By Zerline Hughes
“Following school drop off, a long work day, school pick up, homework and making dinner, there’s no time for exercise.”
“I’m so busy taking my kids to their recreation activities, I don’t have time to do anything.”
“My spouse/kids take up so much of my time, I can’t even think about going to the gym.”
Any of these very good, realistic, understandable excuses sound familiar or ring true to your life? I used them all the time until I got sick of blaming everyone around me for being stagnant in my fitness goals.
I blamed my husband for bringing me sweet treats after work. I blamed myself for overscheduling my kids with extracurricular activities 30 miles apart from each other.
I finally had to say to them (internally), “It’s not you, it’s me,” and took matters into my own hands. Interested in doing the same?
Right before the new year, I’ve asked the family to join me in my fitness endeavors.
I asked the husband to swim with me at the neighborhood recreation center pool. That doubles as a date day. (I’m still waiting for that to happen, though, but he gets a weekly reminder.)
I asked my son to do push ups with me at night. He leads and counts and helps remind me right before bed time in case I get too busy and forget.
My daughter and I will play tennis together on less busy, warmer nights after school, but when that doesn’t happen, she is excellent at reminding me serving sizes, and reminding me what foods not to eat.
They are all involved and cheer me on – and I try to do the same. And it’s so necessary. Without making your family accountable and harboring hard feelings, your relationships with your kids and spouse can turn toxic, resentful and unhealthy. I’ve been there.
Exercise while your kids exercise. If you can’t carve out time to do fitness activities with your children, try to fit something in while they are exercising their minds and bodies at music lessons, sports practice. Instead of sitting and waiting in the car, walk. Consider joining a gym that allows you to use several locations and find yourself at the nearest facility. Keep your workout shoes, clothes and a pair of cheap, light-weight barbells, a jump rope and/or stretch bands from five and below in the trunk of your car, and do your fitness on the fly in a nearby park or even in the car.
Make date night or date day a physical activity. Go trampoline jumping, wall climbing, swimming or play tennis. You don’t have to know how to do any of them as long as you’re moving your body, getting your heart rate up! Keep it simple and take a walk after dinner. The key is doing so on a consistent basis.
I’ve been there. I’m still there. I’m still working to perfect it, but I’m getting in a groove. And the days where I get not cooperation, my will power has to set in and I have to realize some days, I am on my own. It’s all about me.
Are you ready for no more excuses?