Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Exercise Inspiration

Finding time to exercise with 5 kids in the house is a little like finding time to fill a swimming pool with a Dixie cup.  It just isn't going to happen on its own.  You have to be deliberate and find tricks that work. 

I know many of you dear readers have memberships to the YMCA or other gyms that have free childcare.  What a great opportunity!  I like to think I would be in marathon shape if someone were watching my kids so I can exercise.  In reality, I'd probably still do the same amount of exercise, but stretch it out over a loooong time to take full advantage of that babysitting.  Maybe I'd even shower and blow dry my hair during the hiatus from parental duties. 

But, since I don't have any memberships, I make due with what I have.  And what I have is second hand (most of it free) free exercise equipment found on the internet - a treadmill, Nordictrack, and weight machine.  I find that if I don't early in the morning, it just isn't going to happen.  I'm exhausted by the end of the day.  So, pre-daylight works best. 

Unglamorous post-workout sweaty girl.

Here are some friendly tips for exercise inspiration, beyond the whole "You'll feel better and live longer and fit into skinny jeans" inspiration.

1.  Don't exercise while the kids are right by you.  Our treadmill is in the basement, along with the kids' toys.  I have found that shouting out, "Stop fighting!" and regulating toy sharing negotiations with the kids while trying to jog really messes with your breathing.  If I have to exercise while the kids are awake, I have a rule that if I have to stop the treadmill to deal with their misbehavior, they will be in time out till I am off the treadmill.  Harsh, yes.  Longer than the usual 1 minute per age, yes.  But a healthy Mommy is important. The kids are also not allowed to shout, "Faster, Mommy!  Faster!  I can run faster than that, Mommy!"  while I am on the treadmill.

2.  I reward myself with computer games.  I am not a huge video game kind of girl, but I love a good game of Scrabble or Boggle (Do you hear that, all my elementary teachers who gave me mediocre spelling grades.  I have improved.)  I only allow myself to play them after I have exercised.

3.  I know everyone has heard the advice to lay out your clothes the night before.  But it is so true.  If I even have to open a drawer in my sleep deprived stupor, it seems like too much work and I will just go back to sleep.

4.  The best advice I have is child guilt.  I have told them many times how I exercise to stay healthy so I can take good care of them for a long time.  I then challenge them to ask me EVERY DAY if I exercised.  If I have, they jump up and down and shout "Hooray!"  Alright.  Just the younger ones do that.  The older ones stick with high fives.  If I haven't exercised that day, they put on a grave face and say, "Mommy.  You should exercise to keep healthy.  You need to take care of me."  There is nothing like a guilt inducing scolding from a four year old to get yourself on the treadmill.


Anonymous said...

Soooo true...
love your advices...
Start tomorrow ;-)

By the way.what size are your house?
Do the children have own rooms?

Kristin said...

Our house is about average sized. We live in a regular suburb and our house was built in 1968. Some of the kids share rooms, some have their own.

Good luck with the child-induced guilt to exercise!