Sticking with a walking plan can be a struggle as daily life can get in the way and life throws some curve balls your way. I totally get this. I can remember back to when my two boys were small. I mean finding time for a walk is hard enough but I can remember never having the time to shower on my own without the boys in the bathroom with me!
I have pulled together some tips to help you get out walking if you’re a busy mom. The tips will cover everything from time-management, preparation, to including your kids in your daily walking schedules. I hope these tips will help you make your walking schedule a reality. I’m proof that it can work and I’ve no doubt it will help you too.
Make a date!
If you have an appointment in your diary, chances are you stick to it. If you schedule your daily walk, chances are you will stick with that too. For me, I set aside time in my day and I keep to that time. I walk during my lunch break and I walk on the way home. Everyone knows this, from my husband, my kids and my office colleagues. They know not to make other appointments or schedule other things during this time. Schedule your walk in your diary and make that an appointment that can’t be changed. Also make sure everyone knows about it so they realise this time is non-negotiable for you too.
Without fail my sons would rise at 6am. However, they would go to bed at 7pm. That was their routine. If your children have a specific bed time routine then schedule your walk before or after theirs. I know for me, I would have been too exhausted to do anything after 7pm so early morning was the best time. Walking before the kids get up means you have accomplished your exercise before the day has begun – what a wonderful feeling!
Plan, Plan and Plan some more
My blog post on how to get the most out of your lunch time walk is all about making the most of the time you have available. I often plan a walking route That means each time I go out that door for a quick walk I know where I’m going and how long it will take me. I highly recommend doing this s you too know what you are doing, how long it will take and all you have to do is make it happen!
Grab a t-shirt and go…
I like to fit in walking whenever I can. That means I walk in whatever I’m wearing. As long as I have a comfortable pair of shoes then I’m off! That is the same for all moms. Don’t worry about getting the right pair of joggers or the right t-shirt. Just get out walking and don’t waste time on which outfit. There have been times when my kids were young that I popped on a pair of jeans, trainers and a coat over my pyjama top!
A view from one of my lunch time walks! Raining but more important to get the walk in than not!
If you are working you can fit your daily walk in to to your lunch break. I have a great post on making the most of your lunch time walk if you’d like to give it a wee read. You’ll also find great tips there to get the most of of a 30 minute lunch time walk. Again scheduling the walk in to your daily work routine will help you stick to it and have it done in no time at all. That way you don’t have to worry about doing exercise when you get home. I love walking during my lunch break because otherwise I wouldn’t do it in the evenings. Now with the autumn just knocking at the door, you really won’t get me out at night!
Involve your kids
If you can’t do you walk without the kids, then get them involved. I can remember my first son I would take him out in the pram and walk for miles. I think it had to do more with him having collic and the movement of walking was one of the things that settled him. I quickly learnt that this daily walk was good for him but also good for my sanity too. There were times I would take him out in the baby sling, attached to me and that too would keep him quiet for a while. No matter what age your kids, try and involve them in your walking schedule, it’s great for chatting and bonding with them. My teenage soon would sometimes go on a walk with me and it’s an opportunity to catch up.
Mash it up!
If you find that your walking schedule is being disrupted then mix it up. For example if your child gets up earlier or is going to bed a bit later, change your schedule or include them in your walking. You may need to take a few extra bits and pieces with you such as extra water or a snack but its worth it as it gets your walking over and done with and with minimum fuss.
Involve family and friends
If all else fails, involve family and friends. Ask them to watch the kids and return the favor at another time. This works well if you have family or friends close by. There is no shame in asking for help, especially if you are trying to get fit or stay fit.
Heading to a meeting up this hill! A brisk walk with an incline makes for a great walk. Takes me about 20 mins, and racks up several thousand steps too!
Sometimes us busy moms can only fit in 10 minutes. Even this amount of time is great to get a very brisk walk. You can read my post on tips to get the best out of your walk even if you only have an hour. The good thing is that the hour can be broken down in to 10 minute chunks and you still get the same benefits. A win-win situation if you ask me!
Ditch the car
I have to admit, I hate driving. I have always disliked it and prefer to either walk or use public transport. If you want to get your walk in how about leaving the car at home? This way you can get your walk in to and from your location and save on gas too!
Find the time
This may seem like an obvious one but how about looking at your day and see where you could use your time more wisely or indeed swap for some walking? There was a time recently where I realised that most of my evening was taken up watching rubbish on the TV. This wasn’t serving me much good so I changed it to being more creative. I also decided to use my lunch breaks for walking, when before I would have spent it time wasting on the computer! Sometimes we need to look at what we get up to during the day and be honest that some of it really is wasted doing nothing!
Walking for you… a class for them!
If your kids are at soccer practice, art class or music lessons then why not go for your brisk walk then? I can remember sitting in the car waiting for my son to finish his piano lesson before I realised that the time could be used better by me heading out for a quick walk. Again this goes back to making the best use of time and with a bit of pre-planning it can work.
Make space for a home walk
While you may not have time to get outside you could opt for walking on a treadmill at home. I had a treadmill once but the only space I had was out in the garage and it was cold out there. However if you have the space you could do your walking on a treadmill. You’d be surprised at how quick you could get your steps in if you are stuck at home.
These are just some of my tips for fitting walking in to your busy schedule as a mom. Walking is often the first thing that many of us think about ditching if we are short on time. However, with a little bit of planning and juggling it can be done. I have to say that making your walking a priority will be of benefit to you and your family as you will feel better for doing it and your health will be better for it too.
What tips do you have for fitting walking or other exercise in to your daily routine for busy moms?