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?

WiseKneeHair Tue 05-Feb-13 21:03:28

Snap. I'm just about to go and do an exercise DVD now. It's the only time I can do it, but now I've it into the routine, I'm really enjoying doing it.

VinegarDrinker Tue 05-Feb-13 21:05:48

I cycle to work (weather/morning sickness/exhaustion depending) but it's 6 miles each way so a decent amount. Otherwise - exrcise DVDs? I really don't know, I tend to just get fat when not cycling to work <helpful>

chandellina Tue 05-Feb-13 21:06:11

I do the Shred dvd while my dc play in the same room. It's only 20 minutes so maybe try to carve out that bit of time?

ChestyLeRoux Tue 05-Feb-13 21:08:15

I dont drive so am always walking.It keeps you really fit.

BumBiscuits Tue 05-Feb-13 21:08:30

I just don't. I used to go to the gym every weekday before kids.

sad

PictureMeInThese Tue 05-Feb-13 21:09:25

I thought having 2 children and a full time job was excercise! I walked to work, I never sit down at work. I walked everywhere with the kids, one in a pushchair, one strapped on. I played aeroplanes and lifted them up all the time and ran up and down the stairs at least 18 times a day. I was exercising!

Sorry to say it, but the only way it works for me is to do it first thing. I either shred or use our rowing machine. Your life sounds very familiar smile

SocialClimber Tue 05-Feb-13 21:10:57

Your life is my life.

I did a marathon last year and my only training was a run once a week at the weekend. That's not a boast, I was fucked.

I try and go to spinning if DH is back in time, otherwise it's just weekends. sad

hermioneweasley Tue 05-Feb-13 21:13:02

I get up at 5.30 once a week to go the gym and other times either get up early or do a DVD after work. It's a chore.

creativevoid Tue 05-Feb-13 21:13:04

I don't. Actually, I cycle to work and go for walks at the weekend with the kids, but that's it. And now that it is winter I don't cycle. Is it ideal? No, but the I have accepted the reality that I cannot do it all. My priorities are seeing the children, spending time with my husband, doing well at work, and getting enough sleep so that I can do the first three things. There isn't time for anything else. I am slowly trying to add stuff in that I enjoy, and only you can decide how far up exercise beyond a couple of runs a week is on your list but the reality is that something has to give when you work full time and have young children. My advice is to be kind to yourself and congratulate yourself for all you are doing and try not to dwell on what you are not doing.

trixymalixy Tue 05-Feb-13 21:13:43

Personal trainer twice a week. Kids just have to be in bed for 7.30 when she arrives. It's over by 8.30. I would not do it otherwise.

I walk most lunchtimes. I also go to tennis club for an hour on a Sunday night and I'm supposed to do either treadmill/wii Zumba or go to an exercise class one other time a week, but I rarely do as it's hard to find the time.

ceeveebee Tue 05-Feb-13 21:16:03

I only work 3 days but have 2 x 14.5 mo babies to look after on my days 'off' so not much spare time then. I do an exercise DVD one or two evenings a week, I go to the gym once or twice a week and I run once at the weekend (so try to do 4 times in total)

TheArmadillo Tue 05-Feb-13 21:16:33

I do weight lifting 3x week. Only takes 30minutes and I do it 8:30-9pm when kids are in bed and I've done everything. I do have to force myself when I am really tired (like tonight) but it is worth it.

At the moment I walk 30minutes each way to work but am moving offices in a week or so and it'll be nearly an hour each way cycling.

I do more on the weekend as well. I tend to do quite a bit of walking. I do the weekly shop on foot -2miles each way with hiking backpack and pushchair. If we go out we walk a lot, it's definitely an advantage of not having a car. faiR try and get out on my bike on the weekend (though I will probably drop that regularly when I'm cycling all week).

You do have to push yourself when your tired and try to prioritise it. Building it up will build up your energy levels. But also make sure you're eating well to fuel your workouts. It will make you feel better overall if you do do it.

catgirl1976 Tue 05-Feb-13 21:17:03

I don't and I was wondering the same so YANBU

I've bought the shred, and yes, it's only 20 mins, but I need to put sweats on and then lie on the sofa gasping for air for another 30 , so it's more like and hour really

Plus, after a day at work, by the time DS is asleep around 8pm, I am shattered and want wine sad

theoriginalandbestrookie Tue 05-Feb-13 21:17:30

Look you're doing pretty well to fit in cycling and walking at lunch time with all else that's going on in your life.

I work p/t and have one DC so the way I do it is cycle into work a couple of days a week once I have dropped DS off. Go running when he is at Beavers once a week. Have changed hours but kept him in afterschool club one day a week when I finish at school time ( use this to go to the gym) and have a rota with 2 other mums for a ball class so either go to gym if its not my turn or go for a run when it is. But its a lot easier for me as one child and part time.

I'm too tired to go to the gym in the evenings after food.

Could you maybe run to work a couple of days rather than cycle - that would be 2 miles each way which isn't too shabby.

ceeveebee Tue 05-Feb-13 21:19:37

Oops forgot to mention my gym trips are at lunchtime - work next door to a gym

motherinferior Tue 05-Feb-13 21:22:08

I swim two mornings a week from 7 till 8 - DP takes DD2 to school - and once at the weekends.

I think the only way is to skip some of the more tedious house and child related stuff, really. I used to be out through the door as DP came in, to go swimming.

VioletStar Tue 05-Feb-13 21:22:49

No answers here but interesting to read other responses. I have your life but at 8.30 ish I have school work (marking and planning to do), so just can't find the time. DH works away from home tues-thurs/friday so can't go out early/late cos no-one to look after DC. I'm really impressed Socialclimber. I'm shattered by weekend so to go out running is a real effort. Note to self: Must do better! Good luck OP but as others have said - you already do loads.

motherinferior Tue 05-Feb-13 21:23:20

Personally I'd say 'kids, work, self - which includes exercise' rather than 'time with my partner'.

ChestyLeRoux Tue 05-Feb-13 21:24:48

I agree with pictureme

goinnowhere Tue 05-Feb-13 21:25:52

I don't. I'm out of the house at 7. Work all day in school. Pick up kids. Feed, homework etc. DH in just after 7, more work. By 9.30 I have one hour. No way am I spending it exercising! Something has to give, unless you enjoy it and want to do it.

ivykaty44 Tue 05-Feb-13 21:26:20

i got a second hand turbo trainer, I bike to work and then put the same bike on a mat on the turbo trainer in front of an old dvd and watch a film or i player with laptop and cycle on it for 45 minutes www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oM_CAhPtOA

mine takes two minutes to set up and I use it in the garage with the lap top on iplayer or youtube for some good tunes

belleat40 Tue 05-Feb-13 21:27:17

I don't. I've gained three stone in ten years since becoming a mum, getting a car and continuing to work full time. I know I need to change, but like many of you, I'm shattered when I finally finish in the evenings.
I do cycle, swim and walk with the kids at the weekends, but I don't feel it's a real workout as they swim, walk, cycle so slowly!

curryeater Tue 05-Feb-13 21:31:34

TheArmadillo, how do you learn to do weight lifting at home?

OP - can you run instead of cycle to work? I walk 5 miles a day as part of my commute and when I started I was getting over SPD and it was a decent workout for me. Now it's effortless I am thinking I should pace it up and try running the two 1.5 mile sections (on the flat). Need a decent, tight back pack though (ARGH I don't want to be a backpack person - but it is the only way)

Clary Tue 05-Feb-13 21:36:42

I don't do a lot by your standards OP but I fit it in around the kids.

For example, I like swimming so I go when DS2 is at his (one-hour) swimming lesson. He is 9 tho so I am OK to leave him. Or I go when he and DD are at gymnastics for an hour. I go for a run for 30 mins between dropping DD at Guides (7.30) and fetching ds2 from Cubs (8pm next door!).

The other thing I do (not lately) is got for a swim before work as my pool opens 7am.

Helspopje Tue 05-Feb-13 21:37:00

if you do go the direction of turbo training, consider the sufferfest http://www.thesufferfest.com

excellent workout and v efficient time:effect -wise

WipsGlitter Tue 05-Feb-13 21:37:37

I've tried the c25k but can only really face it in the summer. Some others from work go running at lunchtime when the weather picks up. I might try that but am worried about being a sweaty heap unable to keep up!

holidaysdistantmemory Tue 05-Feb-13 21:39:15

Gym 3 times a week, kids down at 7pm on dot, in gym by 7.15pm, do an hour. Its a mission, but worth it. Dh at home. Yes, always on feet with kids, but exercise makes me feels good, gives me more energy than lying on sofa, and its something for me. Local authority no frills gym, so cheap. Can't do early morning exercise, and like the weekend for rest, and front end it to start of week to get it over with. Also do a quick 20 min power walk I'm my lunch break when I can. I am not a fitness fanatic, I just love to eat and don't want to diet, so prefer to do it this way

eggsy11 Tue 05-Feb-13 21:41:14

Dp cycles 7miles to work. I gym at lunch time. Only squeeze in 25mins then have ashower and eat lunch at my desk. Or I go at 9pm and am back for 10!

holidaysdistantmemory Tue 05-Feb-13 21:41:28

Ps, I say to my dh, he can do exercise the other evenings and weekend, so he doesn't feel aggrieved. My dcs are still young tho, when they go to bed later, god knows what I will do.

fromparistoberlin Tue 05-Feb-13 21:42:46

agree mornings, I walk to work and try and garden at weekend

I miss my gym

chrome100 Tue 05-Feb-13 21:53:00

I get up at 630 every day, walk to the pool (0.25 miles) and then run to work (another 3 miles). I also walk home from work (3 miles again). Then I try get out on my bike at the weekend, even if just an hour or so.

I also don't have a car so have to walk everywhere and do shopping on foot etc.

GiveMeSomeSpace Tue 05-Feb-13 21:53:26

We build it into our lives and make it a "must do" as opposed to "maybe do". Get out for a run before the children wake up. Cycle or walk to and from work. When in London, walk everywhere as opposed to take the tube. I can easily rack up 10 miles in a day. Use stairs instead of lifts. Go for a walk or run at lunchtime. Joined a running club. Enter races to have something to aim for. Coach or help out at the children's sports clubs.

We make it a central part of family life which makes it a lot easier. Now the children just accept it's part of all our lives and do more as well.

Xmasbaby11 Tue 05-Feb-13 21:58:58

you lot are amazing! I feel shamed, but also a bit inspired that I could manage a fraction of that.

Arcticwaffle Tue 05-Feb-13 21:59:36

I cycle to work most days, it's a hilly 10 mile round trip so that's quite energetic. I theoretically go running at the weekend and on days I'm not cycling to work. In reality I often skip that. And we try and go swimming with dc at weekends, or play tennis, or go for bracing hikes, or family cycle rides.

I can't exercise in the evenings, I just flop.

holidaysdistantmemory Tue 05-Feb-13 22:03:40

Don't feel shamed xmas, once you work out your exercise plan, and where you can try and squeeze it somewhere into your life, its almost on auto pilot, and you just do it without thinking. I certainly am not a stereotypical fitness bunny, currently under under a blanket on the sofa watching TV and on phone smile if I can do it, anyone can. . But does need a dh/dp or possibly someone else (parent/friend) to support, so someone is home with kids

HomeEcoGnomist Tue 05-Feb-13 22:05:26

I don't
It's so far down my list of priorities I just don't care

Makes life much simpler grin

GiveMeSomeSpace Tue 05-Feb-13 22:10:00

Very true holidays - having a supporting DH/W/P is a must. It makes it a lot easier, mentally and physically, if they are doing the same and making exercise a part of their life as well.

Ivytheterrible Tue 05-Feb-13 22:13:34

I use the crèche at my gym and put DD in for an hr at a time twice a week on the days I don't work. It's quite pricey at 3.90 an hr on top of my membership but worth it to me. I then go once at weekend as well when DH is around. Also swim train two Eve's a week when DD in bed but she's only 2 and it will get harder when she wants to do things in the evenings.

I love exercise and it is a real priority for me to fit it in. At one stage I was dropping DD at nursery on foot then running a long way home to then go on to work.

forevergreek Tue 05-Feb-13 22:16:56

If young children get a jogging buggy and run with them, if over around 4 years them on a bike and you running. Or a bike with trailer thing for little ones.

Ivytheterrible Tue 05-Feb-13 22:18:09

No idea what happened there but that jumble of letters should be creche. smile

IfNotNowThenWhen Tue 05-Feb-13 22:18:18

I don't get it.
When I read the OP I just assumed you were a lone parent, and was thinking, yeah, if I was inclined (as a lp) to go to the gym but worked full time I am not sure I would get the chance to do that more than once a week maybe.
But You have a husband, so can't you bugger off to the gym or play a sport a couple of times a week? (Not that I am suggesting you should-you sound pretty active to me!)
Also holidaysdistantmemory you said that you currently go to the gym, but not sure what will happen when the dc are older and go to bed later. Why? Can't your dh put them to bed?
I am only asking because I have never had a husband and kids at the same time, but I would have thought it wouldn't be that hard to find the time with a partner at home.

11stone4 Tue 05-Feb-13 22:21:32

OP. I'm a SAHM with kids in school and have no excuse, weights and dumbells in the garage, treadmill in my spare living room and still I can't get my ass moving. I admire your motivation!

holidaysdistantmemory Tue 05-Feb-13 22:23:30

Good point ifnot. My dh is a teacher, so works every evening setting lessons, marking etc, so I guess I could still go to the gym, but dcs wld need to watch TV or read I guess whilst he works, should do it

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Tue 05-Feb-13 22:23:58

I don't drive so I walk everywhere (mostly carrying a 4 y/o!!!) I am now trying to get up to workout before DD has to be up, which means 6.45am starts.

If I don't do it in the morning, then I do it when she is in bed. I appreciate it is easier for me as I only have the one.

tigerdriverII Tue 05-Feb-13 22:25:13

It's really tough and some jobs (mine!) don't lend themselves to exercise. I do pitifully little but what I do does help:

In the week, yoga class, and trying to remember to take phone calls standing up and getting up a lot at work

At weekends, walking as much as possible, eg to village shop, etc. not a lot, maybe three miles in total but better than nothing. Rambling when time permits.

On holidays : swimming, lots of walking either rambles or all day sightseeing. All counts.

I've tried gym membership, swimming clubs etc but I'm often not home or anywhere near a gym until 8 or so, I do want to see DS and DH and doing anything formal later than that is just too late.

I do lots of movement and lift heavy things, with the occasional sprint. This gets woven into my life so I never actually 'go to the gym' or 'go for a run'.

I'm including: cycling, walking, dancing, doing random gymnastics with DS, press ups, dips, squats, lunges, bit of chi kung.

Whoknowswhocares Tue 05-Feb-13 22:29:11

Rather than both if you doing the bedtime thing together every night, could you not each have a night (or two) where you do it alone and let the other have some time to exercise/socialise/whatever?

CointreauVersial Tue 05-Feb-13 22:32:58

I'm soooo not a morning person, but I force myself to get up 30 minutes early 2 or 3 times a week and go for a run.

Funnily enough, running half asleep works for me - I'm too groggy to think about aching legs, and I daydream all the way.

I get back before DH leaves for work.

bonkersLFDT20 Tue 05-Feb-13 22:35:44

I work 4 days a week and have a 3 and 13 YO.
I am very lucky that I can run during my lunch break at work. I work in an academic environment which is pretty laid back and as long as the hour and work gets done and you're there for all meetings and the core hours then no one is watching over you.
I run twice a week and it's 90 mins from desk back to desk, where I then eat my lunch.
My long run is done at the w/e. I have to be flexible with this, but do always get a 2 or 3hr non-child window to run, even if it's not at the time I'd like.
My 13 YO can watch the 3 YO if I go out for about an hour if DH is away.

The brilliant thing about running is that you can just go when the opportunity arises, no driving anywhere, no equipment needed. It helps that I love running of course!

Having said all that, I took 3 and 2 years off respectively after each child as I was just too knackered (co-sleeping, extended BF).

Arisbottle Tue 05-Feb-13 22:36:18

I get up very early, 5am. I cycle to work four days a week. On my fifth day I drive but I go to my gym first, it opens at 6am. So I can do an hour and still be at work for about 7:30-7:45.

I go to the gym at least once sometimes twice a week after work, my chidren are older so sometimes they come with me. I then go to the gym on a Saturday morning.

I also do some exercise Sunday morning, before the children get up.

As a family we cycle together again easier when they are older.

KateDillington Tue 05-Feb-13 22:40:35

Get divorced. Fabulous. Three nights/mornings a week FREE for getting fit.

This isn't helpful is it?

flowery Tue 05-Feb-13 22:42:53

Good lord most of you are so active, finding time for exercise dvds and gym visits while it's still dark outside at the ungodly hour of Before The Time Starts With A Six.

Answer to the OP is I don't. Fortunately I don't have time to eat either, so while I am unfit and knackered, I am not overweight with it. I realise that's not a particularly healthy approach.

I have no excuse as my office is next door to a gym. In fact it's right there out of my office window mocking me.

I do walk the dog several days a week though.

flowery Tue 05-Feb-13 22:44:13

Just read Arisbottle's post. Now I want to kill myself.

IfNotNowThenWhen Tue 05-Feb-13 22:55:41

I know flowery! Nothing on Earth could drag me out of bed before I absolutely have to get up. Especially when it's dark.
I don't have a car though, and walk lots, and fast,up and down hills.
When I take ds swimming in the little pool I tread water the entire time, and that's brilliant excercise.
I also do stuff on the climbing frame at the park and chase ds and his friends around.
So I guess I basically "excercise" like kids do, e.g not in a formal way, but just incidentally. I feel quite fit on the whole apart from the pile of midget gems I just scoffed.

Arisbottle Tue 05-Feb-13 22:56:43

I have older children, it is so much easier then because they can come with you.

I have to exercise as it keep my energy levels up and I also put on weight easily. Also a good destresser.

FernandoIsFaster Tue 05-Feb-13 23:02:36

I am lucky in that I work next to a gym so I go there 4 out of 5 weekdays during my lunch break. I do interval training on the treadmill for 2 of those sessions, one tempo run on the treadmill and one swim.

At the weekend I do a long run outside on a Saturday and probably a bike ride with dp and dd (she is in her weeride with dp so it's easier). I'm afraid you could describe us as one of those 'active' families you see on adverts for holiday parks, but I just genuinely have a lot of energy and enjoy it.

A DVD sounds like the best route for you though as if you struggle to get up early it's hard to see where a gym trip would fit into your day. Could you enter an event like race for life or similar, as this may increase your motivation a little?

Angelfootprints Wed 06-Feb-13 00:15:39

So cycling 2 miles and walking half an hour every day isn't counted as enough?!

AmIthatWintry Wed 06-Feb-13 00:43:56

I wonder too.

That's one of the things I miss about having a DP.

I work FT, and my DD has ASD/LD, so very rarely goes out without me.

ExP never sees her, so I never get a break, other than my lunch hour. I play sport once a week in my lunch break, but that's it.

We do stuff on the Wii together, like Just Dance and olympic stuff, if that counts

Hopefully Wed 06-Feb-13 07:40:42

I do short and intensive exercise DVDs, and DH and I do it in turn as soon as the DSs are down. I also walk/cycle to meetings where possible. I normally manage a DVD 4-5 times a week, and I work 5-6 full days a week.

emmyloo2 Wed 06-Feb-13 07:43:19

It's bloody tough. I work FT will a 2 year old. I get up at 5.30 and go in the mornings before work. My DH gets my son up so he is usually up before I get home from the gym. I then play with him as I am getting ready for work and then off to work and my exercise is done. Means the evenings are free to put my son to bed. I go to bed at 9pm. My DH then gets the evenings to play basketball or go swimming for his exercise. It's hard because I feel like because I work I should dedicate every waking hour to my son but exercise keeps me fit and sane so I prioritise it. It's not optional for me.

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Wed 06-Feb-13 07:49:50

I'm overweight and need to find some time so these are inspirational. My husband works very long hours and is away a lot though - it does seem that those in a routine of early exercise have their husbands home to get kids up etc. or a lunch hour that they can do it in.

I need to d something though. Might have to get the energy to do a fitness dvd after kids are in bed on the days husband isn't here (don't think he'd appreciate it on the days he is...!)

JollyRedGiant Wed 06-Feb-13 07:50:44

I don't work nearly as much as some as you, but I do have a 21mo. And DH leaves for work at 7am so mornings are out. (And I'm studying OU in my 'free' time)

I've just taken up going swimming one evening a week. This is after DS goes to bed. Our local pool is a 15-20 min drive away so I can't just pop there. And gym classes terrify me, which is a.shame as we have a local leisure centre with loads of classes.

Hopefully Wed 06-Feb-13 07:53:54

I don't enjoy exercise early, but I get up at 5:45am and get 'evening' stuff done(making lunches, batch cooking, checking emails, doing budgets etc etc. it all goes wrong if one of the DCs gets up at 6, but it probably works 4 days a week. I make sure I am in bed by 10:15, 10:30 at the latest, and listen to audiobooks so I go straight to sleep - no time to waste relaxing without sleeping at the moment!

nefertarii Wed 06-Feb-13 07:54:41

I get up at 5.30am. I am at the gym and back before the kids and dh are up.

I do it 4/5 days a week and try to fit in a spinning or kettlebell class when they are asleep or do weights.

We also excerise as a family. Long walks (even when its cold) and bike rides.

I don't always want to, but its become habit.

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Wed 06-Feb-13 07:55:32

My baby wakes at 5. I normally just grump at the early morning but thats a fab idea, Hopefully about getting evening stuff done! I can do some bits when she's up.

Hadn't really thought about eveninngs either. I flop then and husband often isn't home (so when he is I tend to try and spend time with him) but a gym trip might be fit-in-able occasionally. I might look back into joining one.

nefertarii Wed 06-Feb-13 08:03:51

The other thing I do is incorporate it onto everyday life. For example if I am getting something out of a low cupboard or picking something up, instead of bending over I do a deep squat and hold it for a while.

I have also taught the dc how to do a plank and we have competitions on an evening. Great for your stomach.

I used to be 8 stone over weight but by making it part of our life not something I 'have' to do. Its worked a treat.

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Wed 06-Feb-13 08:06:55

Wow neferarii -- thats an amazing weight loss., well done! How did you do it?

nefertarii Wed 06-Feb-13 08:10:52

Thank you. Took just over 2 years.

Just by eating healthy and being really active. I was doing slimming world when I got pg with as and sort of follow that.

But its more paleo diet now. There is a website called nerd fitness that tells you all about it. Its basically not eating processed foods. I have a few foods allergies so it suits me.

NumericalMum Wed 06-Feb-13 08:11:13

I think what most people said, it has to be something you have to do. Like you wouldn't skip brushing your teeth. I run to work once a week (6 miles) and do an outdoor gym class twice a week. I try to fit it in in mornings before work or early Saturday morning. It is much easier in summer!

13Iggis Wed 06-Feb-13 08:13:48

Wishing I hadn't clicked on this thread! Have started (new year) going to the gym once dcs are asleep, something I used to do before children. Hard because baby upset if he wakes and realises I've escaped. However gym trainer-person said to only go every other day, need a day to recover - is that not the case? (Maybe he was soft soaping me due to my size!)

nefertarii Wed 06-Feb-13 08:24:53

Resting is important. But for example if i really work my legs one day, the next i will mainly do abs or arms or back.

Rest is important but a big mistake i used to make was to reward myself by not doing anything at all if i went to the gym.

nefertarii Wed 06-Feb-13 08:27:13

Sorry what I mean is rest is good but you can rest and still do something.

Because i rewarded myself with doing hardly anything else i ended up not losing anything.

fascicle Wed 06-Feb-13 08:40:37

Hopefully I don't enjoy exercise early, but I get up at 5:45am and get 'evening' stuff done(making lunches, batch cooking, checking emails, doing budgets etc etc.

I was going to suggest something along Hopefully's lines. Curtains, looks like you have loads to squeeze in to your day, but would it be possible to change the timing of your evening stuff? And if your dh is around to help with evening tasks, couldn't you just leave him to it for half an hour or so to fit in some exercise? smile

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

whiteflame Wed 06-Feb-13 11:28:49

Great to read all these ideas.

I have been having a sort of fight with DH, who keeps insisting my 45 min daily walk (part of commute) isn't good enough exercise. I told him I would love to do more, but when??

Anyway, looks like he was right (grr), and this has inspired me to really do it.

atthewelles Wed 06-Feb-13 11:29:06

I think a four mile cycle every day plus a quick walk at lunchtime is okay. Its not as if you're sitting on your arse the rest of the time watching telly.

Hobbitation Wed 06-Feb-13 11:39:13

Early morning, evenings, and Saturday morning. I used to go running with a group on Saturday am & Weds evening, then get out Monday lunchtime at work.

maisiejoe123 Wed 06-Feb-13 11:43:17

You dont have the time! I have a friend who goes 3-4 times a week (SAHM) and she smugly informs me that she goes after the school run and then her time is her own - no your time is your own AFTER the school run. You choose to go to the gym because you have SO much free time.....

Hobbitation Wed 06-Feb-13 11:52:31

When I was working full time, it wasn't lack of time that would prevent me from exercising but lack of energy as I became very stressed.

It was hard to find a happy medium between exercising too much and making myself ill because my body was weakened by stress, and not exercising at all which would add to the stress.

Arcticwaffle Wed 06-Feb-13 11:58:40

I have free time but not the energy quite often too, that's why I'm such a fan of cycling or working as commute, it's hard to just not bother going to work, I find (though I was sorely tempted today).

CurtainsForNow Wed 06-Feb-13 12:22:42

Hmm, some good points in here – thank you. It’s encouraging to hear that others have the same issues!

A few people made the point that it’s down to priorities which I guess is the case.
I think I (and DH) prioritise work (doing a good job) and family (both spending time together and ensuring that DC do their homework/have chance to do activities etc) above all else. The DC seem to be the worst age for this at the moment as they do need a lot of adult input into homework (schools require daily reading, also need to test tables and spellings and other homework needs adult support), they both learn instruments and do quite a few clubs between them. They have clubs three evenings a week. One of these is Brownies and I am the Brownie leader so also out. One of the evenings of no DC clubs, DH is out for an hour or so at “his” activity. Plus one or other of us might go out with friends, or there is a meeting at school or the DC have an extra evening activity at school.
Next on the list is doing the minimum amount of housework/organising to keep the house/family running smoothly. Then comes sleep so I’m not a walking zombie!

Unfortunately those things seem to mean that exercising is way down the list. Reading back what I’ve written I do realise that’s because I’ve chosen it to be so. I could (e.g.) go out for a run when the rest of the family are eating, and have my tea later – but eating tea as a family is important to us, so I don’t. I could leave DH in charge and go out and exercise, but that just means that all the jobs I would have done are still there when I get back and I’d have even less time with the DC.

Running to work is a good idea but ... 2 days a week I cycle DS and 2 other children to school so can’t do it then. The other days I drop DD at breakfast club just after it starts (so can’t go earlier). I could then run to work, but that would mean me being late. Work (I think) would be ok about me starting a bit later and finishing a bit later but if I’m going to start finishing later (I deliberately negotiated my hours so I could finish earlier) it would probably make more sense to have a longer lunch break instead and go for a run then … hmm doing that 1 day a week and really prioritising exercise at weekends sounds like it could be the way to go – we did start doing family cycle rides and swimming sessions but have fallen out of the habit – something to resurrect I think. Or actually maybe I could cycle “the long way” home once a week now the evenings are getting lighter.

I knew someone would say getting up earlier! I’ve tried this on many occasions, but just can’t do the running in a doze thing that someone mentioned. OK, maybe I am just lazy smile

Hobbitation Wed 06-Feb-13 12:28:40

I tried cycling to work but it nearly killed me. Left me tired and sore all day. I think unless it's a short, flat distance you need to have a long build up to it. And I was fit, just not used to cycling. Plus for me it took so much time to cycle there it took a lot of rearranging things. I got so sore from it, it would take me a week to recover, so I could never do it frequently enough to improve.

I just think I have the wrong sort of bottom for cycling. Even after 10 minutes on the exercise bike in the gym my bum is simultaneously numb and sore.

MinnesotaNice Wed 06-Feb-13 12:39:20

Up at 5:30 at least 3 times a week to be at the gym when it opens at 6. That way I can fit in a quick run and be home in time for DH to leave for work. I could go in the evenings, but I like time w/DH after the DC go to bed. Not to mention the fact that gym memberships are freakin expensive here (compared to my gym membership in the US) and if I go in the morning it's cheaper.

girlsofsummer Wed 06-Feb-13 12:50:22

If I was going to bed as early as you (you say you are all finished by 830) then I would say you have time in evening or early in morning depending what you prefer. Early morning probably. That is a lot of sleep from 9pm – 6am for example to me that sounds quite amazing.

I really do feel that I don’t have anytime to exercise my day is like yours but I generally have more to do when kids are in bed. So i get exercise going to from school, work etc poor substitute but at least its something. I have started doing yoga once a week at lunchtime but that is only because it is on-site.

I think its wrong to assume that working FT with kids you will have “me time”. Its an impossibility. I would never exercise on the weekend by myself that’s time with the family and I would feel guilty – i know that’s my own choice though.

Further to my post above, we are currently hiring a rowing machine.
It costs £40 a month, which is far less than a gym membership for us both. You only need to do 15 minutes a day to really make a difference. Its great for cardio, strength and core strength. Its a pretty complete workout.

neriberi Wed 06-Feb-13 13:34:03

I commute to work in London 5 days a week, I make sure I walk at the other end avoiding the tube and buses, I do a fast 20 minute stroll through Hyde Park twice a day and then there's the running up and down steps to catch a train!.

In the evening I do a bit of Pilates in front of the TV and I take a couple of hours out of my Saturday morning to do British Military Fitness followed by the food shopping and a round of house work when I get home.

I don't have the time or the inclination to go to the gym so I try and fit exercise in around me, considering I used to be a right old gym bunny I'm actually the fittest and healthiest I've been for years and I haven't been anywhere near a gym since my DS was born.

Arcticwaffle Wed 06-Feb-13 13:39:36

On having the wrong sort of bottom for cycling. Have you tried saddles designed for women? Most are designed for men. Also gel saddles are good.

Mumsyblouse Wed 06-Feb-13 13:41:55

I don't do anything, bar a brisk walk from place to place at work. I don't feel guilty any more though. I accept I'm a bit porky as a result. But I am up at 6.30am, I am exhausted in the evenings, and don't feel like exercising at weekends in the very brief time between running kids to activities and having a nap!

I have accepted that a) I don't have more energy when I exercise, I did run for a while and getting up and running at 6am made me feel physically sick as well as rushing the mornings and b) I prioritise other things, namely getting enough rest on the weekend so I can cope with the long days and commuting in the week.

Not ideal, but I have a full-on job and no spare energy, in fact I go to bed a couple of nights at 8-9pm just to get through.

It's a phase, and I look forward to cutting down my hours and upping the exercise, but I'm not going to beat myself up about not doing it at this time point.

Arisbottle Wed 06-Feb-13 20:34:02

I also find the fitter I am the less sleep I need, during the week I never have more than five hours sleep. A, usually working until around midnight. I suspect I store up my sleep, I sleep much more in the holidays .

NumericalMum Wed 06-Feb-13 20:54:58

OneLieIn why do you work 12 hour days? Could you exercise as part of your commute? I assume you have no children if you are out the house by 7 and not home til 10 so you could easily squeeze in a run at lunch or a couple of runs at the weekend.

I have 45 minute commute, a stressful job which i have to be super organised to get done in 8 hour days, manage to fit in exercise at least 3 times a week, plus spend time with my daughter and plenty of time for MN, chilling on the sofa, cooking food etc. It is just about priorities. I would guess that you would be more efficient at work if you took an hour out at lunch 3 times a week to go for a run!

motherinferior Wed 06-Feb-13 21:25:54

Hmm...I don't make a tidy or madly clean house a priority at all, ditto time with my partner. (I do prioritise time with my friends, as otherwise I'd never see them. My partner, should I wish to converse with him, is frequently close to hand.) I do want, and need, a bit of time to exercise because I am really quite middle aged, and I am a health journalist and therefore very well aware that if I stay immobile I am much more likely to drop dead before I have finished reading all the books I want to read, or seeing my lovely girls grow up.

Curtains Do you have a TV? Why not swap 2 programmes a week for an exercise DVD.

And consider standing up / moving around while doing spellings / tables.

How about adding more activity to the Brownie meeting?

Or doing active stuff with your friends?

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