I have a confession to make: I am absolutely the worst at exercising. For real. I hate it. I will do just about anything else before exercising.
That makes me sound so lazy doesn’t it? Well, to be honest, my hatred for exercise does stem out of a deep sense of laziness. I don’t like it, I don’t enjoy it, and I don’t often experience that “runner’s high.”
But I’ve gotten to the point in my life where I desperately need to focus on exercise and my overall health. I’ve always been blessed with good health and haven’t had to really work at being healthy or relatively fit. But now it’s becoming increasingly apparent that I need to make exercise a priority in my life.
And yes, it’s very tough to find the time to exercise with four young kids, but now that my twins are 2 months old, it’s time to get my booty into gear. Here are my current reasons for needing to get into shape:
- I have chronic neck and shoulder issues which are made worse when I’m not active and working on my muscles.
- I am so tired and weak after a long, hard pregnancy (the last month or so of which I was on bed rest) and a rough c-section and recovery. I desperately need to build my muscles back up to be always lifting up and caring for four kiddos!
- I hear that exercising will help me sleep better!
- I would love to lose the last of this baby weight (which is a secondary issue compared to the others. But still. It would be nice)!
- I want to be able to have the stamina and energy to keep up with my four highly active boys. I want to be able to run and play with them without dying!
I’ve been working on a new morning routine, and I know many people exercise in the morning before their kids get up. But I just can’t do it! If I manage to get up before my kids (and that’s a big IF) or do my morning routine during breakfast, I like to relax with a cup of coffee and quietly read my Bible or a book off my Fall reading list.
I am a stay-at-home-mom and don’t have access to a gym membership. AND we live in the country, on a small, windy, dangerous road to walk on. I can’t just head out my front door and go for a walk. So what’s a homemaker to do to exercise weekly (especially when little kids are involved)??
I posted this photo on Instagram last week (sorry it’s so blurry, I took it with my front camera) with the caption: “Selfie with my four boys!! Crashing after my workout to watch some Leapfrog with my boys ♡ (The other baby is hidden at the end of the couch.) So thankful for moments like these. Having 4 kids that are all 2.5 and under is TOUGH sometimes, but God knew what he was doing in designing our family!!“
And after comments asking what work-outs I do, how I manage it when my kids are awake (nap time is precious to me – there is NO way I’m wasting that time doing a workout!!), and other questions, I realized that maybe – just maybe – other homemaker’s are struggling with this as well! So here are some suggestions on how to fit in exercising and getting healthy for the busy homemaker:
5 exercising tips for the busy homemaker
1) Put it on your calendar
Seriously, this is my #1 tip. You will never make the time for it if you don’t make the time for it. I literally write it on my calendar and my to-do list to exercise 3 times a week. It doesn’t always happen, but having it on my to-do list really helps me to be intentional about it.
As homemakers, we have to be incredibly intentional with where we spend our time. This includes scheduling in time for exercise and taking care of ourselves.
2) Involve the Family
Because my kids are young, exercise time for mommy becomes exercise time for everyone! I usually wait until either sometime after breakfast or after our afternoon nap time to do my work out. I wait until the kids are bouncing off the walls and going a little crazy – then they work out alongside me to get that energy out!
I pop in my workout DVD – or start streaming it on my laptop (see some suggestions below) – and we all do the exercises together. Yes, they sometimes get in the way, or try and sit on my back while I do push-ups, but overall it’s actually a fun time together as I encourage them to march in place with me or do jumping jacks.
Get out the playpen
When my older twins were starting to crawl and move around (and before they could climb out of the play pen themselves), I would put them in a playpen for 15-20 minutes while I did my workout. My new set of twins are only two months old, but I foresee doing this again (which will also protect them from the toddler twins)!
Go to the park
At least twice a week we are trying to go to the park as a family. We have a beautiful park just a few minutes down the road from us that has a nice paved walking trail. Jason and I walk and push the stroller while the older boys run around and get all their crazy energy out. It works out really well – we just have make ourselves do it!
We like to go in the evenings when Jason’s off work, and since it’s starting to get cooler again in the evenings (it’s been breaking 100 here the last few weeks of summer), it’s the perfect time to start going to the park regularly.
3) Get Your Gear On
Since I’m home most of the time during the day (it’s tough to pack up four little kids and go anywhere), I tend to be a fan of staying in my pajama’s until 10 minutes before Jason gets home. But there is nothing more motivating than getting dressed (including your shoes!!) to get you up and motivated to work out. So I always get geared up and it totally motivates me. Here are some of my favorites:
New Running Shoes
Has it been a while since you’ve worked out consistently? Maybe it’s time to invest in some cute new running shoes to get you motivated! Lace them up first thing in the morning and I think you will be amazed at how encouraged you will be to stay active.
A Pair of Hand Weights
A great (and inexpensive) tool to help you work out at home. I’m so weak at this point that I’m doing the exercises on my DVD without any weights right now, but soon I hope to start with my 2lb weights and eventually go up to my 5lb weights.
I currently do not have an exercise ball but it’s on my wish list! If only I could figure out where to store it when I’m not using it so it doesn’t add to the clutter in our house. I really want to get one to help with stretching out my back.
4) Stretch in the Morning
While I’m not one to do my full exercise in the morning, I have found it very helpful to do stretches in the morning. Like I said above, I struggle with chronic neck and back pain and doing daily stretches helps me so much, which also helps to prevent headaches.
My dad also struggles with this and growing up, he always told me to get into a daily habit of stretching and it would really help. “Yeah, yeah, Dad I know” but I never really took it to heart. Now I’m trying to make this a habit as it only takes about 5 minutes to do my stretches. This really helps with my pain and is also a really refreshing way to start your day.
5) Enlist a buddy
I’ve gone walking a few times with friends. We meet up at a walking trail and chat while we push strollers and walk while her older kids ride their bikes. I’m really not sure why we don’t do it more often. It’s super motivating to have someone else you are accountable to and makes the exercise way more fun!!