“Today, I have to rush kiddo to school as the bus isn’t going to come. Tomorrow, I will definitely do it.”
“Oh! I slept late at night because of the project. There’s nothing going to come up tomorrow.”
“Early morning breakfast with fellow mommies to discuss dance class schedule, so tomorrow it is.”
And day 4 and day 5 and so on…
If you are scratching your head, what is this all about, then let me give you a lowdown. This is a calendar full of excuses for not working out, especially for mothers. And this happened with me too.
Immediately after birth of my baby, I had decided to begin workout. Instead, I thought of catching up on some sleep. As she grew up, her schedule became all the more demanding with weaning, erratic sleeping schedules, potty training and what not. I had decided that once she starts going to school, I will have much time on hand for my workout. Instead of that, I became busier with her school projects and the related things.
I realized that it is difficult for working mommies to fit exercise in their schedules. Hence, I have come up with some tricks that helped me find some time for the most important thing for my body and soul – exercise.
1. Do not Postpone
While earlier I was a morning person, after the birth of my little one, I have transformed into ‘one of those’ who hit the snooze button at least thrice. When I wake up late, my workout goes for a toss. Because, it is not ‘that’ important. If you are like me, then do not postpone your exercise for later in the day. I used to do it earlier, but workout never gets fit in the schedule. Here’s there’s no trick except for waking up early. I found it difficult for a couple of days, but then got used to it. Working out makes me feel better than an hour of sleep does. Try it, momma!
2. Analyze Your Schedule
I did this once and wrote everything I did in a day, on a paper, along with time that it took. I realized that nearly an hour of mine is wasted in checking social media updates. While this is important to stay updated, but some of this time could be invested in workout. Likewise, I took out some time from bathing and sleeping as well. This I did for a week. After a week, I did not feel the need to analyze my time. I had already stopped wasting time and became more productive. However, after a month, this activity needs to be repeated for complete focus.
3. Decide the Type of Exercise
Once I woke up early and started stretching. I began yoga but felt a little sleepy. Then, I started doing some stepping exercises. Soon, I got bored of them too. I opened the door to take a walk outside but it started raining, so I returned. Does this happen to you as well? When you know several types of exercises, then it is difficult to work out, unless and until you decide it beforehand. Just like you pre-decide how you will prepare a recipe, decide on how you will begin the 30-minute schedule and what all you will practice.
4. Workout in the PJs
Believe me, at times, I chuck workout just because I am too lazy to change into the gym outfit. When I wasted 2-3 sessions because of this reason, I started exercising in my PJs. I do not give much time to thinking what to wear. Instead of that, I wear what I feel like and start running. At times, if I know that my morning schedule is going to be busy, then I sleep in the workout clothes. This really helps.
5. Sweat it Out with Kids
Earlier, my yoga was interrupted by my little one. She used to sit on my back and interrupt the flow. I chucked exercising in her presence. However, an idea struck me later. There are some exercises that will not only help me lose some calories but will also interest my kiddo, thinking it’s a game. What I do is plan something different every day. So, once both of us did hula hoops. Then, another day, we did some running together. There are so many exercises that could be done along with kids. For instance, skipping, jumping, chasing, playing ball, etc. I even enjoy doing monkey bars and slides along with them. Yes, it helps burn calories.
6. Sneak in the Exercise
Instead of giving excuses, you need to sneak in some exercise while spending some time with kids. My daughter loves to talk to me. What I do is while she narrates her stories, I do some stretches. While cooking food, I hold on to the platform, and do sit-ups. When she watches TV, I do stationary jogging. There is no harm in breaking up the exercise routine. Once you start approaching exercise this way, it will be fun and interesting for you.
7. Place is Not Important
I realized that I do not need a gym or enrollment in aerobic classes to burn calories. This is because I had one or the other reason to skip sessions. Instead, I decided on a designated place at home to exercise. While going to sleep, I spread the exercise mat and clear up the living room for workout. This way, when I wake up in the morning, I just hit the mat from the bed and do some stretching. In office, I sneak up to the conference room during lunch hours and do some stationary jogging. This helps me to stay active throughout the day.
8. Make Exercise Buddies
Once I was discussing my busy schedule with a fellow mommy. She was of the same opinion that it is difficult to exercise with kids. To fit in workout in our schedules, we set goals for ourselves. We used to discuss it every day in the playground. This helped me a lot. The competitive spirit in me wanted to do more number of Suryanamaskarsthan she did. This fizzled out in some days. But luckily, I had the pleasure of a good neighbour staying on our floor. While our kids played, we exercised. This was fun too.
9. Skip the Guilt
Not all days are equals. While one day I manage to walk 5 miles, other days managing even a mile seems to be difficult. Balancing kids and workout isn’t an easy thing. However, thinking about the lost time is simply wasting energy. When my kiddo needs my attention, I spend some time with her instead of thinking about workout. Concentrating on the present is what is required. It is okay to skip workout on some days if you are spending quality time with family.
10. Be an Inspiration to the Family
You are one awesome mom that I know. Your baby looks up to you. If you eat and live healthy, he or she would too. Yes, I understand that managing time is a hard task, but nobody told you that life is going to be easy after a baby. Live your life and do not just waste it in planning. Be an inspiration to your kids by managing time well and living a healthy life.
Work out, not for the sake of losing weight but to stay fit. Everything else follows. Concentrate on building strength. Initially it is difficult to take out time for workout as it is the easiest thing to chuck. However, make a habit to include it in one form or the other. I am sure that you will never repent the time you invested in exercise.