Friday, August 20, 2010

Juggling Family, Career, Life, and Exercise

My wife and I are at that stage in our life where we both have careers, two kids involved in about everything you can imagine, and time commitment demands coming from all angles.

Still we both find time to take care of ourselves through exercising. My family medical history is not in my favor so I need to keep moving and stay in shape, but life just always seems to get in the way.

I can plan my exercise routines but it seems that the schedule only holds about 50% of the time. My daughter is involved in different activities at school along with her sports and my son is just now getting starting in school and sports. There are birthday parties, parent/teacher conferences, soccer games, basketball games, baseball games, holidays, occasional unexpected visits to the ER, etc. My wife's work schedule is unpredictable too. It's a wonder we even have time to sleep.

We both know that everything is subject to change around our house.

When it came down to it, we were tired of using the excuse "not enough time in the day to exercise". My wife and I both knew that our habits and routines would need to change. We both wanted to do workouts but both of us could not do it at the same time because our kids are not old enough to be left alone yet.

We each like to workout about an hour a day and preferably in the evenings. She likes to run and I like to ride my bike.

A normal routine is one of us will pick up the kids after work while the other person comes straight home to do their workout. When the first person working out gets back home the other one can go. Then whoever went first usually prepares dinner for the family. The amazing thing is that 85% of the time the entire family eats together.

There are a few days a week where neither one of us works out due to other things going on or the weather just sucks. We have just grown accustom to the fact that yes we will workout 4 times this week....we just don't know when.

In the summertime it is a lot easier because the sun rises earlier and sets later. This gives us more flexibility. Since I like to bike and do P90x I have had to commit to getting up early in the morning to do one of the those two workouts. Early morning workouts work good for me, getting out of bed is a struggle, but I feel energized the whole day.

As you can see we have a lot of stuff going happening on a daily basis. The best advise I can give is that you set out a plan on a weekly basis knowing that things will come up and derail your plan. With our schedules being a moving target it is easier to look at the week in front of us and take it one day at a time. Don't plan workouts for every day of the week because you'll just get frustrated when can't workout for whatever reason.

My thought process when planning my week is usually:
1. I want to bike x number of miles, run x # of minutes, and do my strength training"

2. Then I write down each day (Monday-Sunday)

3. I write down which days we have commitments (kids activities, social events, etc)

4. By this step I have an idea on which days I can workout then I decide when I want to do them based on availability.

5. Sometimes there is a two-a-day work out and sometimes there none.

You can't always do exactly what you want when you want, but if you remain flexible it will make attaining your weekly goals easier.

It's tough to balance everything, but once you get a routine it becomes a lot easier. Don't get sucked into the "excuse" vortex but instead seek opportunities or windows where you can squeeze your workout in. It take about an hour to get a good workout in.

Just keep moving, Just keep moving, Just keep moving.

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