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Working mothers: how often do you exercise, and how do you fit it in?

(24 Posts)
dontrunwithscissors Mon 25-Jul-11 15:08:59

Sorry that I'm cross-posting this with 'Sport and Exercise', but it's only just hit me that this would be better off here.

I really want to exercise as it's good for me on so many levels, but I really struggle to fit it in. I'm sure I'm not the only one. Exercise always seems to be the first thing to go when life gets busy. It then takes an age for me to get back around to it. Myself and DH work full-time, have 2 kids (4 and 18 months) and no family around. I am a member of a local gym, and I enjoy working out there; I just can't seem to keep it going.

Any tips? If you do manage to do this, how?! smile

WideAwakeMum Mon 25-Jul-11 22:05:35

Good question - I walk very fast up and down the stairs at work, and work very hard at falling asleep on the sofa every evening! It's actually very hard to fit in any exercise around children and work. In all seriousness though, 20 minute run 3 times a week has always been the best solution for me, but I'd also be pleased to hear any better words of wisdom.

Payne1234 Mon 25-Jul-11 22:10:16

When I worked full time I had the following choices:

1. Got up ridiculously early (i.e. 5.45am!) and exercise for an intense half an hour with DVD;

2. Used my lunch hour at a nearby gym;

3. First thing I did once kids sorted/in bed.

Mostly I got up and got it out of the way, during the summer. In the winter evening exercise.

NoWayNoHow Mon 25-Jul-11 22:11:14

I really struggle with fitting anything in as DH is a weekly commuter, so I'm essentially full time working single parent during the week!

I know it sounds lame, but I know quite a few Pilates exercises (i.e. don't need a DVD cos I already know what to do) so I tend to just lie on the floor whilst watching TV in the evenings and do some stomach/leg exercises. Not great for fat burning, but good for overall strength and toning. I try to watch what I eat as well so that I'm not struggling to tone underneath excess weight.

BikeRunSki Mon 25-Jul-11 22:15:30

At the moment I have 1 DC. DH and I used to take turns to put him to bed, whilst the other went running/cycling/to gym.

AM 6 month pg with DC2. Don't know if this regime will work with 2 DC to put to bed.

curlyredhair Mon 25-Jul-11 22:15:30

I just try and do stuff with the kids at the weekends. Took them out on their bikes on Sun and walked/ran for an hour and a half whilst they cycled. It was a bit stop/start but felt good. I walk for half an hour each lunch hour and that's about it really. Not great, but I'm hoping to start early morning cycles/runs when they all go to school and I change my hours to 9.30 - 5.30 and will be able to leave the house later, so will exercise 6.30 - 7.30. Currently leave at 7.50 to do drop offs at nursery, childminder and get to work for 9am.

Fennel Mon 25-Jul-11 22:15:30

I cycle to work (not every day as I often work from home), that's a hilly 10 mile round trip. I prefer cycling to driving and it's often quicker, and no parking hassle (my work has parking problems) so that's a good use of time.

I officially go running a couple of mornings a week, either before work when DP is home or at a weekend. I often don't manage it though.

I can't exercise in the evenings, I just get too tired.

bestfootforwards Mon 25-Jul-11 22:18:45

I catch the train then walk to work, it means I walk at least two miles on the days I work (not including walking when at work). Don't know how I would find the time otherwise.
On days off I walk to the shops or wherever we are going, ds enjoys the pushchair ride and I get to keep fitter

bestfootforwards Mon 25-Jul-11 22:18:45

I catch the train then walk to work, it means I walk at least two miles on the days I work (not including walking when at work). Don't know how I would find the time otherwise.
On days off I walk to the shops or wherever we are going, ds enjoys the pushchair ride and I get to keep fitter

myalias Mon 25-Jul-11 22:24:22

I exercise every morning before breakfast - 20 minutes of stretching and boxercise. I also cycle to work everyday. I used to go to aerobics and circuit training 3 times a week but had to quit due to a knee injury.

Joolyjoolyjoo Mon 25-Jul-11 22:27:35

I've found a couple of classes at my local gym that are on slightly later, so manage to get out 2 nights a week once kids in bed if Dh is home. I do spin one night and combat the other. Used to do attack as well, but having just gone back to fulltime work with long-ish hours, sadly I had to give up that class to fit in the ironing!! My classes keep me sane, and I get really down if I have to miss them.

slug Mon 25-Jul-11 22:29:12

I have a pool just across the road from work. It is the established precedent that I go swimming at lunchtime. Even my boss realizes this and schedules meetings around the pool. Sensible woman she realizes I am much sharper and in a better mood in the afternoon if I get my pool fix wink

MayDayChild Mon 25-Jul-11 22:52:31

Netball training Monday's matches every other sat.
Easy as I love Netball more than almost everything else (dc excluded)

gourd Tue 26-Jul-11 09:06:32

I cycle to work - 11 miles each way, 5 days a week at the moment though hoping to reduce this to 4 day week if my work grant my 4 day week on 80% salary request. I also do 50 miles (3 hours) on a Saturday morning whilst LO is napping and DP looks after her and I'm back home for a family lunch. I used to do a lot more cycling but of course family life has to come first. I try to do a few resistance and core exercises in the evening once LO is in bed at 8pm, but it's very hard to do them every day as I'm always exhausted by then, and that's also the time I have to get all her food, change bag etc ready for next day as well as my own work clothes and food before I go to bed myself around 9:30pm. We try to get a walk in every evening as a family, for 30-60 minutes before we go home for LO's bath/breastfeed/bed routine. We don't watch much TV, if any, during the week. I haven't even seen the news for months!

Ro62 Tue 02-Aug-11 14:48:09

Our childminder lives in the opposite direction to work, so DH and I take it in turns to drop DC, leave car at childminder's house, then run to work. We juggle it so we drop off our shower stuff/work clothes on one of the days we're not running in. We do the opposite on the way home, so each of us gets a run in. It also means we drive against the traffic in the rush hour. We didn't plan this (just found a great minder in the 'wrong' direction) but it's actually meant we can fit in our exercise better than we'd ever have managed deliberately. If you don't already have childcare sorted and can shower at work, maybe consider it!

Suzihaha Thu 04-Aug-11 23:44:00

DH and I have dinner with the DC after work, then one of us will do the bath/bed routine whilst the other goes to the gym for an hour. We then play tennis or go swimming with the DC one morning in the weekend.

I also get off the tube one stop early and walk to the office.

wotabouttheworkers Thu 04-Aug-11 23:49:05

Am too tired in the evenings, so I go running early as I have to be back home by 6.30am to repair the ravages of time turn myself into a dynamic-looking professional! Usually go for between 30 and 60 min.

noviceoftheday Fri 05-Aug-11 09:23:10

Pre dc I used to go to the gym in the morning before work. After first dc, I went twice a week at lunchtime at work and saturday mornings. I am currently on mat leave but when I get back expect I will still do the twice weekly but not weekend, although dh has said he is happy to take them both while I go.

rookiemater Fri 05-Aug-11 21:11:47

I cycle to work from Ds's school- tbh its not far though. I also run 3 times a week, once when DS is at his enjoyaball class as I pick him up early that day, once on a Friday as that is my day off and once on a Sunday. At the minute because of school holidays I am doing my 4 short days in 3 long ones and finding it a lot harder to make time as looking after DS on those days.

anniemac Mon 08-Aug-11 13:48:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CultureMix Tue 09-Aug-11 00:22:20

Pre-kids I would regularly exercise 3x a week -- those days sadly are long gone. I did have the luxury during maternity leave of a creche at my local gym which was great (closed now due to budget cuts), was in fab shape by the time I returned to work but went downhill from there sad.

My local gym has two aerobics classes at 8pm which I try to attend - generally make it once a week - not enough but better than nothing. Too bad these are Tues + Wed, would prefer more spaced out, and more classes in fact! Can't go earlier, even then depends whether DH is back from work (has long commute) to take over the bedtime routine. There are definitely days when I skip it as just feel too tired by that point but if I do go I feel better afterwards. Plus I can then pop over to local Sainsbury's afterwards open late for a top-up shop so that's handy.

I do try to do lots outside with the children at weekends but it's not same as full-on exercise. Admire those of you who can exercise first thing in the morning - my body just says noooo and curls back into bed. Realistically this is probably the only option left so need to work on it hmm. Forget lunchtime -- takes too long to exercise then get all dressed up & presentable again -- as it is I work through lunch to catch up on late mornings/early afternoons to fit with pickup hours.

dontrunwithscissors Tue 09-Aug-11 08:55:05

(OP here) Whoops, sorry to only just get back to this thread. Thanks for the responses; they're very interesting. My DH has finally joined the gym so we're trying to find a way for us both to get some exercise in during the week. The biggest problem is that DH struggles to get both girls to bed on his own. In fairness, this partly comes down to the fact that DD1 often plays up with him as she wants 'mummy' to put her to bed. (We have 20 mins of 'snuggle' time each evening, and she really looks forward to our time together. Daddy just doesn't cut it for her.) It's lovely to spend that time with her, but it really b*ggers up our plans to get some exercise. So it's still very much a work in progress. Hopefully, as the DD's get older, we'll find this easier.

TheMitfordsMaid Tue 09-Aug-11 09:01:42

Do you have an iPad or iPhone? The Nike Training Club app is fantastic and contains 60 workouts, all of which are incredibly challenging. I find it easier to fit in exercise if I don't need to travel to the gym too, so the Nike training app allows me to exercise in the garden. I also pound the streets and run for 40 minutes or so 3 times a week. I force myself to do it, even when shattered, because I always feel better for it afterwards.

balroymum Fri 12-Aug-11 23:03:30

Don't think anyone's mentioned this yet but you need to ... Zumba! For those who don't know, it's a high energy dance workout to latin/R and B current music and is fab! It's the only exercise activity I've ever enjoyed and have been going since DD was 6 weeks old. Most classes are only 1 hour long and there's bound to be a class on at your local gym or community centre. The one I go to starts at 8.15 so I know I can always make it. There's time in between dances to chat to your mates and no one takes it too seriously. I've noticed a real difference in my shape and body tone - DD is now 8 months and I have just a couple of pounds of baby weight left to lose but more importantly am much more toned than I ever was before. Back full time to a very demanding job in 3 weeks but know that I will be able to keep up the Zumba because I actually look forward to it - I honestly think that's the key: doing something we enjoy. Otherwise it just becomes another 'thing to do' and then another thing to feel guilty about not doing. As the cheesy American informmercial says - 'Ditch the gym and join the party!)

Any other Zumba fans out there?! x

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