working out as a parent body brain alliance

Finding Time to Exercise as a Parent

The truth is, finding time to exercise as a parent can be really tough. 


In today’s blog, I’m going to walk you through 4 different tips on how to integrate more flexibility, reliability, and structure within your fitness routine. 


Prefer to learn on video? Watch here:

Today, you’re going to learn some impactful strategies on how to fit in exercise, especially for my parents out there. 


Finding time to work out is hard enough…


You put parenting little ones on top of it and it creates an additional layer of a barrier on how we might fit it into our routine, in our schedule and even find time to do it. 


We also know that exercise is really important for us. 


It helps us: 


      • Build muscle 

      • Get stronger

      • Create longevity

      • Maintain our health (mental & physical)

    And that’s important not just for ourselves but also for our kids.


    Tip #1: You Do Not Need To Exercise Every Single Day


    So I talk with a lot of people, especially parents who are trying to get into an exercise regimen they are consistent with. 


    The very first thing they ask me is, “Lily, how many times a week should I be exercising? I’m finding all of these plans and programs that are 5+ days a week and I don’t think I can follow through with it.” 


    I totally hear you. 


    You do not need to be exercising 5, 6, or 7 days a week. 


    Make sure that you are intentional with the program you are following, and most of the time that doesn’t take more than 3 days. 


    You can have really great workouts that are effective, get results, and help you feel amazing… 30 minute workouts 3x a week. 


    Part of planning effectively is making sure that you have a program you can rely on and that isn’t overreaching in your fitness level. 

    Start small. 


    Even if 3 days for 30 minutes doesn’t sound like a lot right now, it can be an amazing place to start for you to understand some of those barriers/obstacles you may need to overcome for that goal of increasing the number of days over time. 


    Tip #2: Determine Realistic Pockets of Time 

    If you don’t want to be away from your kids, because going to the gym is not everyone’s cup of tea and going to the gym is not necessarily accessible to everyone… 


    You want to consider what other pockets of time may be realistic for you to fit in exercise.


    One of the ways is to consider maybe during their nap time before they wake up, or after they go to sleep, so that way you’re not missing out on family time you treasure and can still get in movement. 


    If you are a working parent, you may want to consider fitting in exercise during your workday by taking a 30 minute break or even smaller pockets of time that are 10-15 minutes. 


    That way you can get in some kind of exercise and movement within your day and not have to worry about that extra piece of planning outside of your normal work hours. 


    The feeling of being away from your family brings me to strategy and tip #3…


    Tip #3: Do Not Feel Guilty For Taking Time For You


    I work with many parents who are clients who feel guilty for taking individual time for themselves to exercise.


    Now, like I mentioned, you can exercise when maybe that one-on-one time isn’t really available when your kids are sleeping. But for some parents and like myself as being a parent to a toddler, he wakes up really early and I’m not waking up any earlier than 5:00 AM to get in a workout. 


    That is my personal choice, so that window of time is simply not available to me. So that means that I have different pockets of time, different windows of opportunity to get in exercise. 


    Maybe someone who is either a non-parent or a parent of a child who is sleeping in much later in the morning. That’s okay, but even if you are someone who wants to go to the gym or wants to go to some kind of club to be able to exercise. You are allowed to have that time for you.


    Even as cliche as the saying goes… 


    It is true, you can’t pour from an empty cup.


    If your goal is to exercise to feel more grounded, peaceful, and to manage your stress a little bit better.


    We know that having that individual time where you’re exercising solo can even be more monumental when you return back into the family dynamic and you’re able to be more present. 


    Prioritizing yourself not only makes you a better parent, it makes you a better mom. It makes you a better person.


    Tip #4: Consider Involving Your Family & Your Kids Into Your Exercise Plan

    One of the things I personally love to do is to involve my son in my exercise regimen. 


    There are definitely days where I want to have tunnel vision, solo exercising, and have that time just for me, and that’s okay. 


    Just as much as I really value the times that I’m able to integrate him into my exercise and he can see me be strong. 


    One of the ways that I do that is taking him on walks with me. Whether we are going to a local trail and finding really awesome sticks in the woods where I’m pushing him… I would also do different variations of squats and lunges. 


    I can lay on my back and push him up and be able to use him as a chest press, and it’s another great way to involve your baby/kids in your exercise allowing you to have the best of both worlds without feeling like you’re sacrificing one or the other. 


    In Conclusion:

    Overall, I encourage you to find a mix of these types of things. 


    Not only do I very much recommend you to plan ahead and know what you are looking forward to for your week and what your intentions are with getting an exercise… 


    I also encourage you to determine which one of those workouts you want to be solo and just for you, and which ones you want to be integrated with your family. 


    How might they fall within your schedule? 


    There’s no right or wrong answer here. 


    It is whatever is going to help you stick with exercise, be able to involve it more in your life, and find joy in movement and over time create more consistency. 

    If you found this helpful and you want to build on ways to prioritize yourself as a parent, READ THIS NEXT BLOG HERE. I talk about the different strategies you can take to make sure you are prioritizing yourself within your schedule and within your life as a parent. 


    Thank you for reading, see you in the next one!

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    Hi, I'm Karin

    I’m a funfetti flavor super-fan, a loving dog mom, a PhD expert in mindset and behavior change… and I’m here to help make personal development and transformation a process that’s actually fun.


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