The following is an excerpt from See Mom Run- Every Mother's Guide to Getting Fit and Running Her First 5K.
The biggest challenge as a mom is finding the time, and when it is finally available, finding the mojo to run. The hardest part of beginning a running program is understanding that to find time, you have to create it. With our children’s activities we spend a tremendous amount of effort making sure they get to practice or rehearsal on time and stay for the entire session. Your exercise needs should be addressed in the same fashion.
The Center for Disease Control advises that adults should get 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise a week. That is five days of 30 minutes of exercise, and that is our U.S. government speaking. The benefits of exercise begin to reveal themselves at 150 minutes of movement. If you need to break it into smaller chunks over six days or larger chunks over three days, getting the time however you can counts. If only the U.S. government agenda could find a twenty-fifth hour in a mom’s day so we could fit it all in.
Tips to Find Run Time:
Create a Partner Program-If you have a partner at home, start there. Schedule time three days a week during which you can watch the children for forty-five minutes and vice versa. You might have to get creative with time at first, but scheduling it in for both of you, back to back, will aid in compliance.Having a running partner, even when you do it separately, can be a great bonding experience, as you encourage and support each other’s efforts and get a little childcare in at the same time. Just make sure to alternate who goes first each time, so that if your child tends to become needy during the second hour, it doesn’t always fall on the same parent. You can also try switching days: you get Monday, he gets Tuesday. In this case, the easiest time to exercise is the early morning before the house wakes up, but figure out what works best for you and go with it.
Find a Running Store- Running stores generally have running meet-ups through out the week. If not, they are the go-to source for helping you find a run. When I first began running, my local running store suggested I join a women’s running “co-op”through our local park district called the Racy Ladies. Several days a week we would meet with our children in tow at the local recreation center. The kids would get to play in the gym, and we would rotate which moms would run and which would babysit. Because the run sitter rotation changed, we got to run and meet with different moms each week.
Rise and Shine-One way ti fit in a quick run is to head out very early in the morning. You may not always be able to control where your day takes you, but you can usually control when it starts. Getting it done before everyone wakes up is a wonderful way to start the day. It may take a few weeks for your body to adjust and to master sneaking out of the house quietly. Try laying your clothes out the night before outside your room so that you aren’t disturbing your sleeping family.If you decide that this is your time to run, it’s important that you wear reflective gear and bright-colored clothing. It is important to be seen and for you to see where you’re going. If you are running when it is dark out or not well lit, a runner’s headlamp is a great way to light the way while keeping your hands free.
Find the Mojo- So you finally have the time—your clothes are on, your shoes are laced, the kids are with a friend—and suddenly you just want to curl up in a ball on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and a book. Remind yourself why you have set aside this time, why it is important, and how much better you will feel once you step out the door. The most difficult struggle as a mom trying to adhere to a running or any exercise program is carving out the time on a regular basis and setting a family schedule that includes your running time. But when you do, the opportunities are endless, because running can be done almost anywhere and at any time. It is hard to have an excuse not to run. Although the couch may seem inviting after a difficult day, the run will be more rewarding. Remember to always be aware of your surroundings; share the road, the trail, or the track with respect for all those that approach; and defend your space when necessary.