Once you have kids, your schedule undergoes some major changes. They become the top priority and parents needs tend to fall into last place. Making it to the gym can seem like an unrealistic goal with so many other tasks on your plate. Here are some tips to get to you back into a exercise routine while maintaining a balanced family schedule.
1. Make it a priority- If you’re ever going to get back to working out you must make it a priority! There will always be something else to do, so you have to choose to make your health and exercise a non-negotiable priority. Once you choose to make it a MUST DO, your mindset around working out will change. Know that your health and wellness is essential to your entire family’s health, there is no shame in making fitness a priority.
2. Workout in the morning- Working out in the morning lets you check it off your list before life gets in the way. When you’re an over-tired parent, the last thing you want to do is get up early and workout. The first 10 minutes might be rough, but you will feel accomplished and ready to conquer the day when you’re done! Your mind will be at peace knowing you did something for yourself. And let’s face it if you put it off until after work, or after the kids are asleep, it’s less likely to happen.
3. Get your kids involved- Getting your kids involved is a terrific way wear your kids out while sneaking in a quick workout. Take them to the park and trick them into running intervals or even turn the jungle gym into a make-shift gym. If you have a young baby, try using them as a weight!
4. Find a workout friend- Finding a workout buddy will keep you motivated and accountable! Make your exercise time do double duty by making it a social outing. You’ll be a lot more excited to make it to the gym if you know you’re meeting a friend.
5. Make it efficient- Choose workouts that maximize your spare time. Workouts like cardio and HIIT are quick and burn excess fat! It IS possible to get a fulfilling, thorough workout in only 30-45 minutes, you just have to be smart about your exercises! 30 minutes of HIIT is more than enough for most!
6. Invest in a home gym- If you have small children, dragging them to the gym for daycare while you work out can be a task. If you install a home gym you have the freedom to workout while they nap or sleep. You have the flexibility to workout when you have time, whether that means late at night or during an unplanned downtime for the day.
7. Find a workout you like- There is no point in forcing yourself to do workouts you HATE! It’s not sustainable and it will make your tough workouts even more of a struggle. Try gym that offers a variety of classes and workouts, that way you can try new things and find the right workout for you. Give small group training, spin, HIIT, strength training and cardio a try! Once you find a workout you truly enjoy, it will feel like an escape rather than a chore.
8. Take a lunch break- Your work lunch break can be a refreshing time to sneak in exercise. It breaks up the work day and helps to keep you from feeling stiff and stagnant! Ideally, there is a gym in or near your office, but if not, try getting outside and jogging or doing a dynamic body weight routine!
9. It’s ok to take YOU time- Many parents struggle with guilt when it comes to taking time for themselves. The truth is, taking time for yourself and your happiness is more beneficial to family and your children than anything else.