Creative ways to put exercise in your life…

On Monday I issued us a challenge to get moving.  Debbie asked for some creative ways to fit exercise into a busy life so that’s what I thought we’d talk about today.

Last year our “living with less” journey required us to drop our fitness center membership.  It was disappointing to have to make that decision, but necessary for us to live within our new limited budget.

While I had to change my exercise routine, it soon became apparent that finding creative ways to keep exercise in my life wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be.

Exercise is important for moms.  It keeps us healthy, reduces stress, and sets an example for our children.   Here are some ways to both exercise for less and fit it into a busy schedule:

  • Walk the mall.  Our local mall opens at 6am for walkers who want to stay out of the weather.
  • Socialize and exercise at the same time.  Ask a friend to join you in daily exercise.  This provides natural accountability and helps the time to pass by quickly.
  • Purchase some used equipment for use at home.  We were able to find a treadmill on Craig’s List that cost us the same amount of money as two months of fitness center member fees.
  • Rent exercise videos.  To change up your routine, choose a kickboxing, pilates, or aerobics video.  Some video stores offer free rental for exercise videos.
  • Use weights.  You can pick up an inexpensive set of weights at the store, or you can use canned goods in your pantry for strengthening muscles.  Two or three sets of 10-12 reps will help strengthen your muscles.
  • Tap into technology.  There are thousands of exercise videos online and dozens of smartphone apps that will help you change and develop your routine.
  • Park far away. When you drive to your destination, choose a parking spot as far away as possible.  Increasing steps burns more calories and provides needed cardio exercise.
  • Make it a family affair.  Step away from the television, video games, and computer to go for a bike ride or play a game of baseball or basketball as a family.

One strategy that has helped me stick to a routine is that when I get out of bed in the morning, I immediately put on my exercise clothes.  Then I go downstairs to make breakfast for my boys.  As soon as they leave for school, I get on the treadmill for anywhere from 20-60 minutes, depending on the day.  That routine helps me keep exercise a priority in the midst of a busy life!

Exercise needs to be part of our daily routine, but it doesn’t have to cost a dime or take a lot of time.

What about you? What ideas do you have to fit exercise into a busy life?



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12 thoughts on “Creative ways to put exercise in your life…

  1. I found the local church sponsors exercise classes which cost about $4 per class. Believe me they are every bit as good as the gym I used to belong to. I had searched in the adult school brochure but didn’t want to take classes at night (my evening energy levels just aren’t up for vigorous activity). I contacted the instructor listed in the brochure and she told me she also taught classes during the day at the church (sponsored by the nursery school and open to everyone.) What a find!

  2. I agree.. I have to put my workout clothes & shoes on before I get my boys up.. it makes a huge difference mentally. So once they are on the bus I just know its better to do it & get it done.

  3. I also wear my workout clothes. If I put them on and don’t end up working out, I feel guilty! I have a Bowflex Treadclimber in the family room. It’s not particularly pretty to look at, but it keeps me accountable. If I walk past it without working out that day, that’s usually enough to get me back on it. We have the machine at home, because with 2 small kids, getting out to go to the gym requires child care.

  4. I am a mother of four kids 6,4,2,and 7months. I have struggled with weight for a long time now and I had to find a way to excercise. I am the main care giver and I had to get creative. So I started walking our neighborhood. Then they started school so no we walk to school. My daughter starts later than my son by about 42 min. So we continue walking around the neighborhood. The kids get their excercise and then I get mine. They all love it. I do excercise videos at home. Pilates, yoga, cardio and weights. The kids sometimes join in. It was hard at first but after about a week or so they got the message that mom is doing her work. We also love to hike. We find local places and head out. I have several hiking packs for different ages of the infant to toddler life. We bring snacks and water and get going. Best thing is to find what you love. Do it often and be easy on yourself. 10 min several times a day is better than no minutes… I find things I can do in 20-30 minutes if we cant walk outside or hike. Good luck and God bless. I love what you do for us women Jill. Thank you. Right now I am reading Professionalizing Motherhood and I love it. Thank you again… Jana

  5. After the initial investment, of a Wii system, (and help at Christmas from family for the balance board) we have the family all using the Wii Fit program which can be used any time of day. I find that after everyone goes to bed, it is my time on the wii. But that is the main use of the wii system and I’m so glad that we were blessed enough to be able to purchase one especially for during long, super cold winters. The cool part was that it kept our family moving, but when spring came, we all went outside and got moving out there instead of having to pry the kids from the video games! It created an atmosphere of exercise all year long!

  6. Let me preface this comment with the fact that I don’t consider myself an athelete or a runner, so this is out of the box for me. This summer I started running using the Couch 2 5k program. (There are free aps available.) It is a running program for anyone, especially beginners, to train for a 5k. It has really been a stretch for me and I have had to manage some injuries, but I have enjoyed the challenge!

  7. Use a push mower to do the yard. For once a week it’s a lot of walking and pushing weight. Great way to get fresh air and mix up the weekly work-out routine!

  8. I like using a rebounder (small trampoline). You can do all kinds of exercises on it and it is easy on the joints, no problems with bad weather, and they say it gets your lymph system going. They also say that you don’t need to spend so much time on it, as the bounce helps you to do more work in less time.

  9. The goal for me is to get in 10,000 steps a day so I walk during my morning and afternoon breaks at work and during my lunch hour I walk the treadmill. I work at a community college and the staff only have to pay $10.00 to use the fitness room which helps a bunch. I also have resolved to forego the drive thru and walk into the restaurant instead.

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