On Monday I issued us a challenge to get moving.  Debbie asked for some creative ways to fit exercise into a busy life so that’s what I thought we’d talk about today.

Last year our “living with less” journey required us to drop our fitness center membership.  It was disappointing to have to make that decision, but necessary for us to live within our new limited budget.

While I had to change my exercise routine, it soon became apparent that finding creative ways to keep exercise in my life wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be.

Exercise is important for moms.  It keeps us healthy, reduces stress, and sets an example for our children.   Here are some ways to both exercise for less and fit it into a busy schedule:

  • Walk the mall.  Our local mall opens at 6am for walkers who want to stay out of the weather.
  • Socialize and exercise at the same time.  Ask a friend to join you in daily exercise.  This provides natural accountability and helps the time to pass by quickly.
  • Purchase some used equipment for use at home.  We were able to find a treadmill on Craig’s List that cost us the same amount of money as two months of fitness center member fees.
  • Rent exercise videos.  To change up your routine, choose a kickboxing, pilates, or aerobics video.  Some video stores offer free rental for exercise videos.
  • Use weights.  You can pick up an inexpensive set of weights at the store, or you can use canned goods in your pantry for strengthening muscles.  Two or three sets of 10-12 reps will help strengthen your muscles.
  • Tap into technology.  There are thousands of exercise videos online and dozens of smartphone apps that will help you change and develop your routine.
  • Park far away. When you drive to your destination, choose a parking spot as far away as possible.  Increasing steps burns more calories and provides needed cardio exercise.
  • Make it a family affair.  Step away from the television, video games, and computer to go for a bike ride or play a game of baseball or basketball as a family.

One strategy that has helped me stick to a routine is that when I get out of bed in the morning, I immediately put on my exercise clothes.  Then I go downstairs to make breakfast for my boys.  As soon as they leave for school, I get on the treadmill for anywhere from 20-60 minutes, depending on the day.  That routine helps me keep exercise a priority in the midst of a busy life!

Exercise needs to be part of our daily routine, but it doesn’t have to cost a dime or take a lot of time.

What about you? What ideas do you have to fit exercise into a busy life?


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