My work has started a June Fitness Challenge, in which we do a set number of squats everyday for the month of June. At first I was like, “This is great, sign me up!” and then I was like, “What did I just do to myself?!” First, I hate squats! Second, when will I have the time for this?
Expressing my laments, my very fitness-oriented coworker suggested that I knock out 10 squats multiple times throughout the day. This looks like doing squats while blow-drying my hair, waiting for the microwave, etc. When you think of it that way, there are many in-between moments when exercising is a good way to spend the time. My favorite is to go for a walk for most of my lunch break. If you’re in a season of busyness, you can still incorporate exercise into your day by taking advantage of the in-between moments.
While the squat challenge is great, I previously mentioned that I made my own fitness goals. As a full time employee who also is a mom, I wanted to share how I incorporate regular exercise into my day without taking time away from my child.
After having the baby, exercise was what I let go. I could not exercise in addition to nursing/pumping. Nursing while with the baby and pumping/storing the milk/cleaning the bottles while away takes an exorbitant amount of time. Time well spent, of course, but still, lots and lots of time. It is also a crazy calorie-burner. I did not have the energy nor time to justify 30-60 minutes of daily exercise. I was definitely in a season of exercising during the “in-between moments,” but honestly, there weren’t many of them.
As with all new endeavors, there are roadblocks, and mine are: time and money. I do not have time to drive to the gym; I do not have the money to pay for the gym; more importantly, I do not like the gym. When I exercise, I want to be alone, not forced to socialize and be watched. I feel extremely uncomfortable and anxious in gyms, so that was out of the question for me. My next go-to is going for a walk/run. However, I realized that going on a neighborhood walk a few times a week would not help me reach my fitness goals. This also has to be done during daylight hours, which conflicts with the only time during the day that I have to spend with my child. Therefore, that idea was also nixed.
This is about overall health and wellness, so I prioritize my fitness goals alongside my emotional comfort. This has led to the 6:20 AM living room workout session!
Yes, I get up at 6:10 AM to start exercising by 6:20 AM most weekdays. Is it hard? Yes. Is it worth it? Definitely!
Every morning I hang out with Anna Renderer at POPSUGAR Fitness. I get up, immediately put on my workout clothes, go to the living room, turn on Youtube (via the Amazon Fire Stick), and pick a POPSUGAR video. There are so many workout channels on YouTube, but this is the only one I use. Every video targets a “problem area” in a fun and challenging way. The hosts are not annoying and they joyfully kick your butt into shape!
A few of my favorites include:
Note for moms: have the exercise space cleared from baby toys the night before. I do not want to wake up the baby while moving toys in the morning! This is my “me” time, and I cannot risk the baby waking up!
If you’re not a morning workout kind of person, this can definitely be done at night after the baby goes to bed! My sister-in-law, who works full time and has two kids, does her exercising after the kids are down for the night (around 8 PM).
So yes, it is totally doable to be a full time working mom who exercises. The trick is to have the motivation to commit to actually doing it. And also, to exercise while the child is asleep ;).