I enjoy working out. There, I said it; but I’ll also be the first to say that I really don’t like running. Like, at all. There was a time when I tried to like running, diligently, for a short period of time. Where did this motivation come from? My sister-in-law. She trained for a marathon after the arrival of her first baby, as she decided to stay home permanently with her kid. I sat there, looking at my lazy self wondering if I should try running, too (mind you, this was pre-baby). Hey, I did alright… for me. I got up to three miles without stopping to walk, and even ran 8 miles one morning. That’s the furthest I got.
Shift In Priorities
My strong suit is HIIT (high intensity interval training) and weights, and I love me a good kickboxing / boxing class. Pilates is great too – talk about getting your core sore!
Let’s say it like is it – The luxury of waking up on a Saturday morning around 9:00, just in time to make it to my 10:00am kickboxing class have gone out the window.
Oh yes, I’m up early enough, but the weekend mornings are my special time with my baby, and I’m sure not giving that up to go to the gym (unless, of course, she’s cranky, teething, going through a growth spurt… kidding). But seriously, I have made the conscious decision that I just “don’t have time” to make the gym a priority.
Since I work Monday through Friday in an office, the last thing (ok, maybe not the LAST thing), but one of the last things I want to do – rephrase – AM ABLE to do, is get a good 45 minutes to an hour of workout in. There are kids, a husband, and household chores to be tended to.
I’m not going to preach that “this is how it should be done”. My method doesn’t work for everyone, but here’s what I do:
It depends on my mood, and fluctuates daily, weekly, monthly – you name it. Sometimes, I can muster up the strength to wake up at 5:00am to get in a quick workout – in my garage / downstairs living room – before the baby wakes up. Luckily, I have a helping hubby who can grab her if he hears her first, and then I can help with the morning routine per the usual (including getting myself ready for the day).
Other days, I bring my lunch and my workout clothes to work and I hit the gym on my lunch break. Don’t I get too sweaty, you ask? No. And it’s because, quite frankly, I don’t go that hard. When I do lunchtime workouts, I will do a mile on the elliptical to warm up, and then some weights. Sometimes I’ll do all weights. I still feel like I’m getting a good workout, without the full blown cardio that will cause my pits to stink.
Hey, every little bit counts.
The other option, which is still foreign to me, is working out after my daughter goes to bed. Usually, I have either not eaten or just eaten dinner. I want to shower, and want to sit and stare off in oblivion because I am so exhausted. Working out at night is not something I have mastered, or let’s be honest, even attempted.
Working out is important to me. It is something that I like to do, and an outlet for me to destress. Whether or not I feel like I am actually de-stressing at the time (half the time I’m thinking about all the other shit that’s piled up on my plate for the day), I know that I am mentally and physically in a better state if I can squeeze in a few workouts a week.
Other great options:
At home workouts (you can buy sets or download free videos online); jamming in a quick gym sesh if you have family who can watch your little one for the hour – hour and a half OR if you are comfortable leaving your child in the gym daycare (each gym differs!); take the little one with you (run with the stroller, stop in the park to do jumping jacks and sit-ups, etc.); go for a nice walk on your lunch break around your building (up and down the stairwell, around the parking lot, etc.) – get creative!
If you are like me, you don’t want to let this part of your life die. It is a great outlet, and a much needed one. Whether you feel it in the MOMENT or not, you are getting benefits physically and mentally.
Get after it, Mama.
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