Before I had children, I worked out multiple times a week for a total of about 15 hours. It was a part-time job, and I loved it. Going to the gym was a stress relief, as well as a way I could maintain my lifestyle (i.e. going out for drinks with the girls). After kids? Totally different story. I tried to workout at the gym after my son was born, but he would cry & I would have to get him from their “childcare” (which was really just some high school student sitting in a room with a bunch of kids). It was not a good fit. Then, once I had my 2nd and 3rd kids, it was just impossible to get them all loaded up and unloaded in a good-enough mental state to actually lose myself in my workout. I thought it was a lost cause. I was trying to do-it-all, and the only one who was missing out was me. I needed fitness, and to sweat & lose myself in non-thinking time. So, I decided it was time to rethink how I fit exercise into my life.
Make a Plan
I have some Mommy friends (Mothers of 1) who are able to drag their little ones all over in the stroller, any time of day, and never have a problem with it. Once you add in other kids, it gets a lot harder. So, I sat down and listed all of the exercises I could do with the kids in tow (walking, jogging, some strength training like situps, etc) and those exercises I need to do alone (hand weights, yoga, cardio on the elliptical).
Work Your Plan
Once I had the exercises listed, I chose one cardio and one strength exercise for each day of the week. I am not going for hours on end, so I do not need a “day of rest” from exercise. I put them on the calendar so that they were PLANNED INTO EVERY DAY. Otherwise, it was just another thing on my mental “to-do” list, and too often times I would neglect it all together.
For me, I decided that I would suck it up & get up at 5:00am to get my cardio in everyday. The kids are (usually) still asleep, and it was time I could devote to the elliptical. And my nutritionist said that working out in the morning is ideal, as it sets your body up to burn calories throughout the day. Then, I work out with the girls in tow during the day, whether that is on a lengthy walk/jog around the neighborhood or a strength training dvd that just uses my body as resistance, or having a dance party with them. This way, they are included in fitness & they see that is needs to be a part of our daily lives. In this age of technology for everything, kids lose their imaginations too soon, in my opinion. They need to be challenged mentally and physically every day. And my kids need to have a mommy who can keep up with them.