Working in a gym, people expect you are immune to lack of motivation to exercise, and temptation to eat bad food. They make assumptions that you’re a fitness freak because your wardrobe is 90% active wear. Only 90% because you know – I own some pyjamas and stuff.
Unfortunately when they talk to me, they realise actually – this chick is not our #fitspo.
There was a time when I would brag on Facebook about having done two workouts and played two games of netball in one day. Back when my energy meter was always full, I had the luxury of time, and minimal responsibilities. I could spend three hours in the gym doing Group Fitness classes “for fun”. If you’re in your pre or early 20’s this could be you I am talking about right now.
Now I’m a mum. And a wife. My husband now has a real job, and some weeks he works 83 hours (WTF – I know it’s ridiculous!). My time is jam-packed with kid activities, kid routines, household chores, family commitments and work. And when Tyrone is working those crazy 83 hours, I’m doing it all solo. Enter the “no motivation monster”.
I’m not immune to this lack of motivation, but working in a gym means I feel the guilt often. Because I know the benefits of exercise. I know why I should be making time for it. And I’m surrounded by people who make it their priority every day. I’ve put together these tips for getting active when life is hectic and you struggle like me to get a gym workout in.
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1. Plan out your week
If you can fit in two visits to the gym, that’s a win in my books. Plan them into your weekly schedule. Organise someone to watch the kids if you need to, or plan them into your lunch break or around work time. Just two visits. If the gym isn’t your thing, make it swimming, or running or playing a sport. Something you can do twice a week on your own for exercise. Why? Because not only is it good for your health, it’s time out for you. It’s a chance for you to get away from the kids, the housework (the washing!), work, and just have some you time.
2. Join a Mum and Baby option
These days there are lots of great Mum and Baby/Mum and Kids fitness classes. From Yoga, Dance and Movement, Mummy Bootcamps, or even groups where a babysitter will watch your kids while you exercise. These classes and groups are great because they’re prepared for uncooperative toddlers, they aren’t surprised with tantrums, not phased by dashes to the baby room for nappy changes. You’re surrounded by Mums who all get it and are all in the same position as you.
3. Tag Team with your partner
Kind of goes in line with planning out your week, but definitely learn to tag team with your partner. Alternate bedtime shifts, or morning routines so that you can squeeze in some you-time. I know this can be tricky, my husband works insane hours, but we do tag team a couple times a week so we both get some time to chill out and do something for us.
4. Skip the coffee shop – meet at the lake
Or the river, or the local park. Instead of meeting for coffee with your mum friends at the local coffee shop. Where your stress radar goes mad because your little darling is pulling all the sugar sachets out, climbing all over the chairs, and screaming for their fluffy. Head out for some fresh air, put the kids in the buggies, carry packs or on their bikes and get your walk on.
5. Play with your kids
Just play! Get on the trampoline with the kids, play tag outside, jump around like rabbits or frogs. Not only are you keeping active, but you’re keeping your kids active too. With one in nine children1 found to be obese in NZ, it’s super important for us to make sure our children live an active lifestyle. Role modeling this and being active together is the perfect way to ensure it happens.
It’s not always easy to get in to the gym, but there are definitely ways that you can incorporate fitness and keeping active into your daily activities that don’t veer too far away from the mountain of chores and responsibilities you have. Whatever you do, just remember
It’s important to look after yourself first in order to give your all to look after others.
1 Obesity Data & Stats. Ministry of Health 2014/15. http://www.health.govt.nz/nz-health-statistics/health-statistics-and-data-sets/obesity-data-and-stats