Making Time to Exercise


If only…

One of the things I was most looking forward to when I decided to become a stay-at-home mom was having time to exercise more regularly. Since I changed my schedule to work in the office in the mornings and from home in the afternoons, I was losing my hour during the day that I used to spend running, doing yoga class, or lifting weights. Then, after I was done working, it would be time to make dinner, spend time with the family, and sit on the couch trying to will myself to stay awake until it was late enough go to bed. Yep, I thought staying home would fix the problem of not having enough time during the day. I was wrong.

My new schedule is even more hectic! I work for a couple hours in the morning and a couple hours in the afternoon. When I’m not working and it is not my nap time, I’m entirely focused on my daughter. I am not only her mother, but her teacher, friend, and entertainer as well. (We’re working on joining some playgroups so she can make friends her own age; it has been harder than I anticipated.) Sometimes I do get in some physical activity with my daughter – we take walks, play outside, or play a Kinect game, but it is often not as strenuous as I’d like.  Then, it’s time for cleaning up, making dinner, and family time. I still don’t feel like I have a lot of time for myself. But I’m getting there. With each day that passes, I feel a little less stressed and a little more rested. I actually had to days this week where I woke up and felt refreshed! It’s such a rare treat, and to have it happen two consecutive days is just so stinkin’ cool.  (Remind me to tell you all about our trip to Omaha this past weekend and how I didn’t even get grumpy that I missed my nap on Saturday!)

I decided that I am going to make the time to exercise while my husband is putting the little one to bed. We alternate nights, so this would give me four or five nights a week. I am also going to try to fit in some exercise on Saturday or Sunday while the hubs is home. It will take a few weeks to get into the habit again. This I know from past experience. Once I do, I know I’ll feel even better.

Tonight was the first night I’ve tried exercising that late. I thought about running outside but opted for the treadmill (aka “deadmill” by some of fellow runners) due to the fact that it was still 90 degrees at 8:00pm.  I had the best run I’ve had in weeks!  I felt relatively strong and like my form remained good throughout the duration.  It just felt so awesome to run and to feel this renewed sense of commitment.  *Fist pump.*

My point in sharing this short little post with you is to tell you this:  Finding time to exercise isn’t what I needed to do.  I needed to make the time.  It should be a priority, just like every other important task in the day.  If you’re like me and struggling to establish a routine, start by making a schedule.  Put that schedule in writing, whether it’s on the fridge or in your calendar on your smart phone.  Trust me, it’s a lot harder to skip a workout if you’ve got to dismiss a reminder that is staring you in the face.

I’ll be back at the end of the week to post my progress for the week.  In the mean time, I want to hear from you!  Do you struggle with adding exercise to your routine?  If you’re a stay-at-home parent, when do you exercise?  Do you exercise with your child(ren)?



  1. Katie says:

    Good reminder. I have a slightly different issue I’ve been struggling with and would love any feedback.
    I’ve been an athlete for my whole life and now that fact has come back to bite me. At 32, I need two knee replacements and have injured my spine. Add degenerative arthritis to the mix and every activity is painful and causes a flare up. I was doing my PT exercises at home and last week was told to stop that while they try injections in my back.
    I miss walking my dogs, gardening, yoga and weight training. I’m limited now to walking in water, not even water aerobics with the over 70 crowd. I had to resign from working, so I’ve applied for a scholarship to the closest YMCA. I’m waiting to hear back but I’m incredibly frustrated and a little scared. It’s close, but I don’t like driving. I’m scared of having cataplexy in the pool. Everyone knows excersize is essential but what do you do when you have so many restrictions? This may be an unanswerable question but wanted to put it out there.
    Thanks for the article & I’m happy to hear you are finding your stride after all the changes.

    • admin says:

      I cannot imagine how frustrating it must be to have so many restrictions after being so used to doing whatever you want. When I hurt my back and had to do physical therapy for weeks and then finally resorted to going to the chiropractor and more PT, it was a very difficult adjustment. I couldn’t even bend down and touch my toes. Walking hurt. Lying down hurt. Sitting hurt. My issue didn’t last as long as yours have been going on, but it was a frustrating time in my life. I’m still not able to do as much as I could prior to the injury. My therapist continuously reminded me to focus on what I could do, not what I couldn’t do. “Do what you can when you can” was and is still a decent mantra when I’m not super pissed off that I’m having a sciatica/joint pain flare up. Speaking of which, I probably need to make an appointment to go see the chiropractor…

      Have you posted about this in any of the groups? I wonder if this might be a good topic for the AI group where many have multiple illnesses/issues?

  2. Laura says:

    Bike commuting has been the best thing for me, since it automatically schedules some exercise into my day. It’s improved my daytime sleepiness so much, which feels great! I just checked out a pilates studio in my neighborhood today, and I signed up for a mat class and a circuit training class. I think having set class times is really going to help me stick with it.

    The instructor had me do a one-on-one session today so she could help me figure out which classes to enroll in, and I have to say, I was so tired afterward. I hope this “exhausted after exercise” thing improves with practice!

    • admin says:

      I’m impressed by all of your biking! I’m glad to hear it has improved your EDS. It’s good to get some benefit out of not being able to drive. :) I really wish KC were a more bike-friendly city. I used to work with a guy who lived in the same area. It’s about 14 miles each way and rather dangerous since there is no way to avoid at least a little bit of highway. That crazy man used to bike almost every day. Every time I saw him I’d say, “Oh, good, you’re still alive!”

      Ohhh, I know that “exhausted after exercise” feeling. Does it last a while? When I exercise during the day, I usually do so following an afternoon nap. If I didn’t nap prior to exercising in my earlier running days, my workout would suffer and I’d be sleepy until I finally gave in and napped. It did get better with time, though it is still an issue some days. Let me know how you like the classes. Do you still do the yoga classes? (That was you, right? lol)

  3. Maz says:

    I don’t need to find the time I need to make the time. This is so true. Mums do tend to be looking after everyone and everything else and forget to make the time for themselves, but you do need to look after yourself also. You have provided some great advice.

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