This topic is not a new one. As moms, most of us say we are lacking in the taking-time-for-ourselves department. My husband and I have both been saying we really want to improve our health, both eating better and regular exercise. We use the most commonly given excuse for why people do not exercise: lack of time.
I have decided this excuse is not going to cut it any longer because there are people MUCH busier than us that make it a priority and are probably working out as I type this.
During the summer and fall months, I took my children on a lot of walks to the neighborhood park, both getting us out of the house and fresh air, and helping me shed the baby weight and better my health.
My husband joined us when he could which was once or twice each week, but I walked a couple of miles per day most days of the week. Then came winter, and my activity stopped for the most part. We have not invested in a gym membership and have no exercise equipment at home. We used to own a treadmill, but it saw little use and became a nuisance, plus it was in the room that became Max’s nursery at our old home, so we sold it. I am not convinced we would be using it if we had kept it, so no sad feelings there.
I am making exercise a priority and writing it here so all of you are going to hold me accountable. I want my kids to grow up liking physical activity and learn to make it part of their lifestyle. I know about health and exercise: I spent four years at Ball State University in Indiana taking courses on the subject, and worked in the field for over five years up until the birth of my daughter in May. I know this is something I need to do for my family and myself. The bonus is that I really do ENJOY exercising. I just need to get motivated. Here are a few tips I am using to squeeze fitness into my busy life:
Wake up earlier.
This one is kind of a tricky one, considering my daily wake up is not something I always can control as my almost-ten-month-old still is not consistently sleeping through the night. We are getting there though! I am hoping to try and squeeze in morning workouts, or at least get up early so I can get work done to free up naptime for exercise (instead of work!).
Get physical while watching TV.
This one makes me feel a little silly, but my husband and want to try it. Usually I sit down and watch some TV around 9 p.m., sometimes later. But I want to use TV time to do a few pushups, sit-ups or other calisthenics.
Try more activities.
I really like to walk, but I want to find something in addition to that for my cardiovascular exercise. Don’t get me wrong; walking has a lot of great benefits, and it is definitely exercise, and beneficial when done as a brisk pace (or pushing a huge stroller up and down hills with two children). My thoughts are to find a couple of good exercise videos. This is an ideal form of exercise when outdoor weather is less than desirable.
Make it part of my routine.
I think once I make exercise part of my routine, it will be much easier to stick with and become a part of my life. I realize that exercise can be done in smaller time increments, so fitting in ten minutes here or ten minutes there is better than no time at all. I also try to park farther away at stores, or if we go to the mall, I walk all over because my kids are generally pretty content riding in the stroller. Small things like that help burn a few calories.
Learn to say “no.”
While I am usually a “yes” kind of gal, I may have to learn to say no to things on occasion. My children are young, so I don’t have sporting events, bake sales or carpooling tasks, so I realize when that time comes, I will be even busier. But for now, I need to learn to not take on too much, and realize that exercise and treating my body right is something that is absolutely crucial for a long life and to have energy with my children and set a good example.
I am writing this right as I plan to start tomorrow on this quest to become healthier and exercise regularly. I have set my goal to exercise just 2-3 days a week for now, and know that it will be much easier once the weather warms up (or we join a gym). For now, I am seeing this as a way to have additional energy for my children and keep me healthy. I think having my husband as an exercise buddy will help hold us more accountable and hopefully we can keep one another motivated.
Instead of viewing exercise as another thing to squeeze into my day, I am thinking it as a method of health maintenance, setting a good example for my children and something to do to help clear my mind.
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