An Editor’s Attempt To Squeeze Fitness Into A Busy Schedule

Fitness wardrobe

I’ve always enjoyed physical fitness. I played sports growing up, and have made an effort to carve out time to exercise most of my adult life. I know that being physically active makes me much happier. I used to think that people who said they didn’t have time to work out just didn’t really enjoy it like I did, but now I know that’s not typically the case.

Ever since I had my daughter I’ve majorly struggled to find time to work out. It’s something that really bothers me. I tried to be relaxed about it for the first eight months of her life, but now that she’s almost two it’s time to get serious. See, I feel like I have two babies: my daughter and my business. If I ever have an open window of time, I feel like one of them has to be focused on. How can I make time to work out when I’m already so behind at work or I want to spend some quality time with my daughter? It’s so difficult to choose and the guilt can really take a toll. Plus, sometimes it’s hard to envision devoting time to myself when I can hardly use the restroom undisturbed.

The issue is, I need to make time for meand that’s not really happening. I know most mothers can relate to putting themselves last. What I’ve realized is that without a little time to do things that make me feel happy or energized, I’m really not being my best self for my work and my family. When I carve out time to work out I’m a happier person to be around. I feel inspired and eager to take things on. The times I don’t, I’m more tired, overwhelmed and emotional. That’s why I have decided that this fall, I will challenge myself to exercise three times a week.

For me, I have to work out before 5 p.m. or it’s not going to happen. There are too many family commitments later in the day, so that means I have to find time during the day to get my fitness on.

Here are a few things I plan to do to make this work: 

Make it quick
Because I can only go to the gym on the days I have part-time childcare, those are the days I need to make it happen. It’s challenging because those hours feel like gold, and to prioritize the gym feels tough, but I’m confident that everything will improve as a result of going. Because that time is very limited I plan to do quick workouts. That means I probably won’t do anything that’s going to take longer than 45 minutes (sorry, power yoga class!).

Be an early bird
I will try to wake up earlier those mornings. I already wake up at 6:30 a.m. every day so this will be brutal, but any extra time to work and respond to emails is necessary. I will also aim to work for two hours every night after my daughter goes to bed on the days I go to the gym.

Pencil it in
I will mark it down on the calendar and treat my working out time as an important appointment.

Buy new workout clothes
Now this isn’t a priority and may seem frivolous, but for me, whenever I get new workout gear I always look forward to exercising. It beats working out in my grungy T-shirt that I probably slept in, and definitely has food stains on it.

Be flexible
I will be gentle on myself if I am unable to work out because something comes up at work, my daughter is home sick or there’s a gigantic mess at home that I have to take care of. I can adjust my schedule and work out another day. Or perhaps I can go for a jog with her in the stroller or work out in our living room.

Make it worth it
If I am going to be using some of the precious hours to work out I better be making the most of it. I plan to really push myself and get my sweat on!

Finding time for fitness is not easy, and it’s often the thing that gets booted off our schedule first. However, I want to show my daughter that my health is important to me, and I want her to see that we live an active lifestyle. So with a little planning and dedication, I look forward to getting my fitness groove back.

*Update: Since writing this post, I’ve already been working on this schedule and so far I’ve been doing pretty well, but I have had some slip ups and missed some days. Also, I have had trouble waking up before 6 a.m. (can you blame me?!), but given I’m writing this at 9 p.m., I am working at night. I will see how I do over the next month.

Tell me, how do you find time to work out? What are your tricks and tips?

– Taylor Sterling

Want more health & fitness? Try How To Fall Asleep Faster or 8 Ways To Drink More Water.

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Author: Taylor Sterling

Taylor Sterling is the founder and creative director of Glitter Guide. When she's not working on all things GG, she can be found reading and sometimes art directing photoshoots for @LolaJayne. She enjoys spending time with her family and eating french fries (not necessarily at the same time, although that's definitely the best combination). Follow her at @TaylorSterling

  • I’m the same way…it’s so hard to find the time between work, blogging, freelance and sidegigs..I too wake up at 6:30 and while a quick 1.5 mile run only takes 15 minutes it’s hard to get out of bed and do it. I try to get new work out clothes and it works for like two weeks tops haha
    I think I’ll try penciling it in and maybe try to find a running buddy in my neighborhood!

    Thanks for sharing and I hope it gets easier for both of us!
    XO Sahra
    Que Sera Sahra

  • Taylor, for years and yeeears I tried to force myself to wake up before 6am and was rarely successfully. I finally bit the bullet and joined a gym that has circuit training classes and I LOVE it. I hit up the 6am classes 3 times a week and 8am on Saturday, then shower there and don’t even miss the time in my day. I tend to take my schedule seriously, so knowing that I have an “appointment”, I never sleep in and now that I am getting to know people, I know the usuals who are in my class are expecting me and I am quick to hop out of bed. Plus the feeling after I’m done the class always makes me come back.

    Also, I love the type of work out. For me, it’s what I’d been looking for all along that I didn’t find at other big-box gyms. My gym, there’s never more than 8 people in a class, so it’s the closest you’ll get to personally training and winds up to be about $10 a class.

    All that to say, my advice from someone who finally got back on the regular-workouts wagon after being off for far too long, find a gym you love, fork out the cash if it means that you’ll actually go, and try to find a place that has schedule gym times/classes. If you’re anything like me, you’ll feel challenged and pushed and excited to show up.

  • I agree I also find it very hard to find time for myself and go to the gym! I need to start making a plan because I know I feel much better after a good workout! thanks for sharing! keep it up! xoxo

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  • I think the best thing you can do is get a workout buddy. I have someone who sets up my spot at my body pump class. That gets me there on the days I don’t want to go. I workout through the Y. They offer childcare, so really it is a wonderful treat to get to workout and have my kids being taken care of a few steps away.
    Just keep trying. You can do it!

  • I recently signed up for class pass and it’s amazing. I love trying new studios in my area and planning my routine out a week in advance. Classes like Barry’s Bootcamp are amazing – burning 700 calories is so worth an hour of getting my butt kicked :)

  • This is a FABULOUS article and I love how you related to the mom guilt I’m sure so many of us feel. Thank you so much for posting!

  • I like the idea of penning workouts into your schedule. Treating appointments with OURSELVES as if they are as important as an appointment with, say, the doctor or a client, is what’s hard for us guilt-ridden moms. great post!

  • I recommend workout DVDs you can do at home – that way you save time travelling to and from a gym (hello extra time in bed) and it really takes minimal organization (your shower and home comforts are right there). My favorites are Brazilian Butt Lift, T25 (only 25 mins!) and Insanity. Good luck!!

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