Because I’ve been struggling with squeezing in my runs/exercise lately, I’ve been doing some internet research on how busy parents find the time to exercise. All I’ve found is some really disappointing advice. I mean, really annoyingly disappointing advice. Walk with me for a moment as I tell these stupid tips what I really think of them.
Let’s start here with laughable tip #1: “Combine errands and exercise.” This tip advises busy parents to pull a child in a wagon or walk while your child rides their bike to the places you need to go. That’s fine if you need to mail a letter at the local post office. NOT OK if you are down to mustard, ramen noodles and desperately need to go to the grocery store (for fear the family will soon wake up with scurvy). NOT OK when you’re considering taking 12 loads of laundry to the Laundromat so you can actually make a dent in the colossal mound slowly taking over the basement like the blob. NOT a good tip when you need to make a Target run 7 miles down the highway for formula and diapers. What the… NO.
Goofy tip #2: “Turn to the library.” Because they stock up on all kinds of exercise videos. I can’t believe my eyes even read these words. This article actually said the word videos. Enough said.
Senseless tip #3: “Integrate your exercise into the day.” Meaning, park at the furthest end of the parking lot so you can walk a half a mile with a 20 lb. infant on your hip while yelling at your 7-year-old to walk close to you while carrying your GI-Bag that holds small apartment appliances just in case, all while making sure your 10-year-old has the return item while…Ugh…no thanks. OR this means we should all be alternating standing on our tip toes and doing squats while we make dinner. Seriously?! NO ONE WANTS TO DO ANY OF THAT!
Are you kidding me- working parent tip #4: “Exercise on your lunch break.” Why do so many article suggest this?! Because nothing says “I’m ready for the afternoon client meeting with you, Boss” than looking like this:
Good grief. NO.
Frustratingly true, but right now impossible tip #5: “Get up a half hour earlier.” This is great advice. I know this is the best thing to do to make sure that I get the exercise in for the day, but having a baby that wakes up at 4 to nurse and then between 5 or 6am for the day, I REFUSE to stay awake at 4am after tending to the baby. Actually, I don’t refuse, my body absolutely refuses. Lately I truly feel paralyzed between the hours of 4am and 6am….and then again from 8 to 10pm. *sigh*
Now for the few tips that really do make some sense:
1. Take full advantage of downtime. Read: Keep running on the track during the kids lacrosse practice…that is, if you don’t have errands to run.
2. Buddy up with another parent. Check! Got my Sole Sisters on it.
3. Get the kids involved. Okay, I do this…but I also like for my time to exercise to just be “my time.”
4. Alternate exercise times with your spouse/partner. This mutual respect for one another’s time and commitment to healthy habits is definitely a must. My husband is awesome at giving me the time and space to exercise. He knows that the whole family benefits when I can take some time over the weekend to run.
5. Scheduled it in like it’s an appointment. Don’t cancel!
So it looks like I’m on the right track. I need to just keep doing what I’m doing as best as I can do it. Good luck with your journey; be inspired today!
*Feel free to leave your practical and not-so-practical tips in the comments section. We’d love to hear them!*