So I have been really excited to write this post! I’m not sure why, because it is really a terrible thing to show people. It’s like showing your unacquainted neighbor your dusty, unorganized crawl space. Or like showing them that closet that has everything from sheets to board games and tools to bath toys in it…plus a few things in the back that haven’t been seen in years. Either way, what you’re about to read is UN-glamorous.
I’ll get on with it then. I am going to show you all the space that I squeeze in my daily exercise, even with 3 very young kids in the house! Yes it IS possible to exercise and have three kids under 4 years old. Let me first say that I had a baby girl last October and I was a little depressed that I hadn’t been able to go to the gym in a very long time…like over a year. I would take my other two kids in the double stroller and go on walks or runs with them when I was feeling super motivated, but now that I had three kids, what was I going to do?? Escaping to go to the gym wasn’t an option because the time commitment was too great and the membership was too expensive. So after my baby turned 5 months old and my idea of exercise at the time was shopping at Target, I decided I was going to go back to committing to working out like I used to before getting pregnant with my third child.
I have a treadmill in my garage. Let me tell you that this has been the ULTIMATE lifesaver. We got it super cheap from some friends who didn’t want it anymore. It is dusty and a bit old, but perfectly functional.
The commitment that I made to myself the day my little girl turned 5 months old was this: I am going to get on the treadmill every time my girls go to sleep in the afternoon around the same time (Monday through Friday). This was a rare occasion that their naps would overlap up until this point, but I decided I needed to start somewhere. Little did I know that this was going to be the day that they began taking naps almost every day at the same time! HA!
Since it had been a year or so that I had been a committed runner, I took it slow at first. I did 20 minutes on the treadmill each time and I walked most of it with a little jogging in between. I was totally happy with that. It made the experience much less daunting and it became an outlet for me to have 20 minutes to myself. Most of the time I watched a show on Netflix, which made the time go by super fast.
I want to show you all where I run so you can see just how UN-glamorous my workouts are. We all see these perfect exercise rooms on Pinterest where people have modern, beautiful designated workout spaces but this is just not the reality for the majority us. I have the most UN-Pinterest-worthy exercise area I have ever seen, but let me tell ya, it gets the job done…snow shovels, camping chairs and all. 🙂
My motivation in this post is to encourage those of you who think you need a perfect workout area, or a gym membership, or over an hour to work out, to just say YES to what you have available to you RIGHT NOW. You can get a full workout finished in 20-30 minutes that will enable you to transform your body if that is your desire (of course your eating habits are extremely important as well but we will save that for another day) right at your house AND with your kids at home. While my girls take their afternoon naps and I am on the treadmill, my son gets to watch 30 minutes of TV. Everyone is happy.
Now, after over 2 months of getting on that treadmill 4-5 times a week (yes the girls have been sleeping at the same time almost every day, Monday through Friday!) I feel so much better physically and emotionally! I do a 4 minute warm-up and then run until I hit the 30 minute mark. My goal is always to go 2.5 miles no matter what. So now I have lost ALL of my pregnancy weight and then some, AND I have a break in my day to look forward to.
If for some reason I have a few extra minutes after my run, I go into my living room (aka the kids play room where my son is watching his show), clear away the toys all over the floor and do some push-ups and sit-ups.
Here are some ways YOU can get your exercise in for the day:
- Actually USE your dusty treadmill/stationery bike/elliptical/or other exercise machine (many more people have them than actually use them) while the kids are asleep (morning, noon or night) or at school.
- Commit to a daily workout time as if it is a business meeting in your planner (this could be early in the morning, during your kids’ nap time, or in the evening after your kids have gone to bed).
- Break up your workout into increments. If you only have 10 minutes at a time, then carve out 3 different ten minute increments in your day to accomplish your workout.
- Turn on a workout video on your TV or stream one on youtube (there are SO many different kinds of free workout videos to suit anyone’s needs). Have your kids join you if you’d like!
- Have a dance party! Turn on some music and just dance with your kids. My kids love this, and so do I. You can get some great cardio in by doing this. 🙂
How do you get your daily workouts into your schedule? What kind of exercise do you usually do?