Yesterday, I had the privilege to talk to a lot of people about exercise. The #1 struggle people shared, especially moms, was even though they knew they should exercise they struggled to make time for exercise.
Setting aside time for ourselves is so difficult. We feel guilty. We feel selfish. We feel like we are neglecting our families, our friends, our jobs... our obligations.
"We can't truly serve others unless our needs are met first."
That's a tough pill to swallow. Here is the best way to carve out time to exercise and some tips on how best to do it.
Put yourself on the calendar. You know that giant calendar with every one's practices, rehearsals, and parties? Are you on there?
Schedule a time for YOU. If we don't set aside a time to do it; it won't get done. We never wake up early or end the day and say, "Oh, I have an extra 30 minutes let me just pop in to the gym for a quick workout."
Exercise is so crucial for maintaining health, increasing energy, de-stressing, and improving mood. We need to make time by scheduling exercise. Here are some tips from based on what others are doing.
- Schedule exercise first thing in the morning. My friend, Anita, exercises before work and before any one else can steal her away. There are a lot less distracts and demands on you at 5:00 AM than there are at 5:00 PM.
- Combine friends and fitness with an exercise class. Nothing better than accomplishing more while doing less. Signing up for a class with friends automatically schedules exercise in your day, creates a time to catch-up with friends, and builds in a support system to keep you going.
- Make it a family affair. Kristine, a mom at my school, lets the kids pick 1 or 2 nights a week to plan the activity. They go for bike rides, walk the dogs, play at the playground, or have dance parties in the living room. They put exercise on their calendar. Same night every week. It's a great idea. Cardio time and quality time!
- Don't take your shoes off! This one's weird, but it works. If I go home and take my shoes off I'm toast. Shoes off. Sweatpants on. Drive and determination diminished. Whether it's working out, writing, doing the dishes, or cleaning the house if I leave my shoes on I'm still good to go. So how does it work? Head straight from work to the gym. Pick up the kids from daycare after your workout. Keep your shoes on during dinner so you are all ready for a post dinner walk. Keep your momentum and mindset going until everything is done.
Check out the video "How to Create an Exercise Calendar" to go step by step through creating an exercise calendar. Download your free Finding Fit Exercise Calendar to plan your first month of exercise. Click here for your free calendar.
What tips do you have for busy moms looking to make time for exercise? What do you do to make time for exercise in your life? We'd love to learn what works for you. Leave a comment below.