Life Before Dawn

How to Find Time to Work Out
Do you struggle managing time so that you can work out? I would like to help you find time to work out by making some small changes to your daily routine.

How to Find Time to Work Out

Raise your hand if you often times do not have enough hours in the day to accomplish all the things you would like! I have both hands raised high and waving enthusiastically in the air. Do you constantly struggle to find time to work out?

Find time to work out. Reflect on your wasted time!

My problem and most peoples problem I imagine is that I am seriously guilty of misusing the hours I do have. Then I use time as my excuse for not getting everything done. If one of your goals is to work out during the day, then I promise you can actually make it happen. It might not always be easy, or the best workout of your life, but something is better than nothing. This entire post is about trying to find time to work out. Here are some strategies you can include in your daily life to get your sweat on.

So let’s get to the good stuff with some ideas on how to actually fit in a workout.

Make it a priority!

Like taking a shower or eating, if it is important to you then I promise you will find time for it. If playing on Facebook or watching TV is more important to you then working out, guess which one won’t happen? You need to mentally consider everything you do throughout the day and prioritize them. I am not saying that watching TV is wrong and you can’t do it. I’m just saying that if you want to work out, then do it before you sit down to relax.

According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, the word priority is defined as “something given or meriting attention before competing alternatives.” Given attention before competing alternatives. Ugh, my stomach just bottomed out. That could not be more simple and yet I have never really gotten it before. As silly as it seems I usually assume that as long as I get everything done then I have priorities.

The truth is inevitably something goes wrong every day. One of my kids is having a rough night, or we have unexpected plans and I end up cut something out. Had I actually done things in the correct order such as working out before sitting down to watch TV, I would have cut out TV. I have failed myself by assuming that priorities simply need to be completed. Instead, I should have realized that tasks should be completed in a specific order. I have started to actually write down my daily list. It helps me decide which order I will accomplish things and also hold myself accountable.

Stop making it harder on yourself

You will rarely find the perfect moment in time to actually work out where there are no distractions or problems. If I wait until both of my girls are down for a nap at the same time, I would get a work out in maybe 30% of the time. Life happens. If my baby goes down for a nap that tends to be the easiest for a workout. My four year old can either workout with me — until I get frustrated and worry I will kick her in the face. I like to do some kickboxing workouts, or she can sit on the couch and watch a cartoon on the tablet.

This was a game changer for me since she is only usually allowed to play on the tablet when we are on long road trips. But giving her options she can choose from has led to a lot more productive workouts. I am not pausing the TV to argue with her half the time. She can also have a snack, color, OR heaven forbid she go in her room and pick up. I am positive I can work out faster then she can clean.

I free you from mom guilt. Do what works best for You not everyone else!

My main point here is that we all want to be great parents, but sometimes you have to accept that unless you bribe your child with some goldfish crackers to sit on the couch then you might never get in a workout. If my baby wakes up five minutes before the end of my workout she can lay in her crib and chatter away for a few minutes.

Being the best mom I can be, also means taking care of my own health. It’s also important for my two little girls to learn and understand that they are not the center of the universe 24/7. They can also learn that it is important for them to have goals and put in the hard work that is needed. The more they see you set aside time to work out, it will become a part of their routine and they will get used to it. Kids are so very adaptable if you just give them time.

Shave your legs!

Ok, some people may be part of the no shave club which is totally fine. But if it is something you prefer then I suggest you do it. Even if I am working out at my house, I feel better about myself when I put on workout clothes if my legs are shaved. I hate stretching and looking down and seeing my hairy legs.

There really is something to be said for confidence. Feeling good about yourself whether it’s because you shaved your legs, put makeup on, or are wearing some cute work out clothes. Stop worrying about what other people will think or see, and do whatever makes you feel good about yourself. Confidence makes us all happier and we tend to work harder. People get judgy about girls who wear makeup to the gym or wear cutesy outfits. Who cares what other people are doing. If it is part of what motivates you and helps you feel confident enough to go workout then do it! And hey while you are happy and feeling confident go spread the love and help build someone else’s confidence.

Put on your work out clothes!

This is different than the above-mentioned tip. I am referring to when you put on work out clothes not what you put on. For me, I choose to get my work out done first thing in the morning so I have no excuses later. Also, my little girls are much happier in the morning and easier to work with. I can put on sweat pants for an hour while I make everyone breakfast, feed the baby, let the dog out, and get the kitchen cleaned. However, it becomes exponentially harder to find the motivation to change out of sweat pants and into workout clothes.

If I put my work out clothes on when I wake up, then maybe I wear them around for an hour or two in the morning while I handle the necessities. I now have one less step and one less excuse for why I can’t work out. When I find time to work out I am ready. I read an article a long time ago and I really wish I could remember who wrote it but I have not been able to find it again. The basis of the post was that you are already halfway to the gym if you are dressed.

The author spent a good amount of time explaining the importance of putting on workout clothes and how much more likely you are to go workout if you are already changed. You are ready to go, but also have now mentally committed to working out. That story stuck with me for a very long time and I still sometimes find myself falling back into the routine of comfy clothes first thing in the morning.

I mentioned this one earlier but for real…Make a List! 

I don’t care if it is on your phone or written on a sticky note, but make a quick list the day BEFORE and put it somewhere you will see it. I prefer a notepad on my fridge (like the grocery list ones.) At night before I head to bed I just scratch down a quick list of my priorities for the next day.

I am not saying working out has to be the first thing on your list every day. There will always be circumstances that cause you to rearrange. However, a somewhat consistent routine truly is helpful and easier to stick with. So back to the list! Write down the priorities for your day and put it somewhere visible. If mine is right on the fridge door then chances are I will see it twelve times a day. You may not always find time to work out, but if you plan ahead I promise you can make the time!

Multitask! Find time to work out by combining things.

Also known as doing things with a purpose. You can plan to take your kiddos to the park for some awesome playground time. Choose a park that has a walking path. Let the kids ride bikes, simply walk, or take the stroller. We still go to the playground after the walk to play so that everyone is happy.

I love going to parks because my daughter likes to dilly dally around and pick flowers or run ahead. If we are on the road these things are no-gos. Going to a park allows me to get some exercise in (walking or running) while she can have fun. Try to combine things so that your whole day isn’t eaten up by one activity at a time. As I mentioned above sometimes when I do a workout video I like to have my daughter clean her room.

Gasp! She is super capable on her own!

It usually isn’t too bad early in the morning since she picks it up before bed, but it can always use some organizing. Seriously I have to stop myself from just picking it up quick for her. I like things organized and clean but she knows it and will often wait for me to do it. Also, I will tell her to get dressed and get her hairbrush and detangler spray out for me so that I can brush her hair afterward. My daughter is the slowest dresser in the world! She will literally spend 30 minutes trying on different outfits.

Now here we are back at cleaning her room. By the time she gets dressed she will need to fold and put away the reject outfits she tried on. If I don’t keep her busy then I will just be frustrated when we are trying to get out of the house. Then we come home in the afternoon and her bedroom is still a mess. Multiple activities at once to give you more hours in the day.

Add in mini workouts

This sounds exhausting but it’s not. I am not talking about having multiple workout sessions a day. I am simply saying park at the far end of the Walmart parking lot and make yourself walk farther to go get groceries. Do a few planks while you are laying on the floor with your baby. When I take my girls to the swimming pool I am usually getting at least a little exercise in.

When my daughter starts driving me crazy, I turn on Pandora and we just have a dance party. We also do dance parties while cleaning up because it makes it more fun. Dancing burns calories and will often help you just get up and move. It’s also a fun way to play with your kids that doesn’t involve the TV. Always a win! Take the stairs wherever you go, basically, just try and add in activity wherever you can.

You can find time to work out if you prioritize it!

The main idea I want you to understand is that you CAN find time to workout if you really truly want to. Let’s recap the strategies yes?

  1. Make working out your priority
  2. Stop making things harder on yourself
  3. Shave your legs
  4. Put on your workout clothes
  5. Make a list
  6. Multitask
  7. Add in mini workouts

Think about what really matters to you. If working out is one of those things then I promise you can find the time during the day to do it. It’s sometimes just a matter of reminding yourself of what’s important and figuring out how to accommodate those things. Good luck! If you try any of these let me know how it goes or add some of your own suggestions. We are all just trying to motivate and encourage each other to accomplish our goals and maintain a healthy balanced lifestyle.

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