Are ya with me, do I have you? Ok, sit back, relax and stick me because this was a bait and switch situation. This topic is such a turnoff for so many people I dared not lead with WORKOUT. However, I am passionate that working out WILL change your parenting AND organizing game, for the better, more productive, more patient and more fun.
And you guys, I’m not talking about going to the gym (although, feel free), or doing hours of Soul Cycle (but maybe once a week would be invigorating), or lifting heavy weights (a few light weight reps a couple times of week can do wonders for the middle age sag and memory). I’m talking about making working out an every day part of your life. And NOT to get skinny, and not to look good, and not to fit in your jeans from 10 years ago. No, no, NO!
I want you to workout because it will help your family, and organize your brain, and generate creative solutions, and help you to discern what’s a big deal and what’s not. It is fantastic modeling for our children that working out IS a part of DAILY life. Sure, you'll have a million excuses why you can't, don't wanna, don't feel like it. KEEP those excuses AND workout anyway.
Here are a few tips and tidbits for you to consider.
Walking – the best middle age workout around. You can walk anytime. Your heart rate goes up but you don’t get completely sweaty so it’s very versatile (at lunch and on the way to/from work, for example). If your kid has a soccer game, drop them, walk for ½ hour and then watch the rest of the game. I pass the monuments on the way to carpool once a week. I leave 30 minutes early – park the car and walk from the WWII memorial to the Lincoln. I’m surrounded by beauty and tourists, there are ample clean bathrooms and I pick up the kids with a whole new lease on life! I’ve been known to do a 30 minute walk in an airport while my plane is delayed. Now, you need someone to watch your bags and you have to promise your family you will walk far AWAY from the gate, but it works!
Consistency and consistency does not mean perfection! Consistency means you do your best, you push, you pull back, you try something new, you re-play your favorite oldies, you have 2 gazillion back up plans. Consistency and 2 gazillion back up plans will pave the way to an exercise addiction, and THIS is something we want to be addicted to. For example, I planned a 45 minute walk. . . whoops presidential motorcade blocked the road, 20 minutes will do. Gonna go to the gym, but kiddo has strep throat. . . I’ll pop in that 30 minute video. I hurt my foot, I’ll spend the next week working on the old upper body. You know what? I need a break, I’m going to take the next week off and I’m sure, certain, not worried at all, that I’ll be back and refreshed the next week. THIS how consistency talks to you.
Family Fun – Hiking, water activities, outdoor adventures, walking to dinner (ice cream, coffee shop, park). All those steps add up. Bonus - water activities means NO PHONES/DEVICES - two birds, one stone!
Workout Clothes – If I put on my workout clothes when I get home (even if I don't feel like working out) and set up the basement to work out (even if I have a slight headache and am tyty) I will be more like to just suck it up and do 10-15 minutes. That’s enough to change my interaction with my kids and the cheese drawer. Sometimes just being in workout clothes gives me a new kind of energy.
Chores – wear your fitbit and you will see how 'to-ing and fro-ing' for 30 minutes BOTH neatens up your day, increases your heart rate a tad, AND piles on the steps. Imagine, 10,000 steps AND your bed is made and clothes put away, magical, magical, magical!
WHEN you are irritated by your family, workout. WHEN you are in a lot of power struggles, workout. WHEN you are disorganized and scattered, workout. WHEN you feel sorry for yourself and overwhelmed, workout. Now watch, Sexy and I Know It - because, "I Work Out!"