Make the Time, Mom!

Nicholas J. Perri MA, NASM-PES

Recently, I was interviewed and asked three questions regarding exercise and the pursuit of a healthful lifestyle. They were all great questions but the last question was of a subject matter that can really stir up debate and emotion in trainer and client alike. Here is the question and here is my answer…

Q: Why is it important to carve out time to exercise (even if you’re a super busy mom, etc.)?

A: This is a subject that I have very strong feelings on and I am very passionate about. It is important to carve time out to exercise…ESPECIALLY if you’re a super busy mom. A lot of people don’t take the time out of their day to be good to themselves but mom’s are the guiltiest! Trust me…I’ve heard every excuse a “busy” mom has as to why they can’t find time to exercise. But they are just that…excuses. It is all about time management and priorities. If something is important to you, you will make the time for it. I understand that taking care of the kids, the household, work and your relationship are extremely important…but who’s taking care of you? Guess what? Nobody. That’s your job too! My standard rebuttal for anyone or any mom that tells me they don’t have time to exercise is, if you can’t give 100% to yourself, you can’t possibly be giving 100% to anything or anyone else in your life. It’s just not possible. So…if you want to be the best mom you can be, the best wife you can be or the best you can be at your job…you have to take care of yourself and give yourself 100%. Recently, I was doing one of my longer bike rides along the Fox River Trail when I came up on a mom running with a double stroller and her dog!!! I slowed down, told her she rocked and went on my way. I heard her thank me as I took off. She wasn’t making any excuses. She was doing what she had to do to get her exercise in. I absolutely love seeing that. It is truly inspirational to me.

Just a few ways that will help you find time to exercise…

1. Make an appointment on your calendar and keep it like you would any other appointment that you could or would not cancel.

2. Get help at home! Sit down with your significant other and figure out some days and times he can watch the kids while you get a quick workout in.

3. A lot of gyms have day care. If you have to use it, use it.

4.The alternative to that is working out at home…in the morning before they wake up, after they go to bed or while they’re napping.

5. Don’t waste two hours in the gym or even an hour at home! You can get a great total body workout in 15-20 minutes.

As you can see, I don’t believe or feed into the, “I’m a Mom and I’m too busy and too tired to workout,” mantra. I have trained, currently train and have observed many moms with plates that may be fuller than yours who find or make the time to exercise, eat right and take care of themselves in a very holistic way. I currently have a client who’s newborn baby wouldn’t go down for her nap, which was usually during our training sessions…that’s the way we scheduled her sessions. We ended up doing the entire workout while she held her baby…squats, split squats, get-ups, push press, etc. Her baby had a blast and Heather got her butt kicked!

As I stated in my answer to the interviewer, we all make time for people and things that are important to us.  And making time to exercise is saying that YOU are important to you. It’s just a matter of prioritizing and time management.

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