Finding time to exercise
I am Elle, 36 year old partner, part time SEN teacher, part time beauty therapist and mum to Arabella, 13 and Elliott, 11.
I love to exercise, sometimes I don’t actually love doing it but it gives me such a boost of endorphins after that is enough motivation to get it done.
Finding the time to exercise has been a struggle over the years, trying to balance 2 jobs, 2 children, a dog, a horse, several chickens and guinea pigs, but I make sure I find the time because it is important to me not only for my physical health but mainly because it makes me feel happy.
My top tips for finding the time to exercise are-
- Not feeling guilty dedicating time to exercise. I am fortunate now that I can leave my children alone while I go to the gym, pool or a class but there was a time when I would have to plan my exercise around their dad being home or sorting out childcare. Even now when I leave them I try not to feel guilty about the fact I am taking that time for myself- in my case it is often to do exercise but I also wouldn’t feel guilty if it was to go for a massage!
- Accepting a change to routines. I used to never like getting up early- I would much rather go for a swim at 9pm than get up early when the morning before school chaos is going on, however over the last few years I have had a body clock change and now naturally wake early and enjoy getting up and out the house while everyone else is still in bed. It does sometimes mean a change in routine for me and sometimes my children but we all still get what we need.
- Exercising at home. Being flexible with what I can do has been hard. When the children were younger and I had to exercise at home so I could still be at home for them, or in recent months during lockdown when the gym and pool were closed, I have had to adapt what I would like to do. I invested in some simple equipment to have at home and enjoyed trying some new things. It also meant I could include the children - bonus!
- Sign up/ commit to something.Whether it is membership, a booked class or just meeting a friend. If I have a commitment then I am much more likely to stick to it, even on those wet, cold days when I don’t want to get out of bed. I also enjoy a challenge so signing up to a race helps give me some focus and something to train for.
- No pressure. I have an Apple Watch and have a slight obsession with ‘closing my rings’ - I have exercise targets to meet to achieve this. Most days I am more than willing to get up and get my exercise done, but I have to remind myself that my body needs a break and it’s ok to take the pressure away and not have to do something intense everyday! A family walk with the dog or a 10 minute sun salutation, or even no workout and just the normal days jobs is sometimes sufficient!
Reminding myself that it is ok to have the time to myself is important. I know that finding the time to exercise makes me feel good. Ultimately if I feel good then I am less likely to feel stressed and therefore home life is better. I actually get a bit aggy and anxious if I don’t do some form of exercise in the morning- I feel sluggish and on edge, this then isn’t conducive for a relaxed home life!
Exercise is also important for my children, I hope that they see me and my partner as positive role models for finding the time to exercise and the importance of it. The teenage years might test this but so far they are both happy to do some physical activity!
Exercise is essential and enjoyable for me so finding the time is necessary!