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Working Workouts into Busy Lives

In response to yesterday’s post about the need for parenting resources for the grown-up/grown-up relationships, not just grown-up/kid relationships, a few people reached out to me saying “Yes, of course parents need to take care of ourselves.  But how do we actually do it?  How do we make changes in our days and our lives that help us take better care of ourselves and our relationships?”  They’re right — the preaching is the easy part and the practice is the hard part.  For parents and for anyone else with “projects” that demand a lot of time (avid surfers, musicians, artists, volunteers, elder caregivers, etc), figuring out how to keep the self-care and relationship development pieces on the burner at all when the stovetop is really full is tough and individual, requiring thinking and intention and commitment.

I’m using this blog as a formal exploration of my quest to do this, and as I’ve been “living out loud,” I’ve become more conscious of trade-offs and more creative about working the things I need most into my days and life.  For example, in my wellfesto, I committed to “exercise as much as my time and body allow…”  How beautifully vague, right?  But this simple statement has helped me frame the role of exercise in my life from “must-run-10-miles-every-morning” to “how much time do I have for exercise and how does my body feel today?”  This simple shift has helped me let go of the rigidity that brings with it self-doubt and frustration, while reminding me that this is a top priority in my life and something I need in order to feel like myself.  Yes, a 10-mile run at 8am is still my preference, but on days when my body or schedule make that difficult, I’m OK with other, “more integrated” options.  Here are some of them:

  • Having a 15-minute dance party (including jumping, handstands, etc) with my kids after breakfast and before school/work
  • Doing walking (personal and work) meetings (you can get miles in every day just doing this)
  • Biking to and from work
  • Prioritizing a quick lunchtime workout (tabata is super efficient)
  • Jumping rope (calories burned and “high” to time ratio is incredible)
  • Simple circuit of push-ups, tricep dips, sit-ups in the morning and at night

Oh yeah, and just to add fuel to the current work-from-home fire Marissa Mayer has started, working from home is a huge help in integrating workouts (headstands in conference rooms are awkward and multiple showers per day are a waste of time and water)!  For more about this and how to integrate exercise and work, check out my earlier post on this topic.

How do you work workouts into busy days?  And how do you ensure you prioritize them on not-as-busy days?  Do you like coupling workouts with other things (work, kids, etc), or do you like them to stand on their own?

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Love this post – you’re reminding me that even on days (like today, and yesterday, and this whole past week, actually!) when I can’t get in a formal work-out, there’s still plenty I can do in between picking up my kid and blogging and snack time. (pilates ab curl type stuff, etc).

    March 6, 2013

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