How To Make Time For Fitness… When You Have No Time!
Mom-life is always busy life. Being a working single mom of 3 boys under the age of eight I can relate to those who just feel like it’s impossible to fit in exercise. Thankfully, part of my job requires physical activity – but, it’s not an everyday thing. Sometimes, it feels like I just don’t have a spare 20 minutes to get in a workout because I want to spend with my kids.
Many people say that if you want something bad enough, you’ll make the time. So, if you really want to work more exercise into your day, you’ll wake up earlier or stay up later. Some will suggest hiring a nanny or a daycare to watch your kids while you get moving. While those are great options, they aren’t realistic in the long term.
Here are three things I’ve done to make physical activity fit into my schedule….when I just don’t have the time.
1. I get the kids involved.
While I’m lucky enough that my boys love doing yoga, sometimes I’m looking for a little more intense exercise. So, I round up the boys and we play a game. Often it’s something we’ve made up, but the overall theme is running and jumping – stuff that gets our heart rates up. When the weather is nice and we can get outside, we have even more fun. This is one of my favorite ways to squeeze in a cardio workout – because I get to bond with my boys at the same time.
2. I take the stairs.
This is advice you’ve probably heard a ton of times. You might be thinking, I don’t have the time for that! I hear you. Taking the stairs can tack multiple minutes onto any errand – whether you’re climbing one flight or a few. However, the alternatives (elevators and escalators) aren’t that much faster. As both alternatives are often clogged with people, you may find yourself in for a slow incline on an escalator or waiting in line for the elevator. If you’re carrying a ton of stuff, skip the stairs, but if it’s just a few things? Consider it added weight. When deciding if the stairs are for me on any given day, I consider how much time I have, how much I have to carry, and if my three boys are with me. Remember, you don’t always have to take the stairs, but it’s a great way to increase your steps – and maybe even save you a little time.
3. I change the way I work.
While I may not be able to take zoom calls while running laps or type while performing a downward dog, there are little tweaks I can make. Instead of sitting down to answer my emails, I’ll bring my laptop to the kitchen counter and work standing up. When I talk to my team, I opt for a phone call rather than a video call. That way I can walk while I talk – even if I’m just walking around my home. These tweaks don’t take any additional time out of my day, but they do add some of the movement I crave. If you’re working in the office, it doesn’t hurt to inquire with your boss about the possibility of a standing or treadmill desk.
Working a little extra fitness into your day doesn’t have to mean disrupting it. As working parents, days fly by. Making little changes can take some major pressure off of yourself. Which, in turn, is going to allow you to enjoy your free time to the fullest.
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is currently teaching yoga with Peloton. She is the star of over 100 videos, seen in several magazines and tv shows and is a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!