Five Ways to Stay Fit When You Work at Home
- Wednesday, June 27, 2012
If you’re running a home business while raising a family, you probably feel like you have two full-time jobs. For many mompreneurs, the last thing on the list of priorities is an exercise routine. In fact, a recent study published in the journal Pediatrics found that new mothers exercise less than childless women their age. Add to that a new business, and you have a recipe for an exhausted, unhealthy mom.
So we agree that work-at-home moms have unique challenges when it comes to maintaining a fitness routine. But chances are, one of the reasons you chose to start a business while raising a family is so you could create a more balanced life. So you could earn a living doing what you love while remaining present at home for your family. When you ignore your own health and fitness, you can’t possibly live a balanced life. And while you may be physically present for your family, you may not be the most pleasant mom (Trust me – I’ve been the cranky mom many times!).
Regular exercise gives you more energy to keep up with your children and your busy schedule. It helps you stay focused and productive in the office. Exercise relieves stress and endorphins that help you feel better about yourself, your business and life in general. And it creates a healthier home because a happy mommy is a good mommy.
So how can you create time for fitness when you’re running a business and taking care of your children? Try these fitness tips for mompreneurs:
Five Fitness Tips for Busy Mom Entrepreneurs
1. First Things First. Have you ever read the book Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy? It’s about procrastination and the idea of tackling your highest priority task first thing in the day (your “frog”). For me, that’s exercise. I discovered long ago that the only excuse I have the morning is that I want to sleep longer. As the day progresses, the excuse list gets longer. Life gets in the way. So I know I have to knock it out first thing. You may have better results with an evening routine or lunchtime workout, but try to choose a time of day and make it part of your regular schedule. Then you don’t have to figure out where to squeeze in a workout. It’s already part of your day.
2. Follow Your Heart. Exercise doesn’t have to be grueling and painful. In fact, if you want to stick with it, you should choose something fun. If you’re not into running or hanging out at a gym, then take a look at other options. Try Zumba, yoga, swimming or belly dancing. Take a class in rock climbing or stand-up paddle boards. Go hiking, biking or in line skating. If you’re having fun, you’ll want to do it again.
3. Set a Goal. As an entrepreneur, you’re probably used to measuring results. For some people, the motivation comes from the monitoring this progress along a journey to improve something specific. To lose weight. To get stronger or faster. To live longer. To be happier and less stressed. Get in touch with your own personal motivation. What is it that you hope to accomplish through exercise? It doesn’t have to be a number on the scale or a certain size jeans. It could simply be that you want to have energy every morning. Or perhaps you want to be able to keep up with your dog on a hike or walk that you take. Or maybe you want to run a 5k for a charity. Whatever it is, write down your goal and keep it someplace visible for motivation.
4. Find a Partner. What’s the reason Weight Watchers is so successful? Accountability. There is someone waiting for you to show up each week and get on that scale. Having an exercise partner gives you that same accountability. Just knowing that someone is waiting for you and counting on you to show up can be a powerful motivator. I’ve run a marathon, completed several bike centuries and competed in many triathlons. I know for certain I never would have made it to the starting line in any of those events without a training partner. Here’s a tip about choosing your exercise partner: find someone who is slightly faster, stronger or more skilled in the activity than you. This will ensure that you are challenged but not completely outmatched, which would leave you both frustrated and discouraged.
5. Honor Your Commitment. Once you’ve decided to make fitness a part of your daily routine then give yourself permission to spend the time you need to workout. This may require hiring a babysitter or letting go of another obligation. It may mean that something else simply doesn’t get done perfectly (like laundry or housecleaning). Take some time to explain to your family why you are exercising and how important it is to you. Help them understand that you need their support and encouragement if you are going to keep it up. Ask them to respect your need for dedicated workout time. You may even decide to include your family in your exercise program!
It’s your turn. What are your tips and tricks for staying fit while working from home? Please share them with us here!
Theresa Ceniccola is a mother, writer and entrepreneur with a passion for connecting other Christian women and helping small business grow. As a marketing and PR professional, she launched TGC Communications, LLC in 1994 and has been working from home to serve clients and follow her passion while raising a family. She is also co-founder of www.writetohealth.com, a guided journaling practice dedicated to helping people discover the health benefits of writing. You can connect with Theresa on her blog at www.theresaceniccola.com.
Publication date: June 27, 2012
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