any mind to your sweaty brow and matted hair if you’re swinging by the grocery store on your way home. And use any room in your house (heck, exercise in the nursery or foyer if you have to!) because all you really need for a good workout is you.
Those are my tips. Got any others that have worked for you? Share them in the comments!