How to find time to exercise in a busy life
Like many of you I have a life that feels full. Full of the wonderful, demanding and chaotic time with my family, full of the mundane housework and shopping, full of amazing friends with whom I can spend some precious adult time. I am fortunate to currently be on maternity leave but soon the pressures and commitment that come with work will intensify the demands on my time.
I am lucky to have all these things clamouring for my time. I may not always feel this when I’ve been up at night with a grumpy baby, trying to cook dinner and entertain a toddler who often needs a potty trip at inopportune moments, but I am grateful that life challenges me to balance so many things on a daily basis.
Finding time to exercise is just another of the challenges resultant from a busy life .
Actually this is a two-part challenge – firstly motivation to exercise is required ( I find this motivation occasionally goes into hiding somewhere under a pillow, much as I would like to after a bad nights sleep).
Secondly, I need time to put this motivation into practice.
I’ll be looking at motivation to exercise later this week, but here are some practical ways to exercise when time is very precious.
7 tips for finding time to exercise
1. Short workouts at home: As the name of my blog implies just finding ‘ten minutes spare’ is often enough to achieve something worthwhile. When I am really struggling to find adequate time I do a ten minute exercise routine that doesn’t require any equipment at home.
2. Exercise DVDs: I’ve already written a little about my experience of learning Pilates at home using exercise DVDs. There are also numerous youtube videos to keep you motivated without needing to attend a gym class.
3. Early morning exercise: At the moment my precious sleep is frequently interrupted by baby Pumpkin so there is little chance of me voluntarily getting out of bed before he is awake. Mr R, however, often does a workout first thing in the morning before the chaos commences for the day.
4. Easily accessible exercise equipment: Mr R has a bar for pull-ups over a door frame in our house. Glamorous it may not be, not practical and easily accessible it certainly is!
5. Running: I do find that this is one of the most time efficient ways to exercise, its quicker to simply on a pair of trainers and get out the door than to attend a gym. It’s also possible to go whenever you have a spare moment rather than struggling to make a timed class or group.
6. Cycling to work: I am currently on maternity leave but Mr R cycles to work once a week.
7. Walking: I walk on a daily basis, usually pushing a heavy double pushchair. This is not something I would have considered exercise pre-children, but I do now count it as physical exertion. Extra credit if done with a shopping-laden pushchair, one-handedly, whilst clutching a toddlers hand, with a baby strapped to the chest (yes I have done this…on more than one occasion)
Exercise as a new Mum brings extra challenges. Your body has undergone immense changes and it is advisable to wait until after the 6 week post-natal check before commencing a formal exercise regime. Once you have the go-ahead to start working-out the following are some of the options for exercising with a baby.
- ‘Bring your baby’ exercise classes: There are often local classes organised for Mummies where baby’s can be brought into the exercise room. There are also some classes where babies can be worn in slings
- Gyms with crèche facilities
- Outdoor classes where you can exercise with a buggy
- Home workouts with your baby. I have enjoyed reading the baby wearing workout from breaking muscle.com. I have never personally done any formal exercises whilst baby-wearing, but simply carrying your baby is in itself a form of exercise.
I am constantly inspired by some of my amazing friends and acquaintances who have achieved fantastic exercise and health related goals in their busy lives. Later this week I will be writing about motivation to exercise, which consists of having goals and inspiration. I am blessed to have both reasons to want to remain physically fit and to be surrounded by inspiration.
30 Second Summary: Finding time and motivation to exercise can be a challenge. Here are 7 tips for fitting exercise into a busy life.
Please do let me know if you have any tips for how you manage to find time to exercise in your life when things are busy? I always enjoy reading your comments.