to wonder how you fit in exercise when you work full time and have children?

(118 Posts)
CurtainsForNow Tue 05-Feb-13 21:00:15

I've recently started a full time job (used to work part time) and realised that time would be tighter but didn't realise how much. I used to exercise regularly - now (other than a run or maybe 2 at the weekend), I can't work out how on earth I'm meant to fit it in.

I'm up at 7 (not a morning person, tried to get up to exercise before work and found it too hard). Get myself and DC ready. Go to work (via school). Work. Get home. Cook tea. Clear up. Supervise/assist with homework, music practice etc. Ferry DC to clubs. Sort washing. Sort shopping. Answer school letters. Read bedtime stories. Don't generally sit down till about 8.30 when I'm shattered. (DH helps with all the above by the way).

I do cycle to work, but it's only 2 miles. And have a quick walk at lunch time (only get half an hour so can't do much). But that doesn't seem like much.

How on earth do other people do it?

mirai Wed 06-Feb-13 08:41:07

To those saying just get up earlier, it's not as easy as that. I have to get up at 6.30am and to get enough sleep I'd need to be in bed for 9.30pm as it is! Clearly I never can go to bed at 9.30pm so I am permanently tired. At the weekends I just want to sleep and slob!!

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Wed 06-Feb-13 08:44:04

I (sometimes) go to the gym when the kids are in bed if Dh gets home at reasonable o'clock. Do Zumba on Saturday mornings and try to get in the gym Sunday lunchtimes when both children are napping. I am lucky in that I'm only part time at the moment so I walk a lot with the pushchair on my days off and that got me back to pre-preg weight- I have lost 9lbs since 1 jan just cutting out alcohol/cutting portion size and walking more. I would love to get back to my former buffness (used to do ultra-marathons) but I cant see me having the time for about a decade [looks at crepey mumy tummy. cries]

flowery Wed 06-Feb-13 08:47:21

<reads a few more posts>

<kills self again>

CoteDAzur Wed 06-Feb-13 08:50:45

OP - Just one week day, can your DH take care of the cooking, clearing, parenting, washing, whatever? Then you can come home, change into your trainers & tights and go out running for half an hour. Just 30 minutes of running plus maybe another 30 minutes to take your shower and get dressed back home. Surely your DH can spare you for 1 hour, just 1 day in the week.

Then on Saturday or Sunday, take another hour to do the same.

You will be amazed at how quickly you will build up stamina and just how much you will enjoy leaving the stress of the day behind and just... RUN smile

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Wed 06-Feb-13 08:52:26

what Cote said DH and I basically bargain each other/ tag team to get a bit more "alone time"

Annoyingly, when he has both kids they always behave. When I have them, they're feral grin Ah well, maybe my stress and rage will burn some extra calories

Whocansay Wed 06-Feb-13 08:54:11

I used to run home from work. To be feasible, it depends how far work is, mind you!

If its only 2 miles, you could find a longer route home?

Lizzylou Wed 06-Feb-13 09:07:21

Lots of bargaining with DH!
Run and 2 exercise classes at weekend (the run is a new thing)
Spinning on a Wednesday, exercise DVDs when DH is out exercising.

Like a lot here, I keep thinking I will get up early and run/do a DVD but just cannot do it.

Jo2508 Wed 06-Feb-13 09:29:14

I only work 30 hours a week so am able to fit in exercise by cycling to work every day (7 miles each way), and running 2-3 times during the week when my dd is at after school activities, and then a long run at the weekend when she is at cubs. It's hard fitting it in sometimes, but I have to do it this way as I am on my own in the evenings so couldn't get out then.

I have to get up at 5 a.m. if I want to exercise, or 5.15 a.m. if I'm doing the Shred DVD. It's the only time I can get to myself in the day. I am a morning person though so that helps a lot.

JumpJockey Wed 06-Feb-13 09:41:01

I've been wondering the same thing. I have 2 dds, DH takes them to nursery, I cycle 2 miles to work and then do the evening pick-up (in a Bakfiets so this is sort of exercise!). Once we get home, I get them to bed, DH gets home about 7.30-8pm so we don't eat our dinner til 8.30-9, then I'm just knackered and usually fall asleep by about 10.30. I know plenty of people who get up at sparrow fart to go for a run, but I need my sleep! The weekends are pretty much sacred "family time".

CardiffUniversityNetballTeam Wed 06-Feb-13 09:47:31

It's hard isn't it? I work a combination of early and late shifts which aren't on a fixed pattern. When I'm on a late I don't start work until 2pm. On those days I go for a run or a swim after I have dropped DS off at school. Sometimes I play netball in the evening once a week but often I can't be arsed. So, while its great that when I'm on lates I have 5 or 6 hours free time during the day, I then have to work until midnight, and then get up at 7am the next morning to do the school run!

PlateSpinningAtAllTimes Wed 06-Feb-13 09:49:41

OP, YANBU. Let's be realistic: if you have DC and work lots of hours, something has to give. We all have to/want to spend lots of quality time with DC and partner, put in 100% at work, have a clean and tidy house, make and eat nourishing meals, have 'me time' (including exercise), spend time with friends and relatives, and get enough sleep to enable these things to happen. Not to mention having some down time to relax.
I actually think you manage to fit in more exercise than most people me.
Having said all that, hats off to all those on this thread that are fitting in loads of exercise- you are inspiring me making me jealous and making me think that maybe I could find some time somewhere.....

thesnowmanrocks Wed 06-Feb-13 09:56:03

Having kids is exercise!
Well, thats my excuse!! grin

13Iggis Wed 06-Feb-13 10:00:10

nefertarii - thanks for explaining. So thinking, gym one day and just a good walk the next.
The amount of exercise some posters get done must be equal to an additional part-time job! (But then, have never added up how many hours I spend mumsnetting blush )

Should have added that in the week I go to bed at 9.00 p.m. so I get 9 hours sleep (I also need my sleep). It means that the weekdays are pretty much up-exercise-out to work-back from work-eat-sleep, with no real "us" time for myself and my husband. So we make sure that weekends are special instead.

KellyElly Wed 06-Feb-13 10:01:02

I do an exercise dvd three times a week. Two half hour sessions in the evening no matter how tired I am during the working week and on hour session at the weekend - DD's dad has her every other Sunday so will do in the day then or when he doesn't one weekday evening. If I'm busy weekend evenings then I just do half an hour while DD plays (or tries to do it with me grin). The Davina Box set is really good.

Yfronts Wed 06-Feb-13 10:04:38

You don't need both of you to do the whole evening routine. Twice a week you can go for a run and leave your hubby to it? Would only be an hour.

dinkystinky Wed 06-Feb-13 10:27:35

I exercise during my lunch breaks - you can get a really good work out in 4/45 minutes and the gym a couple of mins walk from work runs 45 minute classes. Am currently pregnant so doing 3 lunchtime sessions a week (one cardio, one weights, one pilates), one before work one day a week (yoga/weights work out) when I start work about 20 minutes later, one pregnancy yoga one evneing a week (I get my DH or our nanny to put the kids to bed then) and one PT session first thing in the morning on Saturdays (so its done and dusted). Before I got pregnant I used to do 5 lunchtime sessions a week (work permitting), one evening yoga class when the kids were in bed and DH home, one morning session, one exercise session in the evneings when children were in bed (DVD if DH not home, gym session if he's home), PT saturday mornings and a run Sunday mornings first thing. Its a case of finding what works for you and making a commitment to exercising then.

Wishihadabs Wed 06-Feb-13 10:53:40

I run on Sunday mornings and once at 630am in the week. I also do Pilates at 730pm or 745 depending on other commitments. I also cycle to work (20 mins so ? 6 miles ) but that's to save time.So don't "count" it IYSWIM

Wishihadabs Wed 06-Feb-13 10:55:00

And I don't have abs sad

Hopefully Wed 06-Feb-13 10:59:13

Mirai you may find that if you forced yourself to exercise (easier said than done, I know) that you felt less tired - when i am fit and working out regularly, I can easily get by on 6-7.5 hours of sleep a night. When I am eating too many carbs and not exercising enough I need at least 8.5, preferably a bit more.

It is impossible to not sound like a complete wanker when extolling the virtues of making time to exercise, but it really is just about utterly forcing yourself to do it, and then you get in the swing of it and just make time. I find that if we slip out of the habit of exercising for a month or so, it is suddenly incredibly hard to 'make time' to do it. When we are both exercising 4-5 times a week, there is no question of how to make time, it just happens.

Oh, and not sitting down helps - as soon as you sit down and relax of an evening, there's absolutely no chance of getting up and exercising, IME. I have to just get straight on and do it the minute the DCs are in bed. Whoever is exercising first out of DH and me, the other puts away dinner, loads the dishwasher/does washing up, usually puts on a laundry, and puts out the breakfast stuff if there's time. That takes about the length of time that Shred/Chalean exercise DVDs take to run (27 mins for Shred, between 25 and 44 for Chalean).

Hopefully Wed 06-Feb-13 11:01:40

Oh, and I have a couple of friends who do an exercise regime that consists entirely of push ups - just drop and do one, two, five, ten, whatever you can/have got time for at any given moment of the day. When you first get out of bed, when you go for a wee, when the kettle is boiling, whatever. Push ups are amazing for core strength, abs, shoulders and legs. And when you get really good (i.e. can do more than about 10 at a time, which is what I can do), they can even be a bit of a cardio workout.

OneLieIn Wed 06-Feb-13 11:07:55

How much sleep do you all have?

Reading this, I thi k you all must be superhuman! If anyone can find me time to exercise, I would be shocked!!

Up at 6 or 6.30, out by 7 or 7.30, work, work, work, home by 7 on a good day, 10 on a bad day. Eat, bed, start again.

I do walk to the station and up stairs, but I hate getting sweaty in work clothes, it's just revolting!

choceyes Wed 06-Feb-13 11:21:05

I work 3 days a week and generally on the days I work I don't do any exercise. I sit at work most of the day. Although I do walk half an hour each way to work, pushing a buggy and a 4yr old on a buggy board - which is hard work, on those 3 days. I have been going to a Zumba class one of those days in the evening from 6.30-8pm too since after the festive period to lose the xmas weight and I have lost the 4lbs I gained so that's great. But I've been missing my DCs and they've been missing me as it's a nurseyr day and they haven't seen me for the whole day and I miss reading books and playing with them before bedtime, so I'm not going to that session anymore.
But on my 2 days off work I go to the Zumba class 7-8pm. DH does the bedtime stuff, and I get the exercise out of the way by 8pm and that's great!

At the weekends, I don't do any formal exercise, but I walk miles and miles, as we don't have a car, so walk everywhere.

I'm feeling a bit poorly at the moment, with fluey symptoms, but once that's worn off I'm plannign to start the C25K 3 times a week in addition to my twice a week Zumba classes. That way I can exercise after the kids are in bed on my work days.

My DH cycles to work 10 miles each way, 100 miles a week! On top of that he plays squash one a week too and during the evening he never sits down and is constantly tidying up/cleaning. Also he walks a lot at the weekend just like me. He is superfit! Makes me feel guilty when I'm sat on the sofa watching TV.

nefertarii Wed 06-Feb-13 11:25:59

personally I need less sleep the fitter I am.

I own restaurant so somtimes its bed at midnight and up at 5-6am. Tbh if I I go to the gun first thing I feel more awake than if I get 8 hours.

I used need no less than 8 and ideally 10 hours to stop me being tired.

I do feel like a dick telling everyone how great it is. But honestly I spent my early twenties overweight, unfit and knackered. The first couple of months of working our were difficult but after that it got easier and I started wanting to do it. I felt I needed to do a spin class more than an extra hour in bed. 4 years ago i would have needed the extra hour.

I am 30 and in better shape than i was in my teens and 20s. i lift weights, do spinning and kettle bells, do boxing. I love it.

And yes i realise i sound a buy of an idiot. But i love it. So do the kids. They love how much else do as a family.

13Iggis that sounds like a plan. grin

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