I love going to the gym. I do, I swear. If only I hated food as much as I love going to the gym, I’d be buying a teeny weenie yellow polka dot bikini. Why do I love it, you ask? Because, other than the fact that I have a great gym located near our house, I’ve made it as pleasurable and easy as possible. Here’s how you can do it that way too:
• First and foremost, you have to pick a gym that has a great child-care room. For me, that’s number one. The gym I joined in Texas had only adequate care, and the boys only came with me a handful of times. This forced me to work around my husband’s schedule, which meant half the time I never even went. Plus, it’s never a great situation to come home sweaty to a messy house and hungry children. Pass.
The gym we go to now (It’s a YMCA. Love, love, LOVE!) has fantastic child watch. The staff knows my boys by name, and they both just run in without hesitation because THEY love it, which is vital. Knowing my boys are safe, being attended too, and are having FUN, gives me the opportunity to work out with peace of mind. When you tour a gym, get a good look at the childcare room. Ask to talk to the manager. Get to know the staff by name.
• Shower there. Before you get dorm room flashbacks, hear me out. Wouldn’t it be great to get home already showered and dressed? It takes a little bit of prep work, but I’d MUCH rather prep then come home, turn on the TV, give the boys a snack, sneak in a quick shower with your little one opening the curtain getting wet... I promise you’ll very quickly get over the flip flops and shower caddy when you get an extra 20 minutes of peace and quiet, and can leave the gym fully rejuvenated and ready to move on with your day. Hey, you might even get to do your hair!
• If you don’t have time to shower, just bring a change of clothes. Even that much will help you leave “it all” at the gym.
• Work it into your schedule. With rising gas prices, it doesn’t make sense to drive to similar locations twice in one day. Once you’ve showered at the gym, you can make that quick stop to the grocery store or Target. Hit the park on your way home. Meet some friends for lunch. Duck out of playgroup a bit early, and skip showering at the gym, since it will be naptime when you get home. Or better yet, get going right away in the morning and workout before a play date (If you have any tips on how to do that, please let me know. I am SO not a morning person)!
• Have a specific gym bag, and keep it packed at all times. Sometimes finding the motivation to pack all the bags, on top of changing diapers and putting on shoes is enough to keep you at home. Fill your bag with extras- hair products, make-up bag, toothbrush, deodorant... just make sure it’s a big bag. =)
I got a HUGE backpack, which is great when I’m carrying one kiddo and holding hands with another. My boys have a gym bag too, with their diapers, wipes and sippy cups. We only use this for the gym, so it stays packed and I don’t have to think about it when we’re leaving in a hurry.
• Buy yourself some nice workout clothes. It’s worth the investment.
• If it’s a gorgeous day out, and a friend you keep playing phone tag with invites you to a picnic at the park, by all means- skip the gym and go to the park. Forcing yourself to go to the gym will only build resentment. Make the gym a place that you love to go to. Be spontaneous and go on a whim when your kids are driving you particularly NUTS (this is where that packed bag comes in handy).
• Get a gym buddy. They work wonders.
• Start taking a class. Get to know the regulars in the class. The accountability and socializing will keep you going week after week.
• Just run. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the infinite ways of working out, just run. Start with 1 mile. A mile is nothing, right? Well, once you’re comfortable there keep lengthening the distance. I started this a few months ago, and I’m up to running 2.5 miles and will be doing my first 5K!
• When all else fails, get the most out of your gym membership by forcing your husband to go and take the kids. Bliss.
By Guest Blogger Joanna from The Bragging Mommy