Sunday, January 20, 2008

Finding Time for Fitness

Daisy had a great question in my comments this week, another topic I like to think about and get ideas from other moms about:

"When your children were younger, did you have/make time to do things like exercise/work out, or was this something that just happened in the course of your playing and interacting with your children (running around with them etc.)?"

I'm so glad you asked this, Daisy. First of all, I'm glad you asked about when my children were younger. Because, I actually DID make more time to exercise when they were younger than I do now, and in fact, this is an area in which I've been feeling convicted in recent months. Thank you so much for bringing this up!

When my children were quite small (as in, still babies/toddlers) I used to ::::I hate to keep saying this:::: get up really early to go walking. My husband left for work at around 6:45, so I would hit the sidewalk at around 6:00. No, it wasn't easy to get up and get moving, and no I'm not a morning person-- my opinion is that morning people are made, not born. But, oh, how I relished those early morning walks! It was such a great time to be out breathing fresh air, having some MUCH needed time alone, praying, thinking, and taking care of my body by exercising the way I should. I did this at least 4 mornings a week. If I got up at 5 (which I have done for a number of years) then I also could get in a good quiet time, too. Coming in after a brisk walk, kissing my sweet husband goodbye, having some coffee and getting ready for my day really helped to energize me for the day. It also helped, in those years, that one or both of the kids went down for a nap in the afternoon, because a routine that early usually made me tired by that time, too, and I could either rest with them or have a few minutes of "down time" myself.

When they were early elementary aged, we moved and had some extra room so that I could get a treadmill. We didn't spend much on one (that's when they were quite expensive... we bought a used one at a "Play It Again Sports" store. Now treadmills are quite reasonable.) If I couldn't get up or out for my morning walking/running, then I would make time at around 3:00 in the afternoon. That was well after we were through with school, and there was still time to shower and prepare dinner before the evening hours. Back when Dr. Ph*il first started coming on, while I still watched that show, I would watch that everyday at 3:00 and get on the treadmill. My kids were old enough by then to do something independently for that period of time and since we had spent the day on school they were just as glad for a break, I'm sure!

As far as equipment goes, a treadmill is certainly not necessary. While I was still doing my outdoor walks I began carrying handweights, which added a workout for my arms and could serve as a self defense weapon, too, I suppose! Now we have some wrist weights and ankle weights that are much easier to wear/carry. Also, if a treadmill is not a possibility, there are some wonderful workout shows available on DVD. One set I found is the Moving to the Word workout dvd's. I love these because the women are dressed modestly, the music is Scripture, and it's a great workout! Recently I began incorporating some ideas I got from seeing Kelly Ripa's workout tips one morning during our Christmas break. We bought some weight balls and have begun doing some of what she suggests. We love doing the alphabet workout with the weight balls. I can really feel this in my legs! In my more creative moments I think I want to have them do this with spelling words or science vocabulary, but I haven't done it yet. Going through the alphabet would great for younger kids to do with a regular playground ball and for mom to do with a 5-20 pound weight ball!

With my older kids I have (when I think about it!) begun having them take turns choosing a song for us to "move" to. They love to get on our iTunes and pick a jazzy song and then we take turns leading each other in aerobics type movements to the song. It gets us all moving and laughing!

Well, I'm certainly no "fitness expert" and this is an area in which I'm really trying to become more disciplined, but this is what we've done that has worked. I'd love to know what has worked for you!


CAP said...


I came across your website via a Google Alert. I see you're also part of the Well Drained Mind, so I know I've probably read your posts over there. I'm usually a lurker when it comes to the WTM Homeschool Boards and WDM, but I love reading all of it.

I created a blog for moms and fitness because I wasn't making the time for myself. I've found that writing about it has made it a reality. I've put together Home Circuits and Playtime routines for moms with young children. I was never a morning person. I tried and failed too many times. Dancing and doing various exercises with the kids is a great way to add fitness into your routine.

It really does take changing our mind set to make fitness a priority. It's doable, but determination and motivation are key. Feel free to browse around for more ideas.

Daisy said...

Thank you so much, Cyndi, for responding to my quesion! There were a lot of helpful ideas and links on your post. I checked out the link to the ABC workout - my kids would love that! I was especially encouraged by what you said, that a morning person is made and not born. I was just about ready to throw in the towel on that one; hmmmm, maybe it isn't too unreasonable for me then (except when the baby keeps me up!). I had not totally conceded yet that it was impossible to work out at this stage of my life, but I definitely needed a boost of inspiration! Time now to get creative...and, well, do! (As Yoda said, "Do, or not do, there is no try." :-) )


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