Attention, working moms and working dads!
I'm talking to you today, letting you know that no matter how much you work, you have time to exercise. I've heard all of the reasons why you can't.
Wake up. Shower. Get ready. Wake up kids. Fix breakfast. Make sure kids are ready. Eat. Drop off kids at school. Get to work. Work. Pick up kids. Get them to practice. Go home to make dinner. Pick up kids from practice. Eat dinner. Help kids with homework. Get them ready for bed. Finish up office work not done at office. Go to bed.
Sound familiar? I hear some semblance of that every month, especially from the spouse who has a partner who doesn't pull equal weight.
Hopefully, by now we all can agree on the merits of physical health as they relate to quality of everyday life at home and at work. If we can do that, then this is about choice and planning.
As humans, we make time for that which we deem important.
Either you choose to put workout time in your day, or you don't. That goes for full-time working parents, too.
For those full-time working parents who are in relationships, have you expressed your need for fitness and health to your partner? More often than not, the women I've worked with haven't. They believe it's assumed. Yet, in nearly every case when that interest was expressed, voil? they found ample time.
The struggles came with the approach to the conversation. We're habitual beings who often get upset if something threatens to alter that path.
Telling the partner, "You must watch our children so I can work out. I can't work out and watch them, too!" puts the partner on the defensive.
Saying something such as, "Stress at work is irritating me to no end. Couple that with getting the girls to and from school and practice, getting dinner finished, homework done and the next day's lunches set, and I need a release or I think I'm going to explode," gets the conversation going in the right direction.
- Have you taken your kids to the park and gym with you? Kids are amazingly mobile. It just takes planning to bring them along. Sometimes the kids love moving with you!
- Have you thought about the 3,000 exercises you can do in your house? You can pull the car out of the garage and use that space. Why does the guest room have to be a "guest" room? It could be a workout room. Or move the furniture and start working out in the living room.
- Have you talked with a trainer? Good trainers will find ways to help you see great benefits in short time periods. I have a cardio workout that lasts 105 seconds and is more beneficial to the body than a 30-minute jog. So, don't tell me you fail to have time.
- Have you asked your partner to work out with you or to make fitness a family affair? (Sure, this is a passive-aggressive approach but, from my point of view, all is fair in this war on inactivity and obesity.)
- Have you stopped with the excuses? If not, shoot me an email. I can help with that.
Bryant is an author and lecturer who holds several national training certifications. His columns appear biweekly in Health and Wellness. Email him at email@example.com.