I usually don’t post twice a day (I have a hard enough time finding the time to post every other day), but I couldn’t wait to share some good news!
I just found out that an article I wrote for Staten Island Parent, a parenting magazine for the almost 500,000 living on Staten Island, has been published! I don’t have the hard copy of it yet, but you can find the article on pages 42 and 44.
Finding the Freedom to Exercise
We all feel that there is not enough time in the day. Hours fly by, almost unnoticed by a mother taking care of her child(ren), driving them to/from school or after-school activities, chores/work, and cooking dinner. She feels lucky to even have a moment to herself.
Sound familiar? It’s hard to imagine finding time to exercise on top of all these daily requirements. Thankfully, there are ways to exercise without paying ridiculous gym membership fees and spending hours of the day away from your loved ones.
Running is a relatively cheap and easy form of cardiovascular and aerobic exercise – all you need is a good pair of shoes (and a supportive sports bra!) and a plan.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- The Early Riser: The days are getting longer which means you have more time in the morning to run prior to your family’s day beginning – before your children wake up and you or your spouse leave for work. It requires some sacrifice because you will have to be in bed earlier, but by breakfast, you will have completed your daily workout.
- Running as a Family: If you are a stay at home mom, purchasing a running stroller is a great way to spend time with your child or you could plan your run around your child’s naptime. There are a lot of great deals on used running strollers – you don’t have to spend a fortune on a new one! Running with a stroller is not just a cardiovascular exercise – when I started running with my son, I saw a difference in my arms and core within a few weeks – so it not only makes you a stronger runner, it makes you a stronger mommy! (Tip: My son doesn’t enjoy being restrained for long periods of time – so I try to head out for our stroller runs close to his naptime. Within 15 minutes, he is fast asleep and I can run 60-75 min!)
- The Stay-at-Home Runner: Purchasing a treadmill may seem like an expensive option, but similar to jogging strollers, there are some great deals on basic and/or used treadmills. My husband and I purchased one before Christmas. It was something we had talked about for a while. We didn’t exchange birthday, Christmas, or Valentine Day gifts this year in order to save some money. The beauty of having a treadmill in your home or apartment is the convenience it offers – you can run late at night, early in the morning, when it’s dark out, when it’s raining or snowing, when your child is napping…There is no wasted time driving to the gym or getting dressed for the cold weather.
- The Buddy System: Do you have other mommy friends who are like you – none of you want to worry about paying for gym membership, purchasing running strollers or a treadmill, or worrying about babysitting so you can run. The easiest solution is the Baby Swap. One mom watches all the children so the other mommys can run together. It’s a win-win. Your child is cared for by someone you know and trust and gets valuable interaction with other kids his/her age. You get running buddies, a short break from being a mom, time to chat with adults, and free babysitting! Each day, a different mom babysits the children. So if there are four moms involved, you get to run three days and babysit one day a week.
- The Lunchtime Runner: If you are juggling a career and a family, finding the time to exercise can be a bit more difficult. During my last deployment to Iraq when I was in the US Army, I worked long hours (over 15 hour days) and didn’t have the time or energy to exercise before or after work. My solution was to exercise over my lunch break. I would show up to work about 30 minutes earlier than scheduled to ensure I completed the necessary tasks before I took a long lunch break. Most days, I would change, run, take a quick shower and be back at my desk in under 90 minutes. The key is to pack your lunch so you can have a working lunch at your desk after your run.
These are a just a few ideas to help get you started with daily exercise. Good luck and Never Stop!
Michele Gonzalez is a wife, mother, ultrarunner, RRCA Running Coach and PowerBar Sponsored Athlete. A former Captain in the US Army, she is now a stay at home mom to her 16 month old son and is pregnant with baby #2 (due in late September). Her blog, NYCRunningMama (http://nycrunningmama.com), focuses on her training and races, as well as pregnancy and motherhood.