No Time to Exercise? Read This.
In 2013, I had the honor of being featured in Redbook Magazine. The question that I answered then and the one I am expanding upon now is how to find the time to exercise when it seems like there is no time to be found. I am a firm believer in the saying “where there is a will, there is a way.” With that being said, for those of us that always seem to be juggling a million and one things on any given day, that “way” can require a bit of creativity and planning. So, if you have a strong desire to get in shape, but can never seem to find the time, read on for a few tips that just might help you make it a reality!
Tip #1: Keep it short.
Exercise sessions do not have to be long to get you great results. A 20-minute workout, done 2-3 times a week can quickly deliver NOTICEABLE results. I have recently fallen in love with using this tabata timer to structure my workouts. To use this timer, scroll down to set your number of rounds, length of “time on” the activity, and length of rest or “time off.” Then, hit “start.” The screen will turn green indicating workout time and red indicating a rest period. Simple, powerful, and wonderful! For help programming tabata-style workouts that work for you, don’t hesitate to send me a text or give me a call. I am always happy to help!
Tip #2: Bring the kids.
For as much joy as our kiddos bring us, they sure do take up A LOT of our time. Being a parent is a 24/7 job. As a single mama myself, I know the truth in that. In order to make time to workout, I have often had to combine mother/daughter time with workout time. The benefit? Not only does this help you find time to get in shape, but it also creates some really awesome bonding moments and can set your children up for a lifetime of positive relationships with fitness and exercise. Here are some ideas to try: go for a family walk after dinner, go on a jog while your kids bike alongside you, go on a family hike (as a New Englander, this is one of my favorites!), jump into a game of tag with the little ones (it is amazing how out of breath you can become with that one!), or lift weights while your kids mimic the movements using paper towel rods instead of dumbbells (bonus points if you are the artsy-crafty type and paint them to look like real dumbbells).
Tip #3: Delegate tasks.
Consider delegating tasks or hiring help if you are able. If cleaning your house is the thing that is taking up your time, for example, consider hiring a cleaning service to come every week or every month. Sure, this will cost more money than doing it yourself, but the physical and mental benefits that come from taking the time to keep yourself healthy are well worth every penny! The key here is this: Consider for yourself what tasks in your life both take up time and you don’t particularly enjoy. These are the tasks that you should be delegating. For me, that is cooking. I love eating healthy food, but I don’t particularly enjoy preparing food. To save myself time, I rely on ordering a percentage of my meals through companies such as Daily Harvest and Paleo Power Meals.
Tip #4: Make it an appointment.
Set your workout times the same way that you would set a business appointment. Mark them on your calendar. Make them a priority. Take them seriously. If someone calls and needs something from you at that time (unless it is a true emergency, of course) tell them you are sorry, but you have an appointment. If you need to hire a sitter to make it happen, do that. (On that note, mom-guilt can really come on strong here. You are NOT a bad mom or spouse or friend for taking time for yourself. You and your loved ones will be better off for it).
Tip #5: Keep fitness equipment at home.
Keep a few simple pieces of fitness equipment in your house. Even the best laid plans can fall apart sometimes. Take this scenario: You planned to go to the gym at 6:00pm. You marked it on your calendar and arranged for a babysitter. Then, the babysitter canceled, or your child became sick, or the weather took a turn making driving unsafe. Life is unpredictable. Having a few pieces of equipment in your home can save the day when the unexpected comes up. This can also allow you to break your workout into smaller chunks of time if needed. A 15-minute workout in the afternoon and then another 15-minute session at night still gets the job done! To view a list of my top pieces of MUST-HAVE at-home fitness equipment, click here.
If you are ready to make a change and start incorporating more fitness into your life, give me a call! I would love to help you map out how to get started. You’ve got this! -Amy
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