We women talk a lot about “fitting it all in” and how other women seem to be able to do it all. This is a question I get asked a lot, and I always have to snort when they do. There are so many things I don’t do — like crafting, photo keeping, even cleaning my own house. (My housekeeper saves my sanity!!)
People make time for what is important to them, plain and simple. For years I couldn’t seem to fit in an exercise program, but finally it became important enough for me to figure out how to make it work.
I decided that I need to be active so I can do outdoor activities with my family and keep up with the kids. Not only that, but the alone time exercise provides is a delightful escape from the busyness of motherhood. When I was younger, I thought exercise was boring, but now it feels like a luxury. And of course, I wouldn’t mind keeping what’s left of my girlish figure.
At different phases of life, I’ve learned to fit exercise in at different times and in different ways. I’ve had plenty of dry spells too, when it just didn’t make the cut in my priority list. I’m by no means perfect, but I firmly believe where there’s a will, there’s a way.
I love that Kohl’s is encouraging people to live active, healthy, and happy lives through their Make Your Move campaign. I’m DYING to get back out there and exercise as soon as I get the go-ahead from my orthopedist.
I believe the secret to fitting it in is simply a matter of finding something you LOVE to do. Because once you love an activity, you WILL find a way to fit it in — as long as you’re not afraid to put your own needs on your priority list.
So many women I know seem to put everyone else’s needs ahead of their own, but self-care is not selfish. It truly makes me a better wife and mother.
Here are some suggestions for how to fit exercise into your busy life. Happily, Kohl’s has you covered with all the gear you’ll need!
Work Out When the Kids Are In School
As a stay-at-home-mom with young kids, I joined the YMCA and started taking classes in the mornings after putting my kids on the school bus. I utilized the childcare services at the Y for my baby who was still at home.
I cried the first day I put my daughter in their Child Watch program. I’d never done daycare, and the room seemed like such a crowded and stuffy place to leave my precious baby. But when I got back, I found her happily playing with one of the workers as if she hadn’t even noticed I’d left. After that, it got easier and I went regularly for a couple of years when my kids were little. The gym can be a great place to meet new mom friends, too, if you find yourself feeling isolated at home with a new little one.
If you’re struggling with motivation, consider treating yourself to some new fitness attire. It may sound shallow, but sometimes having a new outfit to wear to the gym is just the impetus I need to get myself over there.
When I go to the gym, I like to wear capri-length workout pants or shorts with a short-sleeved tee or tank top. It’s always warm so you definitely don’t want long pants, even in the wintertime. I pull on long pants over my workout capris and then take them off when I get inside. This is also the type of thing I wear to my training appointments, even though I go to her house instead of the gym.
Early Morning Workouts
My absolute favorite time of day to work out is in the early morning hours. In fact, I managed to retrain my body clock from the night owl I’d been all my life into a chipper morning person when I started running. I like to get my exercise out of the way early in the day so when summertime came, I needed to fit it in before my husband left for work in the mornings. That’s when I started getting up super early. Turns out, I love those early morning hours, and even though I’m not currently able to work out, I still get up early to get some me-time before the household wakes up.
As soon as I’m given the go-ahead, I’ll be out there walking — even if it’s just walking the dog around the block at first. Here’s one of my go-to winter workout outfits. I cannot WAIT to put this to use.
If you like to get outside to exercise and it’s as cold where you are as it is here, you might need some additional gear. Fortunately, Kohl’s has you covered! I like the pants pictured above for walking, but they can be cumbersome when running or biking. For that, you’ll want fleece-lined running tights and probably a couple of layers on top. A fleece hoodie over a moisture-wicking tee-shirt will usually do the trick. Then you’ll want gloves and a headband to keep your ears warm. If it’s super cold, you might want a hat.
Women who work may find it difficult to get up early enough to work out in the mornings. Lunch break is always an option, but I don’t know how anyone would have time to fit in a workout AND get showered and put back together in an hour. This is one way that men have it easy!!
A lot of working moms I know choose to exercise at night. A great option is to pack a gym bag with workout gear and stop at the gym on the way home from work. Or if you prefer to exercise outside, I often notice women power walking in the neighborhood either before or after dinner.
Sometimes life is messy, and you just have to do what you can in the small time slots you have. My trainer always amazes me with how she manages to fit her runs in around her crazy schedule — she has two kids in multiple sports and music lessons, a part-time job as a college running coach, and her personal training clients. Plus there’s the household to run and her own training schedule. (She’s a marathoner.)
She will run the track when her kids are at soccer practice, or stop at a trail on the way home from a training session before she has to pick the kids up from school.
She’s a take-no-excuses kind of gal, but she practices what she preaches, and that has been a HUGE motivation to me. Sometimes you just have to fit it in where you can, and that might mean not getting a shower immediately afterwards, running into the grocery store in your sweaty running duds, or putting off more exciting tasks like finishing that book you were reading last night or meeting a friend for coffee. It might also mean putting off some of the more mundane chores. The laundry will still be there in the morning, but you will feel so much better if you get your workout in.
Whenever or however you fit it in, you can always guarantee that the benefits of exercise are worth it. I am generally happier, less moody, a better sleeper, and all around more content when I’m getting regular exercise.
How will you make your move this year!??
This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Kohl’s.