Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Back To School: Running Around Your Kids' Schedule

Somehow it's already the middle of August. Summer IS FLYING and it's going to be September before we know it. It's hard to believe that this time next year London will be starting school. 


I know a lot of people have to manage workouts around their kids' school schedule. For me, it's no different, except it's daycare. Oh, plus the other activities, birthday parties, play dates and more! 
Here are some tips for busy mama's (and dad's) to fit in workouts during the school year:

1. First Things First
Workout in the morning. Yes, it's going to be tough to set your alarm, a little earlier, but it'll soon become routine. (Need extra help? Here are some tips on waking up early to workout.) If I waited until after work my workouts would never happen. There are never any 4:30am meetings. Plus, my son is in a lot of extra curricular actives now so my evenings are filled with car-pooling, making supper, bath-time and bedtime. I'm too exhausted to do anything else after he goes to bed (besides pour myself a glass of wine and turn on Netflix.)

2. Use Your Lunch Break
If early mornings don't work for you, or you have long hours at work, plan to workout during your lunch break. You can head outside for a run or most gyms offer 40-50 minute classes.

3. Have A Plan
Schedule your workouts in advance. You're more likely to stick to it if you have something written down. Plus, it's easy to waste time standing around trying to figure out what you want to do. It's one thing to have motivation but it's another to have a goal and a strategy to get there.

4. Include Your Kids
One of the best parts about being a parent is being able to introduce your children to different activities and things you're passionate about. If I'm unable to wake up early (or just hit snooze a few too many times) I still make time to fit in a workout but it looks a little different. I have a BOB Running Stroller so we will go for a run together or I'll run alongside him while he rides his bike. He's recently started playing baseball so we love to take our gloves and bats to the diamond. It's a workout chasing after the baseball.

5. Make The Playground Your Jungle Gym
I love working out at the playground. While London is playing I'm also getting my sweat on but still able to keep an eye on him. He usually comes and joins me at some point. There are so many great playground workouts you can find online. One of my favourite is a simple deck of cards workout. Pack a pack of cards and assign a different exercise to each suit (hearts=burpees, diamonds=squats etc.) The card value equals the number of reps. Continue until you get through the full deck.

6. Both Take Classes
Instead of heading to Starbucks when you drop your child off at soccer practice why not hit a class yourself. When they sweat you can sweat too!

7. Sweeten The Deal
I'm not above bribing my son with treats so I can get my workout done. If I'm training for a race, and need to log some miles, I'll set him up with a movie on the IPAD and snacks. We've also been known to run to Tim Hortons. I get my miles in and he gets a donut.

8. Don't beat yourself up.
Workouts are not always going to happen. Life gets crazy. Schedules change. 
If you don't get your workout done don't write off the whole week. 
Don't stress and don't compare yourself to other parents.

Do what works for you!

At the end of the day, spending time with my son always takes priority. Working out, when you have a busy schedule, is hard but doable. When I'm happy and healthy I'm a better mom and a better role model.

How do you fit exercise into your busy schedule?

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