A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Working out as a working mom

on August 27, 2013

**I will preface this with the caveat that of course all moms work and many of us, regardless of whether we work outside the home or not, struggle to make time to exercise.

This week and through Labor Day weekend, I’m on call at work, which means longer and more unpredictable hours than normal. It makes it difficult to find time to get fitness in, much less a specific training plan for running a new distance! When setting up my training plan for the 10K, I planned on this week being a repeat of last week, assuming I would have a hard time getting workouts in (especially the long run!).

A typical weekday in our house looks like this:
6-630: Adults up to take care of dogs, get breakfast ready, finish lunch packing
630: Toddler wakes up
630-7: Everybody eats breakfast, with lots of supervision at this point
7-730: Shower and get ready for work
730-815: Daycare drop-off, drive to work
815-4/6p: Work, with varying finish times for the day and during weeks I’m on call, who knows when I’m done
530-6: Daycare pickup
6-730: Dinner, bath time and precious playtime with the toddler
730: Toddler bedtime
730 onwards: Cleaning kitchen, laundry, prepping breakfast, lunches, clothes for the am

So where in this day do cross-training, strength-training and increasingly longer runs fit (assuming I can put the long run for the week in the weekend, hopefully!)? I think this is a big part of what makes it so hard for moms to make time for fitness. Our time is so short and our chore list so long, you really have to make yourself a priority to fit it in an already cramped schedule. I find it particularly hard as a working mom, already bombarded with messages about letting someone else raise my kid and guilt trips for being away from him, to go to the gym on a weekday when I know that time could be spent with him. I could go after dinner/bedtime/chores, but that means time away from my husband and he’s pretty important too. It’s all important and there is only so much to around. (I know lots of people get up super early to get it in but I am just not there).

So what can we do? Some ways I sneak things in:
– On days I can work through lunch, I can sneak out a little early to get a run in. I can walk over lunch, but I get way too gross and sweaty to try to run.
– I’ve done squats, lunges and other body weight exercises in my office in quick stretch breaks. It’s honestly my most reliable way to get strength training in these days.
– I frequently break my cross-training sessions into 20 minute chunks. It’s easier for me to make space in my day for 2 or 3 chunks than a big block of time.
– Find at home options that will work. I’ve done workout DVDs on the laptop while my husband watches TV, so we’re at least hanging out together. We also have some active Wii games that we do together, like Walk It Out (60 minutes tonight!) or Just Dance (my husband likes to pick the songs for me to dance).

I’d love any ideas anyone else for fitting things in! (Except waking up early, of course – I really don’t want to resort to that!)

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One response to “Working out as a working mom

  1. […] Working Out as a Working Mom—I love that there is no shying away from the fact that it is HARD to be a working mom and also make time for working out. Jessica breaks down her typical day and shows how fitness fits into it. […]

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