Hi friends. It has been awhile hasn’t it!
I did not fall off some mountain. And we aren’t having any family crisis, thankfully. No, what has caused this blogging quiet over the last few weeks is my St. George Ironman 70.3 training plan…
When we ventured into this, I fully knew that every remaining amount of free time I had would be consumed with swimming, biking, and running. We knew this and prepared for it. What I wasn’t prepared for? The rest of life to go on! While I had two hours a day in my hypothetical schedule for workouts, I didn’t have time for the dentist, the orthodontist, my daughter’s standardized testing, or really anything that came up unannounced. Even poor Kai, who needs to visit the groomer, is “suffering” due to my lack of time. 🙁
Now I know many of you are gawking at my self-imposed trial. I get it. I chose this. And I fully realize it is a season of my life, not the way I will be able to live forever as a mom. But I also realize every mom I know battles with finding the time, the motivation, the when and how of building or maintaining fitness as a mom.
We don’t need to be told why. We know exercise is good for our bodies, our stress management, our overall health, etc. We all say (as our toddlers waddle around the play ground) that we want to be able to keep up with them as they grow. But somewhere in our minds this is in the distant future.
I guess I’d caution you: it isn’t. A few months back my son asked to go on a run with my husband and proceeded to run 5 miles, on trail, just a minute under the pace I’d done it at a week before. I have no plans of competing with my kids fitness-wise as they grow older. But I certainly don’t plan on being left behind. And I didn’t plan on my kids starting to push beyond the boundaries many adults have on their fitness abilities at age 6…
So how do we insert fitness into our lives as a mom? Here are some things to think about:
- Find something that inspires you. And find the right motivator. If you aren’t a gym person, why try to be? Likewise, if you hate the outdoors, but love to dance, pursue it! If you love climbing mountains, set a goal, and then train to achieve it. Take an honest look at your life-long bucket list and ask yourself, “Why not now?”
- A supportive husband, friend, or family member is priceless. As a mom, I felt like I needed permission to take time for myself. Maybe it is just me… But my husband did more than just “wish I’d exercise more.” He told me to go (in a polite way). And even now, he offers to watch the kids, he prioritizes money in our budget for a gym membership, he asks what I need to succeed and makes it happen. Husbands, don’t be a passive stander-byer in your wife’s life. Help make happen the things she desires, cause often us women feel overwhelmed and swamped by the responsibilities of motherhood or work.
- Make a weekly routine and schedule it in. If you make vague plans to workout in a day or a week, I’ll bet ya it doesn’t happen. Take an honest look at your goals and your time. Schedule it in your week, like you would any other meeting or appointment, and then keep to it. I’d also believe that short but often workouts are better than one long workout every few weeks… Consistency over time is key.
- View it as a financial investment. The money we pay for gym memberships, running shoes, or a new jog bra now, will be far less than the medical bills later if we don’t care for our bodies.
Tips from other moms:
Kathy Dalton (GoAdventuremom.com) – It has to be a priority. What I do is make a promise to myself and say, “I am going to go for a run or get to the gym today”. I put on my exercise clothes and if I’m still in work out clothes by dinner time, I will go for a walk around the neighborhood.
Mae Funk Kiggins (www.mommylovestrees.blogspot.com) – I usually involve my kids. I take them running or we do Pilates at home. I feel like it is one of the best things I can teach them, to take care of themselves.
Linda Åkeson McGurk (www.rainorshinemamma.com) – I’ve tried running on my own but find it hard to motivate myself and finding the time for it. What has been a blessing for me is that a fitness center opened in our town, offering classes ranging from yoga to kick boxing. Now I have a set time for exercise twice a week, no excuses. It makes a difference that my husband knows what to expect too, so he can schedule around it.
Melissa Avery (www.chasquimom.com) – I am very goal oriented, hence committing to an event like a half marathon or an organized ride puts on “good pressure”. I also don’t go to the gym because I will always find an excuse to not go. I run and bike straight from my home. We also have free weights racks in our garage and make sure I schedule my own exercise time separate from our regular outdoor family activities, which is hiking or family biking.
What works for you?