There are a million and one things that we as parents have to do on a daily basis. Not only do we feed and clothe ourselves, go to work, pay bills, etc, etc, but we also care for a little person too. Our ability to multitask is beyond amazing (although some of us multitask so well, we accomplish everything BUT the original task). So why is fitting in a healthy lifestyle so difficult?
Now, before the judgement and name calling starts flying, keep in mind that I have only become a work from home mom in the last several months. Before Pink Zebra, I was a school teacher (regular teaching hours 8-4 + any extra after school activities I volunteered for) plus a homebound instructor (an extra 10-15 hours a week), plus I did Pink Zebra part time, plus parented 2 children, one in 3 after school activities. (Thank goodness for my husband!) So, yes, I now what it is like to work my a$$ off and be able to fit in healthy eating and exercise. Do I have to work as much now to fit it in? Yes! Where there is a will there is a way.
How do you fit in exercise and healthy eating into your busy life? You make sacrifices.
People start to freak out because they think that they need to be dripping with sweat for a full 60 mins. In reality, elevating your heart rate for at least 10 mins can do the trick. So you don't need to devote a full 60 mins to exercise, you can do 10 here and there until you get to your goal!
1. Wake up 30 mins earlier
This one is EZPZ. Throw on your work out clothes before you go to bed! (Yes! Sleep in your workout gear!) This will eliminate the extra time needed to change in the AM and it is way harder to psych yourself out when you are literally wearing your workout clothes when your alarm goes off. On that note (yes, pun intended) set your alarm to something fun! I use JT Sexyback. I'm bringing sexy back by waking up a little early and working out!
2. Utilize your breaks
Do you have an hour lunch break? What about 15 mins throughout your work day? These are great opportunities to fit in a little exercise. Take a walk by yourself or encourage your co workers to add some exercise to their day. Using your break to make phone calls? Talk a walk while you are on the phone. At my desk job, I would eat my lunch at my desk while I was working and use my hour break to take a walk and decompress. The American Heart Association has a great article on the benefits of walking.
3. Add exercise into your schedule
We schedule work, school, kids activities, hair appoints and nail appointments. Why not schedule your workouts? Look at your planer and pen yourself in. Take the time to focus on you. Exercise will help keep you healthy and focused. It improves your physical and mental health. The better you take care of yourself, the better you can take care of others. Take the time to make time for you.
4. Find a buddy
It is so much easier to exercise when you have someone to do it with. When I began to focus on a healthier lifestyle, I first tried recruiting my friends. Some jumped on and some didn't and what I found was that my friends list changed. I started hanging out with people that had the same interests as I did. My Friday Happy Hour crew turned into a running group. Was it hard? Yes! I felt judged because I was drinking water! Although it didn't bother me the least bit, it seemed to drive everyone else crazy. Eventually, I found a new group of people to hang out with that enjoyed the same things I did and encouraged me in my endeavors.
5. Workout with Family
I'm a mom of two amazing, crazy, busy children and those two keep me running (I should be a lot thinner than I am.) I have tried, from day one to instill a love of exercise into them. We ride bikes and run around outside together. We do yard work and work around the house (Yes! With a yard our size, my heart rate is definitely elevated.) I work out at home every morning before I start my work day. My kids see it and 90% of the time will join in. Being a Beachbody coach, I have many a workouts at home. One afternoon, after doing Hip Hop Abs, I looked at my 4 year old and said, "Go ahead and put on whatever you would like while mommy is in the shower." I came out to her "top naked" (I work out in just my sports bra and yoga pants) doing Hip Hop Abs. I asked her what she was doing and she stops, looks right at me and says "hip hop abs, all day long."
Have some reading for work? Do it on the treadmill. For my job, I have webinars that I have to watch. Instead of sitting on my butt for an hour while I watch them, I rigged up my spin bike to hold my laptop. I spin for the 60 minutes it takes to get through the webinar. Gotta watch that favorite show? We DON"T miss the Walking Dead on Sunday nights in our house. Think about all the commercial time during our favorite shows. You know it's there and probably complain about it the entire time! Use that time to plank or squat or do jumping jacks. It all goes back to fitting it in.
7. Be sneaky
- Park further away in the parking lot so you have to walk a little.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Walk to talk to a coworker instead of calling or emailing.
- Use a stability ball at your desk instead of a chair.
- Every hour of sitting, do something! 10 push ups, squats, jumping jacks
Sign up for something athletic
You may be the least coordinated person out there but joining a team can be a blast. There a ton of competitive and non competitive adult leagues. Try your hand a deck hockey or softball. Remember dodge ball and kick ball from your childhood days? They now have adult teams!! How awesome! There is something for everyone. We decided a few years ago to try to run. When I started I HATED TO RUN and needed my music to get through my 3.2 mile workout. Now, I actually enjoy running without music. What kept me going was signing up for a monthly run. I am a competitive person and running is great because I would compete with myself. I always wanted my next race time to be better than the last. After a year on the 5K circuit, I tried my hand at mudd runs and fell in love. What a genius idea. An obstacle course for grown ups...in the mud! Even better, lots of runs have kid runs. My babies loved getting down and dirty in the mud!
Here is the deal. People work out everyday and a lot of them are way busier than you and I. It is all about sacrifices. Keep in mind that working out is only half the battle so stay tuned for some helpful hints to healthy eating!