No Time to Exercise – The Reality of a Busy Mom’s Life

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If you’re just joining us, we’ve been following new mom Laura as she experiences the ups and downs of exercise and motherhood. Read Laura’s first post here and then check out her second post here. Today’s post highlights a struggle that most moms can relate to – “no time to exercise.”  

Honestly, since last Monday, I have been really swamped with work, meetings, more meetings, and then vacation. I did do a little running over the last week. Last Sunday I ventured out on the greenway near our house to find that it was more off-roading from recent storms, but the challenge was fun and the stroller, pup and I made it through. I probably made it 3 miles running off and on, but it was a good effort.

Wednesday I took our daughter on our new weekly run with Trophy Brewing Co.’s run club. I had lots of support from the others in the club because 1) It was really warm that evening and 2) I was making decent time while pushing a large stroller with a 20-pound baby.

Father’s Day weekend we went to the beach with both sets of grandparents and a good run was a nice break in the action and a chance for me to get out and have some alone time. As I was starting I had some knee pain that I was able to get through and run about 30 minutes.

As for the gym workouts, honestly I didn’t do any. As mentioned before I have been swamped at work and, of course, the first things to go were the workouts. Yesterday was no better, but today I made an effort to find the time to get into the gym. I did a modified elliptical workout and then the trusty 10-minute circuit that Jenn gave me.

no time to exerciseI tried the 5-minute baby workout last week, and aside from my daughter being 20-pounds and difficult to get “around the world” it was good. Definitely a workout for the arms and the added weight to the wall sit was certainly felt in all the right places. She will be turning 8 weeks this weekend and she is getting more mobile by the day – I should add a modification to the workout that includes retrieving her from underneath the couch or wherever she’s lodged herself.

Last week was my second week back at running club and I think it is already getting easier. Initially it was somewhat awkward because I’m the only mom in this group with lots of non-baby, fast running, young adults. But, after they got to know my daughter and me they were very supportive and love to coo about how cute she is. Having the crowd (honestly it was mostly women rooting me on, but my husband was also a big cheerleader) really made me feel great and really made my excited to come back and continue with the club.

I find that the real problem is finding the time. A perfect example was last week when I just couldn’t justify the time at the gym. I admittedly use the meetings and crazy schedule as a reason to miss workouts. But what really made me inspired is that I missed them. There wasn’t the relief that I didn’t have to workout, but the remorse that I didn’t get to. I really missed that feeling of craving the sweaty workouts and the feeling after that I used to have. Hopefully I have put myself back on the right track.

Fit for Expecting’s Expert Feedback: 

Life is always throwing challenges our way and what you’re experiencing is very common among moms – the busy mom’s life with seemingly no time to exercise. While you might not realize it, you’ve already stepped over a huge hurdle – you KNOW how important working out is for your health and when you don’t exercise you miss it. Life will continue to challenge you and your time will continue to be limited. I believe that flexibility is part of a sustainable, healthy exercise program. Acknowledge that there are days or weeks when you’ll have no time to exercise, or at least the kind of time you’re used to. During those especially busy times, do something even if all you can do is plank for 1 minute and find ways to be active throughout your day – park farther away from your office, take the stairs (even if it’s just a flight or two), squat with your daughter when you reconnect with her at the end of the day, do some push-ups on the counter while preparing dinner. Don’t let these busy times derail your exercise program. Give yourself a break on days when you truly don’t have the time to exercise. On other days when you do have the time but you’re looking for excuses not to…those are the days when you need to remind yourself why you exercise, put on your workout clothes and get to the gym.  

Here are some ideas to help with the knee pain:

  • Try starting off with walk-jog intervals before breaking into a run.
  • Make sure you are wearing properly fitted shoes. Hopefully you’ve purchased new shoes since delivering your daughter – many of my postpartum clients make the mistake of wearing the same shoes they wore throughout pregnancy.
  • Try using a foam roller to roll out your quads, IT band and hamstrings before and after you run. Ashley Borden has a great rolling out guide

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