Finding the time ... and the Motivation!
Before having children, I had no issues regarding personal fitness. I was free to leave the house whenever I wanted, went walking with the dog in my spare time, commuted from place to place on a daily basis with my job and, to be honest, took a very flexibly active lifestyle for granted!
Having the children, although hasn't stopped the opportunity of a fit and healthy lifestyle, it has restricted things somewhat and made the whole process very ... different. No longer can I just leave the house with nothing more than a water bottle and an MP3 player in my hand, and instead I have to remember comforters, a change of clothes (for the children, not me!!) and my MP3 player is replaced by Paw Patrol on loop on my mobile phone, but I do try to make sure I still stay as active as possible.
Of course, my time out of the house now has to work around school runs and Plumlet's nap times, but instead of allowing my fitness regime to fizzle into a state of non-existence, I have just had to change the way I do things slightly.
Since the arrival of workout DVDs and affordable home fitness equipment, keeping to a regular, disciplined exercise regime even when you are unable to leave the house should be simple, right ...?
Well, admittedly, it does make things a little easier, but my visions of being able to complete a full routine whilst my youngest naps and others are at school were soon slapped with the reality. It wasn't long before an innocent 20 minutes with Davina was halted thanks to a rogue Lego brick underfoot or a call for my assistance in the bathroom or a courier trying to knock my front door down! So I thought, why not involve Plumlet in these routines? He absolutely loves to dance around in front of the TV, and for him to see me doing it with him will provide endless giggles and amusement. After all, who said working out has to be a serious business? Certainly not us!
I won't lie - I am extremely body conscious. I have been so for many years. Therefore, the thought of exposing any part of me in the outside world is enough to make me run for the hills! Every time I think I'd like to run more or cycle around our local area during the Summer evenings, I will browse suitable clothing. There is so much of it around, and I will mentally fill my online shopping baskets with item after item of really attractive looking apparel. Then, I picture each garment on me, and all of a sudden, the shopping carts that were rapidly filling in my mind, empty completely! I know I shouldn't care about things like this, and I know I notice my imperfections so much more than anyone else around me, but still, it's a hang-up that's difficult to shake. Maybe I just need a few more of those Davina workouts behind closed doors, and I'll feel a little more confident about wearing some of the great gym tops and figure hugging leggings that I have my eye on!
Being a mum that stays at home full time to look after our youngest, I get the chance to do very little without him in tow. Of course, I'm not complaining as I wouldn't change this for all the money in the world, but it does mean that some activities need to be completed with a little clingy companion! Therefore, when it comes to wanting to combine exercise and fresh air, we go together. And the best way to do this and to ensure that I don't get nagged with constant moans of "I'm bored, mummy!", we make it fun. We will take a ball to the park, we will throw a frisbee around, and we will laugh together as we chase each other around the wide open space. Fitness and fun for the both of us!
So, as a busy mum of three, trying to cram school runs, writing, general mummy duties and keeping tabs on my own personal fitness, I think the best way (for me) to keep a good balance both physically and mentally is to make it fun. And instead of regarding Plumlet as an obstacle to my fitness regime, I see him as a companion!
This post has been written in collaboration with Gym Talk. However, all words are my own and have not been influenced in any way.