This time of year becomes more and more demanding on all of us. With our spare time being stretched with additional events, overtime at work for extra pennies and additional activities with the family. Many a native play and Santa visits galore over the next few weeks there is very little spare time.
One of my clients, in particular, has found it particularly difficult to keep up with her training as she has taken on a new part time job, running her own business, whilst juggling a young family.
I have learnt that there’s something about having young children that makes everything seem more difficult – especially finding time to hit the gym. Infants and toddlers are so unpredictable making sticking to a set time and date very difficult. Also, due to the sheer exhaustion of caring for children, working out in the gym is the last thing on any Mums mind. Sadly, you lovely ladies don’t seem to be able to put yourselves first.
But putting yourself first at crucial times is really important, our productivity and effectiveness is tied to the speed of our thinking. Without enough rest, our thinking slows down considerably and we are all guilty of not getting the right work life balance. Based on this and the stuggles my clients find week on week when it comes to time I have created my top tips on how to carve out time for regular exercise especially over the festive period:
Tip 1: Your health can't be ignored. Your health is not something you can negotiate, it needs to be priority and not something that can't be ignored. This means sometimes other areas need to be left. For once the clothes washing may need to be left and dishes can sit for a while. Also now and then leave a toy out and tidy it away later in the day.
Tip 2: Work out when your kids sleep. Now my client has told me that her childs naps have got a lot less and is generally the time to grab a shower or throw on some make up. But what about before the wake, say 6 am? It’s not easy to get up at 6 a.m. to run and I get it, it's cold and dark. But this 45 minute window is your time. Or if that time doesn't work how about when they go to bed? If running outside doesn't work for you then a HIIT work out in your living room?
Tip 3: Invest in home gym equipment. Invest in some free weights, kettlebells, or fitness DVDs. The more convenient you make exercise, the more likely you’ll be to do it. Aldi have done in the past some great deals and prices on their gym equipment. A great little go to when you have a spare 15 minutes.
Tip 4: Work out in front of your children or even with them. I have seen some great works involving children. From doing jumping jacks, planks, push-ups, lunges, and squats. Making exercies part of a daily routine can really encourage children to stay fit and healthy too.
Tip 5: Get moving with your kids. I’m a big fan of the jogging with your push chair and better still load it up with some shopping. My client loves a hill climb and no better way than shopping at the oribtial and pushing the pram up the St Andrews Ridge Hill.
Tip 6: Finally schedule time for fitness like you would any other important meeting. If you work full-time, play around with your schedule. Can you run during lunch? Or pick up your child a little later from day-care and hit the gym on the commute home? Meaning, throw away your to-do list and just put all of your “to-do’s” onto your calendar.
My busy client is going to take my tips on board over the next month and we are going to re-evaluate her training program to work with her new lifestyle for January. If you think you are too busy to train, then come and talk to me as there is always a way we can make it work.
Have a good month.