Living LifeWise is a regular column provided by LifeWise Ambassadors – LifeWise employees whose healthy choices are helping them live better lives. Today’s column is provided by LifeWise Ambassador Dana Robertson Halter.
It’s no secret that finding time to exercise is a challenge for working moms. Between bedtime routines, driving to swimming lessons, preparing and eating meals, debating clothing choices and making sure no one is picking up the cat by her tail, there’s not a lot of extra time left in the week. However, amid all of this chaos, I somehow find time to exercise five to six days a week. Trust me… if I can do it, you can, too! Here’s how I make it happen
1. An object in motion tends to stay in motion. A friend of mine completed a challenge to work out every day for a month, and it stuck. After all, they say it takes 21 days to form a habit. I was sidelined by an injury last summer and struggled to get back on a regular exercise routine. During that time, I relied on all the standard excuses – I’m tired, I’ll go tomorrow, I’m getting sick, I need to wash my hair, etc. It wasn’t until I forced myself to exercise five days a week that I stopped making excuses and started making exercise a non-negotiable part of my day.
2. Make exercise a priority. Put your workouts on your calendar and make it very clear to everyone in your life that your workout time is sacred. By doing this, you’re making exercise part of your daily routine, and it’s a lot harder to come up with excuses.
3. Find times that work for you. This is simple enough. If you’re a night person, don’t try to work out in the morning. Same goes for morning people. No sense making it harder on yourself than necessary.
4. Be as efficient as possible. Gone are the days of long Saturday bike rides with multiple coffee stops. As a working parent with young kids, I’m forced to get creative. My daily commute takes about 25 minutes each way in the car and 40 minutes by bike, so I bike to work 2-3 times a week. It only adds 30 minutes roundtrip to my commute, and I arrive at my destination feeling invigorated and happy. I also try to run during the workday when I can find a chunk of meeting-free time. Running clears my head, and I’ll often set out with a business challenge and return to the office with a fresh perspective.
5. Set a goal and ask a friend to help you stay on track. Last summer I asked for my husband’s help in going to swim practice at least twice a week. There were so many days that I wanted to bail, but he reminded me how much better I’d feel afterwards. You know what? He’s always right. Exercise keeps me sane, and I’m a better wife/mom/daughter/friend when I’m healthy and fit. So I make it happen.
These tips help me to stay on track and feel healthier and happier. What tips do you have for exercising regularly?
Dana Robertson Halter is a lifelong athlete and mother of 4-year-old Cassandra and 20-month-old McKenna. Dana started swimming competitively at six, began racing triathlons after college, switched to bike racing in 2004 because triathlons were too lonely, and then went back to racing solo (marathons) after having her first child in 2009. Living LifeWise is how Dana keeps her body and brain strong – and it provides a healthy outlet for her competitive spirit. Dana works as a Communications Manager for LifeWise and lives in Ballard with her family and two Australian Shepherds.