Jen Rowley, A.C.E. Certified Personal Trainer Manager of CoachMeFit Ann Arbor
The alarm goes off like, well, an alarm! And your day begins: wake up, take a shower, get dressed, grab some breakfast, wake the kids, get them out the door, and then off to work. You work until the last second of the day and then it is off to– take a deep breath– get the kids, start homework, drive them to sports, make dinner, make sure kids are clean and in bed. Ok, now it’s time for your workout. Wait! It’s 9 p.m. and you are still multi-tasking dinner/email/laundry just to stay one step ahead. Sound familiar?
Most parents I know try to jam as many things into a day (and, lets face it, night) as humanly possible. There never seems to be enough time in a day to get all of the work and chores done, while still making time for fun!
In life, we wear different hats and we have different responsibilities, many of which require divided time and attention, but it is important to remember there’s really no such thing as effective multitasking. If you check your email while having a phone conference or an in-person meeting, something will fall through the cracks. You’ll be forced to re-read or ask someone to repeat themselves.
A new study suggests many parents are guilty of multitasking behind the wheel as well. The results show about 90 percent of parents surveyed reported technology-related multitasking while driving their children in the past month, such as talking on the phone, texting or changing a DVD or CD. Be safe–nothing is so important that it cannot wait until you have put your car in park!
You know fitness is important for your health and well-being. And you want to get more active, but your days are a blur of work, household chores, errands, and time with family and friends. Setting aside enough time to sleep — let alone exercise — can be tough.
So how can you find time for fitness? The key is to be flexible and make fitness a way of life. And remember all physical activity — not just formal exercise programs — adds up to a healthier you. Brisk walking builds cardiovascular fitness and strengthens muscles in the glutes, thighs, hips, and core. Research also shows that doing it regularly can even reduce the risk for heart attack by the same amount as more vigorous exercise, such as running. Aim for 10,000 steps (nearly five miles) a day–and the bonus? You will burn an extra 500 calories a day, about a one-pound weight-loss per week!
- Wake up early. Get up 30 minutes earlier than you normally do and use the extra time to walk on your treadmill or take a brisk walk around the neighborhood.
- Involve the whole family. Take group walks before or after dinner. Play catch. Ride your bikes. It’s best to build up to about 30 minutes of continuous activity, but you can exercise in shorter bursts, too.
- Start a lunchtime walking group. The regular routine and the support of your co-workers may help you stick with the program.
- Put it on the calendar. Schedule physical activity as you would any other appointment during the day. Don’t change your exercise plans for every interruption that comes along. “Not enough time” is the number one excuse for skipping exercise!
- Take it on the road. If you travel for work, plan ahead. Bring your jump-rope or choose a hotel that has fitness facilities. Have your trainer put together a work-out that you can do in your room or in the hotel gym. When you have that on your iphone or ipad, you will be more likely to follow through with the workout! If you’re stuck in an airport waiting for a plane, grab your bags and take a walk.