3 Tips For Making Time for Exercise
Women, let's be honest. We hit the ground running every morning. Between getting ourselves pulled together, the kids, the pets, not to mention the house....sheesh. It's all too dang much! The list is never ending. Whether you are working inside the home, outside the home (virtually for now) everyday can feel like a never ending battle with no end in sight. I get it, between two kids, a puppy, two cats, running my own business, and being the primary "householder", I have moments and days when I feel like I'm being swallowed by all the mundane, repetitive tasks that are the reality of most of our lives. Life is pretty gnarly and has quite a bit of gristle doesn't it? So how in the world are you supposed to find time for exercise? After all it's just a luxury isn't it? For those who seem to have elusive "extra time" on their hands.
Nope- not so much.
TIP 1 - Schedule Time for Exercise with Yourself
There is no perfect time of day to exercise. The best time to move is when it's best for you! And because there's such a massive range of exercise programming when it comes to movement, consider the time of day based on what may align with the energy you're asking of yourself. If doing a Barre or low intensity Yoga Workout is on the docket, an evening after the kids are in bed may work fine. But if you're considering a HIIT workout or a run, morning may be more appropriate when your energy is naturally a bit more in line with supporting a higher strain. But like anything, if you don't schedule it with yourself it's likely not happening.
TIP 2 - Work on letting go of the guilt with your Babies/Kids
When my son and daughter were born I was never willing to give up exercise. Sure, somedays I had to fight harder to get it in, and somedays my "sweat sesh" was interrupted a hundred times, but it happened. I realised early on that nobody was going to swoop in, watch my kids for me, and tell me "Hey go ahead and exercise while I watch your children for you". Not happening people. And hey, if you do have that help you are one of the lucky ones! I really believe that it is absolutely OK to exercise in front of your children and NOT feel guilty! I would often set my kids up with a craft project, blocks, or with a show in the room with me and just go for it! On a occasion my kids would decide to move with me, or honestly just have fun watching me, and even cheer me on! We were all honestly enjoying ourselves. As my kids continued to grow up, (10 and 12 now) for years they would just continue to come with me when I went to exercise simply because it was part of what we did together. I actually find it kind of adorable that this routine became a ritual for not just me, but carried some sweet meaning for them as well. And it's a bonus when we get to role model self care, positivity, strength, and commitment! So consider not waiting for someone to cover you as a reason you're not getting to exercise. Work around your real life and see what happens.
TIP 3 - Motivation is Bonus: Don't Wait for the Motivation Train......
Spoiler alert....it's not coming. I hate to be dialling up the heat here. But honestly, I really really think this thought is only damaging and a way to stall. Here's the thing, who's motivated on a daily basis to cook 3 meals a day for themselves let alone their family? If that's you, well, you are incredible, but I think most of us would not hesitate to say that's not me! But regardless, we do prepare meals (for the most part) because we understand it's necessary to feed ourselves and the people we care so much about. We would never let our children, and hopefully ourselves, go hungry. We value food and understand it's crucial, it's not really an option to only cook if and when we're motivated.
What if you thought of movement this way? Kind of crazy, maybe not. Movement is as much for our mental health as it is for our physical well being. When we move we support physiological processes that make us happier, more resilient, more alert, encourage sleep, and ultimately support a million more healthful benefits. Movement will pay you back in spades, over and over again. Consider letting go of the "motivation pep talk" with yourself. Guilting yourself that you'll feel motivated once the Holidays are over, or once the pandemic ends, or when your kids are older and life gets easier. Start with a small commitment of 5-10 minutes of anything. A walk, a HIIT workout, Yoga, it doesn't' matter, just dig in. And hey, if the motivation train makes an appearance somedays hop on! Even better!!!!
At Core Elements Physical Therapy I am always trying to help my patients troubleshoot strategies for layering in movement into their lives to help support their goals. No matter what type of concerns you are seeking support with, most want to add movement in or back into lives and may just not be sure of the best approach. It's OK to not know- there's a PT for that, let's tackle this together. It can be a great start.
Comment below if you're in a movement rut right now or if you have tips to share!
Dr. Rachel Aronson, PT, DPT
Rachel Aronson, DPT, PT, owner of Core Elements Physical Therapy, specializes in Women's Health and Orthopedics, validating one patient at a time along their healing journey. After receiving her Doctorate from Duke University in 2005, she brings 15+ years of experience in delivering care via a compassionate, kind, and calm expertise. She works with women helping them replete, restore, and thrive by using holistic hands on treatment, movement training, and functional strengthening. Empowering patients to regain hope and ditch fear! When you're ready to begin your rehabilitative journey she's your guide.
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