Finding the Time to Exercise

find time

Throughout my pregnancy I have preached and preached to you that it is SO important, for both you and the baby, to stay fit and healthy. I stand by this belief (I mean, it is backed up by TONS of research) BUT, I must admit that I have had an unfair advantage over most Moms/people out there.

Before getting pregnant, I was working full-time…more than full time most weeks and blogging. Before that I was working full-time and working 2 part-time jobs. Prior to that I worked full-time and went to school full-time…you get the picture. I was busy. I tried my best to stay active and fit during these years, and for the most part I was successful. I was in a good habit and really had only to take care of myself. Typically, I squeezed in at least 4 days of real workouts and then did my best to squeeze in mini-workouts when I could. I wasn’t always the healthiest eater (still not), but I do all right on that end of the spectrum too.

Once I became pregnant, my entire life took a huge shift. I moved, got a house and quit my job the same week I found out about the baby…not because of the baby, things just happened that way. Then, once life kind of settled, we decided that being a stay-at-home Mom was the best plan for us (we think) and that I will just work part-time until our baby girl comes.

I am working 3 part-time jobs (subbing, tutoring and blogging), but this is nothing compared to teaching full-time. Perhaps, I shouldn’t say “nothing”, but it’s much less stressful, gives me a lot more free time and my schedule is all of a sudden super flexible. Clearly, I have had more time to focus on my health, the baby, keeping fit and a myriad of other things that I once just had no time to enjoy. This probably has a lot to do with my lack of panic attacks as well.

Recently, I was feeling my usual feelings of guilt for not being too busy, stressed and tired, and considering if I should look into full-time work for next year. I thought about what my life would have been like this year if I had gotten a full-time teaching job and I quickly realized my pregnancy would probably have been a hell of a lot different.

I am 100% sure my anxiety would not be gone…it is always worse (like WAY worse) when teaching. I would not be exercising everyday. Ain’t no teacher got time for that…we bring home hours of work every night. And, I certainly would not be able to keep up eating as healthy as I am now.  My “teacher lunches” often consisted of frozen dinners or canned soup…or worse…Ramen.

I also realize that I am very fortunate to have the option to not work full-time. Not every Mom is able to (or wants to) do this, which is great really. We need working Moms being bad-ass examples for our daughters. However, I still want to encourage Moms of all types, working, non-working, healthy, non-active, trying-to-be-healthier Moms to be the best they can be and include a bit more physical activity into their life. It might seem impossible to squeeze in just one more thing to your busy schedule, but I know you can do these little things!

Here’s what I did to squeeze in extra cardio or resistance training whenever I felt I had no time. I still do many of these now too!

-take the stairs, no elevators!

-Park in the back at all stores.

-Do 10 squats every time you go the restroom.

-Do commercial workouts. I KNOW you are making time to watch your favorite shows! That’s fine, but when a commercial comes on do sit-ups, run in place, do jumping jacks or stretch.

-OR workout as your watch your fav show. Nothing like multi-tasking

-Walk during your lunch break. I used to walk around the playground while my students had recess…if I wasn’t grading a stack of papers.

-Get up 5 minutes early and use that time to do anything active, or even some morning yoga.

-Sit on a stability ball at work.

-Walk everywhere you can.

-Put on music while you clean and dance to it. Every little bit helps and this is a fun way to clean and get in some cardio. OR, better yet, make someone else clean, then you’ll have time to workout! (The dream, right?)

-Make family time an active time. It’s important to spend time with our loved ones, but instead of always watching a movie or going out to dinner, try something more physical. Go for a walk, a bike ride, a hike, a swim, play at the park, etc.

-Drink water ALL the time. I realize this isn’t an exercise, but I guarantee you will feel better.

-Do calf raises while you wash dishes.

-Do squats or plies as you brush your teeth.

See, it’s not SO hard to squeeze in some physical fitness time. I realize a lot of these are silly, but I swear you’ll feel better if you try them on your busy days. You’ll be proud that you got in some exercise. Not only will you feel better physically, but you’ll feel better emotionally too. Exercise has helped my anxiety so much over the years!

Best of luck to ya, you busy ladies…and gents!


4 Replies to “Finding the Time to Exercise”

  1. I definitely do these little things!! I’m not a full-time teacher but rather a grad student and teach undergrad classes but I still feel like I have to force myself to make time to workout. (And teaching ABSOLUTELY raises my anxiety levels… why did I go into this field again??)

    1. That’s so funny! HOnestly, I’m glad I’m not the only one. I feel stupid doing squats and what not around the house, but I know it does make a difference. And seriously…teachers deserved so much more pay for all the stress!

  2. Becoming a stay at home mom is the best decision I’ve ever made. I am also so lucky that cody has a great job and he encourages me to stay home, too. I applaud those moms who work and still run the house…more power to ya!! Staying home is exhausting in its own way but as soon as you see Luna’s little face, you’ll be so glad you don’t have to work full time (unless you want to). Its sooooo worth it. I’ve had several moms tell me I’m crazy because they got bored and couldn’t stand it….but I’m not really sure how. We play, read, dance to yo gabba gabba, bike/wagon ride, etc. Some days having a job would honestly be easier but the rewards don’t compare. Didn’t mean to sound like I’m preaching a certain “way” is the correct way, ive just realllllly enjoyed my decision and its a perfect fit for us!! Best of luck!!!! I can’t wait to see your blog that she’s on her way!!!!!

    1. That’s so great to hear Rachel. I hear such different stories from Moms and it’s so interesting! Some love staying home, some hate, some wish they could, etc. I really think I’ll feel like you and love it. I”m looking forward to doing all of those little things that Luna would otherwise do with a sitter or a daycare…reading, crafts, dancing, etc….can’t wait! I just hate to say anything 100% for sure in case I end up changing my mind! haha And you don’t at all sound like you are preaching a certain way, I love hearing other Mom’s experiences. Thank you!!!

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