I find it difficult exercising now that I have small children for two reasons. The main reason is sleep deprivation, and the fact that in the evenings a warm comfy bed is far more inviting than going out in the cold to the gym. The other reason is that life suddenly becomes more unpredictable when you have to fit things in around little people that always come first, and of course they can't just be left to fend for themselves while you pop to the gym for an hour.
I recently received some new running shoes which are fab, and I'm looking forward to giving them some use on the treadmill. I've been wearing my old pair for ages which were pretty worn out, and it's amazing the difference that some new shoes can make. So I've put together some tips which I've found useful when trying to fit in exercise around my babies, in the hope that not only might they help others, but that they will also prove motivating to me!
Most importantly, I've found that the key way to keep an exercise routine going is to schedule exercise in the same way that you schedule anything else - whether it's going to work, going to a weekly toddler group or going to the supermarket. Some things that also work for me:
- Be flexible. Keep a gym bag packed and ready so that if you spot an opportunity to get out you can take it. For example if you find that it's 6am and everyone is awake, see if you can fit in some exercise before it's time for anyone or everyone to leave for work.
- If you have a baby that is happy to sit in the pushchair then get out for a walk. If you are serious about exercise consider purchasing a pushchair that allows you to run behind it. We have one and we've had some use out of it, although you do ideally need somewhere flat and safe to run (we used to go along the seafront). This can also be a way of getting the baby to nap.
- If you don't have a partner or babysitters then most gyms do offer a creche facility, but it's probably easier to stock up on some exercise DVDs for when little ones are in bed.
- Don't force yourself to exercise if you really should be going to bed...but if you do manage to get some done you should in theory sleep better (when you have the chance to sleep) and therefore have more energy the next day!
Disclaimer - I received some running shoes in exchange for a link within my post