Finding the time to exercise while managing my job and taking care of my family

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It is hard to balance career, family, and still have time left for yourself, but we need to make sure that we’re healthy so we can manage all of it. Staying fit helps us have the energy to juggle many tasks, so it is important to plan out a schedule that includes some time for exercise. Working on your career is necessary to build a bright future for your family, but so is paying attention to your family – and keeping yourself sane to do both. Here are some helpful tips to help you find a balance between family, work and exercise!

Set Your Priorities
We only have 24 hours in a day so it’s very important to set a certain amount of time to complete tasks at work, chores at home, quality time with family, self development such as meditating or reading a book, and exercise (and don’t forget to include time to sleep). Set specific goals on what you want to accomplish for the week, and for the day. Creating to-do lists can also be very helpful in maintaining and achieving your goals; write everything down (or even as it comes to you), write the priority beside the task (low, medium, high) and then start knocking off those tasks – you will feel accomplished when you clear the items off your list for the day…just remember to include exercise on that list every day (or every other day).

Plan Ahead and Do Things in Advance
This expands on the priority list…set a weekly calendar that includes everything needed for that week. Try to plan out the days to complete tasks everyday like working out, buying groceries, doing the laundry, and setting aside time for your kids, etc. Life is short, and while there is lots of work that needs to be done throughout the week (that food isn’t going to cook itself), it’s important that you include some time to do things that matter to you. It’s also a good idea to involve your family as this can be a way to make the most of your time to bond, especially since the kids won’t always be there to spend time with you when they grow up. For meals, you can plan the meal for the entire week so you can make sure you buy what’s needed at the grocery store, and then you can prepare what needs to be chopped and/or stored in the freezer in advance. This will cut down the time spent on cooking and preparing food. Saving time means more hours to other things whether it is exercising or enjoying movie night with the family.

Start the Day Early
Getting up early before the kids wake up is quite hard but rewarding. Getting your body clock used to an early start – or at least setting up an alarm to start the day early – will give you more time so you can accomplish more. After getting up, you can kick off the day with a good stretch and then some time for exercising rather than just doing it at a convenient time, not to mention that it be that first step towards a healthier you. Exercising in the morning can energize you and can set a productive tone for the entire day. You can also use this extra time to cook healthier breakfasts and go that extra mile in taking care of your family before heading to work.

Get the Family Involved
Have all the family members involved as much routine as possible. Instead of exercising alone, do it with your spouse and kids! You can have the kids act as weights…it’ll be funnier and more interesting, make you feel more motivated and less tired, plus you and the kids get to play and spend some time together…two birds with one stone.

Be Efficient and Productive
Yes, the bills do need to get paid, but working overtime isn’t always the best option – especially if you have a family of your own. Make sure work is handled before you end your work day so you can focus on you and your family after work is done. Again, there’s only so much time in a day, so you’ve got to make the most of it by being productive.

If you’re like me and prefer to listen to the news in the morning, try listening to the radio while you’re out for a morning jog, or watch the 6am news while you’re on the treadmill – it’s all about using your time more efficiently. If you weren’t able to do your usual full workout at the start of the day, you can take some time to finish it off after work. You can do a 10 KM run or hit the gym for an hour before heading home. Avoid procrastinating and putting things off by being more efficient…this will give you more time, allowing you to distribute your time properly to ensure you handle everything with time to spare.

There are lots of things we can do to find time to exercise while managing our jobs and taking care of our families. Planning out your week, setting your priorities, and using your time more efficiently are small tasks that can make a huge difference…we only have 24 hours each day so make the most of it – all you need is creativity, discipline, and commitment. Take small steps, start by writing a priority list for the next few days, tomorrow write a meal plan for the week, and go from there. It is up to you to figure out what works best and find your rhythm.

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