As a fairly new mom to twin boys (they just turned 17 months old), I have a whole new perspective on time. I don’t even remember what I did with myself before I became a mom! I do remember thinking that I needed to spend at least 45 minutes at the gym to get in a good workout or it really wasn’t worth going. I also remember thinking that I wouldn’t even CONSIDER walking as my workout. Oh how things have changed! I want to share with you some tips that I’ve used over the past year in order to manage workout time, as well as some tips that my friends with older children have shared with me.
1. Exercise during naptime
Once your new baby (or babies in my case) are on somewhat of a schedule, try to workout while they nap. My boys just gave up their morning nap. They used to go down at 9am. I knew I could usually get in at least a 30 minute workout and a quick shower before they woke up. If I was lucky, I’d be able to clean up a bit and maybe do some laundry too! There were so many days, especially when they were younger, that all I wanted to do when I put them down, was crawl right back into bed myself. Over time, I’ve come to realize that no matter how tired I am before my workout, I ALWAYS feel better and more energized after. I never regret the workouts I make, only the ones I miss.
2. Exercise before your children, or child, wakes up
If you are not a morning person, this may NOT sound appealing at all, but wouldn’t it be nice to have your workout over and done with without anything getting in the way? Studies show that people who exercise first thing in the morning are a lot more consistent than those who exercise at other times during the day. Try setting your alarm clock and putting it across the room so you have to get out of bed to shut it off. Have your clothes and anything else you may need ready to go so you don’t have any excuses to go back to sleep!
3. Bring your children or child to your gym’s daycare!
Most gyms will allow you to bring your children to the gym after 3 months of age and you can drop them off and know they are in good hands while you get your workout . I know at the gym I work at, this is hugely popular. If the childcare providers need you, they come and get you. It will get you both you and your child out of the house and give you both a change of scenery! This is what I’ve been doing for the past month or so. A couple of times a week we get up to the gym around 7:45 (they wake up at 6) and stay until around 9. By the time we get home there is only a little over an hour to kill before lunch and naptime!
4. Ask a friend!
If you have a close friend that has children , ask them to switch off babysitting duties so you can both hit the gym! You watch hers one day and she watches yours the next. In this way, you both save money on childcare; you kids get to play together and both moms get their workouts in!
5. Get out of the house!
There are definitely some days where you have a million other things to do while your child naps other than workout .. housework, laundry, emails, etc.. On those days, plan on going out for a long walk. If you have a jogging stroller, try going for a run! My boys are at the age where they LOVE going for walks in their wagon. The way I look at it, I’m dragging or pushing a good 50+ pounds – some days that will count as my cardio, and I’m ok with that. If you have a new baby, put him or her in the baby carrier and go for walk. Anything is better than nothing!
Unfortunately, it is very easy to make excuses, but if you really want to get your workouts in, you will find a way to do it. They may not always be like they were before, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get great results! I’ve found that I’ve actually worked harder knowing that my workout can end at any minute LOL! It is really important to schedule time for yourself so you don’t go nuts! Do not feel guilty about going to the gym or leaving your child with a sitter so that you can go take an exercise class. You will be a better mom for it! And remember to always put nutrition first. So if you can’t squeeze in a workout, make sure you eat super clean that day!! Good luck moms!