I see you, mother of multiples who is trying to balance working at home full-time, virtual schooling, keeping up with all the things and wanting to keep or even add a fitness routine in your days.
I see you, entrepreneur who gets up before the sunrise to answer emails and finishes income-producing activities only moments before bed. You skipped the workout you planned today again because you got busy. I get it.
It’s all a lot.
No matter what your situation is, it can be challenging to find and dedicate the time out of your busy days to complete a workout.
Before we dive into the tips, let’s cover exactly why adding consistent workouts to your weeks can be extremely beneficial to you and your family. And – surprise – it isn’t all about losing weight, although that could be a huge motivation factor for you!
The top benefits of working out regularly include:
- It could make you feel happier.
- It can increase your energy levels.
- It can help you relax and sleep better.
- It is great for your muscles and bones. (When you’re not overtraining.)
- It can increase your strength for everyday, tiring activities.
- It can improve your health and reduce your risk of chronic disease.
- It can help with anxiety and depression.
And the list could go on an on …
So, if you’re on board with getting on the fitness train, here are my tips on how to actually fit working out into your regular routine.
Check your mindset.
Keeping a positive mindset is key here. Are you secretly dreading the act of moving your body towards self improvement? If your answer is yes, then it’s going to be a lot harder to make time and show up consistently. Instead of looking at working out as something you have to do, see it as something that you GET to do. Keeping a regular fitness routine is your chance to improve so many things in your life at the same time, and that is multi-tasking for the win, my friends.
Schedule your workouts like you schedule important meetings.
If regular exercise is important to you, treat it just like you would look at any important thing on your schedule … like it matters and that it is non-negotiable. Start small with realistic plans (I would recommend at least twice a week) and write it on your calendar. Pick a specific time if that detail helps you and stick to it. These training sessions are now part of your day.
Break it up and/or get the most out of your time.
Here’s the thing … it’s not about how much time you work out, it’s what you are doing in that dedicated time that makes all the difference. I think a lot of us overcomplicate things and get into an hour or nothing type of mindset. Well, unless you are a body builder or are training for something specific like an extreme sport or long-distance race, you don’t need more than thirty minutes to get a great workout in. Really!
Whether you incorporate cardio and strength training into the same or different workouts is totally up to you, and you can get extremely effective sessions in with HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). Just be sure to add variety in your week with both high and low impact workouts so you aren’t go-go-go training all the time.
Join a gym or fitness program that is convenient for you.
Think about it. If your gym is nice but across town, are you really going to be motivated to drive or commute all the way over to it during a busy day? Not likely. My family belongs to a gym that is a street away from our apartment, so it couldn’t be more on the way to almost any errand. Plus, knowing that we pay for a monthly membership really incentivizes us to use it!
If you’re exclusively working out at home, there are countless apps and options for you online. I highly recommend searching around YouTube for fitness channels that you’re drawn to and want to show up for. I’ve never tried the Peloton app or workouts (am I the last one to say this?), but everyone raves about them. And if this overwhelms you, let’s talk more about training together. (Yes, I do 1-on-1 and small group virtual training!)
Get up earlier.
This one can be hard, but it is so helpful. Working out first thing in the morning isn’t for everyone, but some find it to be the ideal time of day to ensure that life doesn’t get in the way of their plans to break a sweat. If you are worried about your kids waking up and have a live-in partner or spouse that can help, ask them to be on wake-up duty or talk about specific days of the week where you can switch off and both get your workouts in. (Scott and I used to do this all the time!)
Make workouts your “you” time.
“You” time is hard to come by in the days of quarantine, and I totally get that. But I can’t tell you how many times getting outside for a solo run or a brisk walk helped me more mentally that physically. You don’t get “you” time all the time, so you have to use it sparingly. But if you need that time to make sure that you’re working out, schedule it with your spouse as your “you” time and follow your workout with a nice warm shower, hot coffee or meal, and listen to your favorite podcast, audiobook, or playlists throughout it all. This has become therapy for me during many hard seasons!
Get your whole family active.
If you aren’t feeling spending your “you” time on workouts, the other option could be getting your whole family in on it. Working out with a toddler isn’t ideal, but I complete at least one workout a week at home with Skyler right by my side and it gets done. Plus, he sees his mommy working out and is learning that exercise and activity off of the couch or away from a screen is important.
Also, it doesn’t always have to be a workout! Take group walks before or after dinner, play catch, kick a soccer ball, ride bikes, etc. Get outside!
Get the most out of your chores and television time.
I didn’t realize how many steps I can take just cleaning our apartment and putting away laundry in a day until I started wearing an Apple Watch. You’re doing these things anyways, so make the most out of your time by working at a faster pace and get your heart rate up. Maybe you’re also doing twenty jumping jacks in between cleaning each room. Maybe you’re on the floor stretching or completing an abs circuit before or after you’re done. Get creative with how you spend your time!
Also, if you need time to unwind and just sit after a long day, by all means take that time to be horizontal. But if you have been stagnant or sitting for most of the day, your body might need more movement before bedtime. I don’t have a treadmill or stationary bike at home, but you better believe I would be walking and running to movies all the time if I did.
Literally run your errands.
This one isn’t for everyone, I know. But hear me out. If you’re in a unique situation where you live a mile or two from the destination of somewhere you need to be every day (like childcare drop off), get a running stroller, run to the facility, and run home with an empty stroller. I see this all the time in my neighborhood and it’s genius.
Get an accountability partner.
You’re more likely to show up for things if someone is expecting you, so don’t be afraid to tell people what your goals are and how often you plan to work out. Tell your spouse, find a friend in the same boat as you who would welcome motivation texts to check in before/after you work out, or even make it a date night!
(Remember when Scott convinced me to run the Tough Mudder at six months postpartum?)
When Scott and I were training for long distance races, we would make our Saturday loops something we look forward to by running late-morning and ending at a restaurant with a delicious brunch near home waiting for us at the finish line. This would require a babysitter now, but don’t underestimate the power of making fitness activities exciting and something that you look forward to! We were also in a phase of Fitness Fridays where we would take a group fitness class together, then celebrate the end of the week with tacos and a margarita or two afterwards. It was something we both got excited for when it was harder to stay on track with scheduling workouts.
I hope this motivates you to actually go for the fitness goals or routine that you’ve been thinking about for too long. Take it one tip or baby step at a time until it naturally becomes part of your routine and honor the process!
Just like anything else, success in staying consistent in your workout routine doesn’t come overnight. Today I’m challenging you to start adding at least one of these tips into your days. And know that I am here to help if you need it.
Go get it, sis!
You might also like:
- How To Easily Add Movement Into Your Day
- Fitness Tips To Stay Motivated During Quarantine
- My Go-To Workout: Push, Pull, Squat
- 5K Training Plan For Beginners