Working out for me is like brushing my teeth. On the days where it doesn't happen, I feel vaguely gross, weird, and out of sorts. I run five miles every day and on the days I don't I am in in a terrible mood and I usually complain bitterly about it. Of course, it's not always easy to find the time.
Right now our family is in the process of moving to the New York City area, which is 300 miles from where we live now, so my husband and I are living apart, I am working full time, commuting them to school an hour each way and living in a small apartment. It's not all that easy to squeeze a workout in, especially with the kids. But I do. Always.
How do I do it? Well here are my 10 tips to find the time to work out:
1.) Make it happen: The number one thing I have to say is you need to prioritize exercise as highly as any other personal care thing. Maybe even higher. I will skip a shower before I skip a run. I have run during phone meetings with my ear buds. I have run during snowstorms, and in the middle of the night with a headlamp. If you make it a priority, it will happen.
2.) Use the stairs: Always and forever use those stairs. We live on the ninth floor and believe me, it makes a difference.
3.) Use the park: Take your kids to the park and do chin-ups and push ups while they play.
4.) Utilize the gym: Pay a little more to find a gym with good childcare and use it. On your way home from work or early in the morning, there is time to find.
5.) Become a morning person: If you usually get up at 6, get up at 5 instead and work out. You will be tired at first, but once you build the habit, it is amazing.
6.) Walk your errands: This is a huge one in our sedentary lives. Even if you are two miles from the grocery store, you will get the walk there in, PLUS you will get weight training by walking back with the bags.
7.) Walk to get your kids: Go get your kids from school by walking instead of driving. Then everyone gets a little workout. Believe me, it is possible. My 4-year-old and 5-year-old both walk four miles a day every day. You just have to believe they can do it.
8.) Utilize videos: No time to get to the gym? Pop a good workout DVD in the player and do it. Even if you only get 10 minute increments, it is still something.
9.) Get a jogger: If your kids are too little to walk long distances (say under 2), invest in a good jogger and follow the advice in number 7.
10.) Order take out: Or whatever else you can to streamline your life. Finding the time to work out is like budgeting. It's not unlimited and you can't do it all, but find ways to streamline some parts of your life and you may find there is time you did not know you had.
How do you make sure to get a workout in?