Balancing Work, Family, and Exercise

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Last month, Devin wrote an article titled “Maintaining a Healthy Metabolism” and it said “…there is no excuse that prevents us from 4 hours of structured exercise per week.” C’mon working parents!!! I know you read that and thought the same thing I did! “Easy for Devin to say! He’s a young guy without the demands a family places on you.”

Like you, I have a full time job and 3 kids. It’s not easy to find time to exercise when you work all day and your kids are waiting to see you when you get home; not to mention all the time their sports/activities can take out of our week.

It may surprise you that even I have a difficult time fitting in workouts even though I work at a gym! Could you imagine trying to work out at your office with all the distractions and people pulling you in 1000 directions?

Sometimes it feels like I’m choosing between my fitness goals and time with my kids, I bet you do too. So I began to think about how we could fit exercise in to our schedules. Well, it took a little creativity and flexibility, but here are a few suggestions…

Time is Key!

• Use your weekends! Get up early while everyone else is still sleeping and get to a class or take a morning run/walk. I have often resorted to Sunday mornings and Friday evenings. Is that my preferred time? Of course not! But getting my workout in makes me happier, so it’s all worth the inconvenience.

• Consider your lunch break. 45 minute brisk walk outside…fitness facility nearby? Jump on the treadmill! Or come to AFS noon WLS class!

• Look at your obligations prior to the week. Schedule in the times you will exercise and make it non-negotiable! Errands, housework, etc. will always be there… Make exercise your priority!!


• Grab your kid and have them walk or jog with you. If you have younger kids, have them ride their bike near you or bring the stroller.

• Bring your teenager to an AFS class

• Exercise with your kids at home! Did you know your AFS practitioner can give you a workout to do at home that requires no equipment? I’ve done that with my kids and they love it- even my 8 year old!

• Take them for a bike ride, play tennis, play tag in the backyard, or shoot some hoops in the driveway! Is this structured exercise? No, but all the calorie expenditure adds up and will help you work towards your fitness goals!

Forget the guilt!

Still feeling guilty about spending time on yourself to exercise? Instead, think about this…Do you feel guilty about teaching your kids healthy habits; making yourself healthier so you can participate in more activities? Seeing you take care of yourself and maintaining a healthy lifestyle teaches your kids an important lesson… so does coming home and sitting in front of the TV.

Using these strategies will help you get your exercise in. It’s not always easy to do in our busy lives, but it’s important!

Make it a priority!!


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