6 Ways To Find Exercise Time
To make exercise a habit, you need a consistent time for your routine. It’s often challenging to figure out when to exercise between bus schedules, after school activities and bedtime. Here are six solutions.
1. Join a gym with child care. Be sure to check the hours of operation for the child care and make sure they coincide with your workout plans. Visit the child care rooms to make sure that you feel comfortable with the facilities and the way that the staff cares for children. Inquire about staffing ratios and training. Check whether there is an additional fee for child care. Ask the staff about security and how they verify that the correct adult is picking up a child.
2. Trade off with a friend. If you are at home during the day with your kids, consider trading off with a friend so that one person watches the children while the other person works out. You can also head to the park with your friend and take turns working out while the other person watches the kids play.
3, Stroller exercise. Take your stroller-age child with you on a run or walk in a jogging stroller. Lisa Druxman, founder of Stroller Strides, which creates stroller programs for fitness franchises, recommends using a stroller that is comfortable and easy to fold.
“Consider a stroller with shock absorbers, like the BOB models, as this keeps the ride smooth for little ones,” she says. Choose an adjustable stroller or one with the right height to let you maintain good posture when you run. “Lead with your chest, keep shoulders down and back, and keep body in neutral alignment,” Druxman advises.
Some parents plan their walk or run to coincide with naptime. If you exercise when your child is awake, bring along snacks and toys to entertain him when he wakes up. Attach the toys to the stroller with plastic rings so that you don’t have to stop and pick them up.
4. Exercise early or late. Many parents prefer to exercise in the morning before their family wakes up. “The easiest thing for me is to get up early while my husband and kids are still sleeping and run on my treadmill or if the weather is decent, I go running in my neighborhood,” says mom Winifred Whaley. Another option is to work out in the evening or on the weekend while your spouse watches the kids.
5. Exercise with your kids. When mom Amy Jewett Sampson’s kids outgrew the jogging stroller, she got them to ride bikes alongside her while she jogs. Start with a short distance to teach your kids how to stay with you. Establish a guideline, such as they cannot go more than one mailbox ahead of you on their bike. Tweens and teens can walk or jog with you, helping them to develop healthy fitness habits.
If it is bad weather or you enjoy aerobics more than walking or jogging, consider working out to an exercise video with your kids. Take their interests and music preferences into account. Another option is to jump rope together and see who can jump the longest.
6. Find hidden time. If you work outside the home, consider using your lunch hour or breaks to exercise during the week. If your office does not have an on-site fitness center, join a nearby gym. Or head outside for a brisk walk during lunch.
If you are at home during the day and your children still nap, you can work out with an exercise video while they sleep. If your children are older and participate in sports, take a run or walk around the park or sports field where they are practicing.
Jennifer Gregory is a freelance writer.