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Finding Time for Fitness - Part 2

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Finding Time for Fitness - Part 2


A few weeks ago, I shared some tips on how I manage to find time to fit in fitness during my busy days as a working parent. It was nice to hear that many of you use similar tactics to sneak in some sweat time during the day like working out during nap time or including your kids in exercise through walks, hikes, Zumba - you name it. Many of you work out first thing in the morning either before your kids are awake or right after dropping them off at school in order to get it done before the day has a chance to get away from you. I think my favorite comment was from Tracy at Sellabit Mum who said, "Does it suck getting up at 4:30? OMGYES. But totally worth it by the time I'm hitting the pavement."

Luci Gabel left one of the best tips - just don't think about it"Too many people think they need to 'feel' like exercising or be 'in the mood' to exercise first. Which is not the case at all." I completely agree. I know that if I think about something too long, I can come up with every excuse in the book and rationalize my ways out of it in about 5 minutes flat. Now, if I have the opportunity to go work out on a day which I hadn't previously planned on going to a spin/yoga/TRX class, I just do it. I may not want to go down to the gym or for a run right at that moment but I make it count and I know that I will feel better afterwards.

In reading through all your comments, the biggest thing that came across to me was the fact that it all starts with not only making fitness a priority but making ourselves a priority. If fitness isn't a priority, it's so easy to put off working out in favor of doing other things like the dishes or laundry or cleaning which may seem more "important" to do when we plan out our schedules for the day or week or when we find ourselves with a bit of free time. If we don't make ourselves a priority, we are much more susceptible to feeling guilty about taking time away from others, from work and from household chores or asking for help so that we can work out. We may feel that we need to put everyone else's needs before our own.

But this isn't about focusing on ourselves in a superficial way. It's about focusing on our health - physical, mental and emotional health. When we are healthy, we are able to be the best partner/spouse, parent, friend, daughter/son, sibling, employer/employee, etc. that we can be. As a parent, I believe that it's one of the most responsible things that I can do, not only to set a positive example for my kids and help them develop good habits, but because I'm investing in my health to ensure that I'm around to raise my kids and watch them grow up.

What do you think? Do you find it hard to make yourself a priority? Do you get push-back from family and friends about working out?


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22 Comments:

At May 29, 2012 at 7:17 AM , Anonymous MizFit said...

I joke and yet am not joking that I so much make myself a priority it may be to the dismay of the husband.
I GET UP AT THE CRACK OF DAWN TO DO IT--hello 4am! -- but it's me first.
then the rest of the world :)

 
At May 29, 2012 at 8:55 AM , Blogger Melissa said...

I'm finding this to be a major problem right now. I planned on getting up early today to go to a yoga class but could not get out out of bed (went to sleep too late) and now the rest of my day is filled. I will try again tomorrow and once this test is done start to make myself more of a priority. Thx for the reminder!

 
At May 29, 2012 at 10:05 AM , OpenID Ilene, The Fierce Diva Guide to Life said...

Christine - love your message and totally understand the challenge of fitting in fitness or any time at all. I actually just joined the Runner's World summer run streak because there is no excuse at all to not find time to run a mile every day. And even doing a mile makes me feel so much better! Here is my other new time management philosophy that seems to be working: I give every chore an allotted amount of time. Kitchen gets 20 minutes. Laundry gets an hour. Bathroom cleanup 10 minutes, etc. I do whatever I can in those amounts of time and don't worry about finishing the job. What gets done gets done, and in the end I have a little bit of time for me. xo Ilene

 
At May 29, 2012 at 4:28 PM , Blogger *CaNdY FiT* said...

I didn't make health and fitness a priority before...now, it is definitely a must! I have to take care of myself and my overall wellness :)

 
At May 29, 2012 at 4:51 PM , Blogger Christine said...

Yes!! I find that if I don't take care of me first, then I don't do a good job of taking care of everyone else.

 
At May 29, 2012 at 4:52 PM , Blogger Christine said...

Tomorrow's definitely another day. I think that it's looking at the whole picture. Yes, there are going to be days that slip by or don't go as planned but that's OK. I'm in that vicious cycle of staying up too late. I really need to focus on going to bed earlier.

 
At May 29, 2012 at 4:53 PM , Blogger Christine said...

Thanks Ilene! I love that you give each chore an allotted amount of time. That's brillant. Things like the Runner's World run streak or the green smoothie challenge I think are great ways to ensure accountability and help set healthy habits. At leaset that's what I hope!!

 
At May 29, 2012 at 4:54 PM , Blogger Christine said...

So glad to hear that. It's so important yet so easy to brush to the side but so important for us to take care of ourselves.

 
At May 29, 2012 at 7:31 PM , Blogger MCM Mama said...

I'm constantly preaching the "making yourself a priority" message. If I'm not healthy and happy, how can I constantly give what my children/husband/society need? I have a lot of flexibility around when I can work out, but it would be a priority even if didn't.

 
At May 30, 2012 at 1:24 PM , Blogger The Preppy Girl in Pink said...

I can only blame myself. I used to take better care of myself but now I am always making sure that my girls or my husband have the time to be active. I tend to make up excuses and then find myself feeling yucky for not having moved all day. I'm trying to get back into a routine and I think it will be helpful when the girls are off from school. I find lots of ways to be active with them in the summer and it is not only beneficial to my heart in a healthy way but a love way too!

 
At May 30, 2012 at 1:56 PM , Anonymous Tamara (fitknitchick) said...

It's often a problem for women and mothers; we take care of others, before ourselves.
I'm doing a 30 day online course (that starts tomorrow!) to learn more about self-care and setting priorities in my life. Looking forward to gaining some more insight into myself and putting plans into action!

 
At May 30, 2012 at 3:05 PM , Blogger misszippy said...

I think Tamara is right above--something I see over and over again. But it can work if we want it to. Loved the comment about how much it sucks to get up at 4;30, but how it's all worth it. YES!

 
At May 30, 2012 at 3:09 PM , Blogger Missy | Literal Mom said...

I have a really hard time making myself a priority. But one of my summer goals is to do couch to 5k - I may need your encouragement, because your running abilities inspire me!

 
At May 30, 2012 at 5:17 PM , Blogger PavementRunner said...

Love that pink. I don't get too much push back from friends and family. They are all pretty supportive, which helps. But I can tell when it is sometime "inconvenient." I guess it's a proper balance. Great post!

 
At May 31, 2012 at 1:44 AM , Blogger Christine said...

You are so right about the tendency - as mothers and women - to take care of everyone else first. I'd love to hear more about the course you are taking. Sounds like something that I need!

 
At May 31, 2012 at 1:45 AM , Blogger Christine said...

I completely agree with both you and Tamara and it really is about making it work. It IS hard but so worth it.

 
At May 31, 2012 at 1:46 AM , Blogger Christine said...

Missy - I will definitely be there cheering you on and encouraging you! I'm really excited for you and you can definitely do it. I would be more than happy to help support you as you work towards your goal.

 
At May 31, 2012 at 1:48 AM , Blogger Christine said...

Thanks! It's great that your family and friends are supportive. It makes a huge difference and yes, it is about proper balance and prioritizing.

 
At May 31, 2012 at 1:50 AM , Blogger Christine said...

I think that you've summed it up perfectly - how can we constantly give what others need when we aren't healthy or happy. I too have a flexible work schedule which does help a lot in terms of configuring my day but like you, even when I didn't, fitness was still a priority and I made it fit into my day.

 
At May 31, 2012 at 1:53 AM , Blogger Christine said...

It is great when you can be active with your kids especially when you get to do fun things that don't feel like exercise. I think that it's such an ingrained part of being a wife/mom/woman that we put others' needs in front of our own. And it's easy with something like fitness because it can sometimes "feel" like it's an indulgence. I hope that the summer provides lots of fun and active times with your girls and for YOU too!

 
At May 31, 2012 at 11:35 AM , Anonymous Melissa @ Live, Love, & Run said...

It was EXTREMELY difficult for me to find the time for ME. But, what I quickly realized is the healthier, more active I am, the happier I am. The happier I am, the happier my family is. Without a happy mom, we don't have a happy TEAM. Being healthy and choosing to take care of your body is NOT selfish. (I wrote a post on this once.) My sister refuses to hire a babysitter just so she can go to the gym while her husband is in Afghanistan. I wish I lived closer to her...because she'd be pushed out the door. Healthy mommy = sane mommy.

 
At June 2, 2012 at 9:05 AM , Blogger Christine said...

Agreed!! It's all about a happy Mommy and happy team.

 

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