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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?

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

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