Reaching your fitness goals can be a daunting task when work, kids and running errands always seem to get in the way of your training.
Well, it’s time to throw all of your excuses out the window! Below we have outlined 4 ways you can fit in those much needed workouts:
1. Run your errands:
RWK contributor Caitlin Jacobsen is a pro at this one. With 3 kids at home under 5, sometimes the only way she can fit in a run is to run with her kids, pushing them in her triple jogging stroller.
She makes a point of running her kids everywhere within reason: To preschool, to the grocery store, post office, etc. As she is a competitive runner, she she can often get in a good 10-20 miles a day just running her kids around town. Some runs are planned to align with nap-time and other times the kids get out and run alongside.
2. Imagine you only have one car:
Last year, one of our cars had unexpecated engine issues that unfortnately were not worth the cost to fix, so we found oursleves in this exact perdiciment. We decided to see if we could live with just one vehicle for a while and at first it was very difficult. Arguments ensued. Our schedules had to change. Simple drives to the grocery store became us loading the kids in the bike carrier and hauling whatever groceries we could fit in the small compartment in the back.
But you know what? After the dust settled things got easier. We were more active than we had ever been AND we saved a ton of money in gas and food expenses.
We also began to realize how completely ridiculous we had been, so dependent on the convenience of jumping in our car and getting to the closest Starbucks, Noodles & Company or wherever else on a whim.
When you only have one vehicle your world looks a little different. You have to make choices of how you want to spend your time and money. I could make a coffee or pot of noodles at home in the time it took to run there ONE WAY.
Scott worked just a mile from our house, the grocery store was also just a mile away. So was a playground that I was frequently driving to so the boys could play. All these places were easily within running distance and here we were complaining that we didn’t have any time to fit in a workout.
Now that we are back to two vehicles we still try to walk, run or bike as much as possible. Even in the winter. Sure, we’ve backslided a little bit but until something is taken away you can’t really realize what you are missing.
Work with your spouse to come up with a schedule that allows both of you to run, bike, or hike to work or elsewhere.
3. Plan an adventure!
My husband Scott and I met on a chairlift and our entire relationship was built hours of trail runs, hikes, camping trips and bike rides. So you can guess what happened after the birth of our 2nd son. That’s right, nothing. The adjustment for new parents is hard but especially hard for those dependent on those daily thrills and kick of endorphins an active lifestyle brings.
Scott has a podcast called Athlete on Fire in which he interviews amazing athletes from all over the world. Part of me thinks this business came into fruition due to our lack of adventure, if we couldn’t experience it ourselves than at least we could live it through hearing other’s stories.
Well, my favorite episode to date is his interview with Dean Karnases. He is a world renowned ultra runner (his claim to fame is running 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days). What resonated in this interview was one of his training methods: He would go on these long “adventures” for hours and even days at a time. Pack a backpack, hit the road with no agenda in mind and run.
So how does this apply to you?
Plan a running adventure for your spouse. Pack a bag with some food, money, extra clothes and send him or her off. You know what would make it even more fun is if it were completely unexpected. Drop them off in the middle of nowhere at night, tell them they have 8 hours to get home and by the way honey, have fun!
I promise you, they will love it and appreciate you even more after they get this little adventure fix.
4. Be flexible and be tough:
Sometimes fitting in a run or workout just doesn’t seem like its going to work. I know the feeling. We have several small businesses we are trying to get off the ground while taking care of 2 young boys at home almost full time. It is a juggling act and we are slaves to our schedules.
Here’s the thing. If you really want something to happen, it all just comes down to one question: what are you willing to sacrifice to make it happen?
My friend, Dr. Kelly Shockely inspired this one. She is a chirpractic doctor who takes 8 patient hours a day in addition to growing an online business. Oh yeah, did I also mention that she is a single mom and training for two ultra marathons in 2016? Yeah, she is one bad ass mama! (pardon my language, I am just really impressed by this lady!)
How does Kelly fit in her training? On a good morning a 10 mile run at 4am, on a bad one the alarm goes off at exactly 2:30am. Some may call this a little extreme but she is dedicated to reaching her goals. She eats healthy, takes care of her body and goes to bed when her son does, by 8:30pm.
She is willing to sacrifice a little sleep for something that suits her much better: a morning run that clears her mind, battles her stress and makes her feel strong and powerful.
So what are you willing to sacrifice to make your goals and dreams happen?
It may take getting up an hour earlier or working out late at night after the kids go to sleep. Maybe you do a workout in the living room when they are napping or you bundle up in the worst of weather and get outdoors.
You and your spouse might have to trade off watching the kids on weekend mornings for your long runs.
This sacrifice might mean missing your favorite tv show, sports team play or even canceling your cable and spending that money on a gym membership.
Sometimes you just have to be willing to be flexible and realize that it is within your power to make your goals and dreams happen.
– Lauren Jones
RWK founder and mama to 2 amazing little boys!