So, I received an amazing email last week, and one of the questions she asked me was how I find the time – to workout, take care of my son, run a blog, work a full time business, and still keep on smiling? I wrote her back, but figured I needed to share my thoughts on work/life/health balance here too.
So here you go.
In short, it’s not convenient, easy, and is tiring. But I just make my health a top priority, and by doing that, the mental and physical clarity that it provides helps me a ton.
Ok let’s dive in a little deeper shall we? We shall.
Somehow, I’m lucky in that I really enjoy being healthy, breaking a sweat and working my mind and body. It’s ingrained in me and has always been. However, I am a HUUUUUGE believer in being level headed about it and not going to extremes. So I’m not a person who goes to the gym for 1.5 hours each day and follows a strict diet. I’ve just learned to listen to my body. Really really well. And it likes to tap me on the shoulder each day and say, “Hey Bek, find some time to sweat, let’s see what we can do, and while you’re at it, get me a smoothie, a handful of almonds, some eggs, avocados and throw in some veggies. Be sure to drink more water than coffee today too. Thanks pal.”
I clearly remember when I was a freshman in high school, there was a woman at the gym – with an amazing physique and glow about her. She’d be in there lifting, and I’d eavesdrop on her conversations. One day she and some guy were talking about working out and she said, “I just try to do something each day, even if it’s just a little, or else it feels like I forgot to brush my teeth or something.”
I never wrote that down, but my brain apparently took good notes of that conversation. With a sharpie.
I make it a priority each day, whether it’s a 40 minute beast mode weight lifting session, an early morning beach run while my family is back home and still asleep, or a quick 20 minute Tabata workout in my garage at 9pm (what I did yesterday). I also fit it in at weird times. Early in the morning, late at night, while Levi naps, and since I have the luxury of a YMCA a mile away I’ll squeeze in two or three outings there a week. High five for free childcare.
Here’s a sample of my “workout week” (Workouts are done at home or at the YMCA depending on the day and what comes up with mom life and work life.)
• Sunday: 20 minute HIIT/Interval run while Levi Naps (and my husband is home so he can watch him)
• Monday: 30-40 minute heavy lift
• Tuesday: 20 minute TRX or body weight workout in our garage
• Wednesday: 30-40 minute lift
• Thursday: 20 minute Interval run or bodyweight tabata workout, or I might just go for a long walk
• Friday: 30-40 minute heavy lift
• Saturday: Early morning beach run. Hallelujah.
Yup. Something every day. But considering how many minutes are in a day, I honestly don’t think 20-40 minutes is asking that much.
That’s basically how I find balance and time to workout. No secret or amazing formula or schedule. I just do it. I find a way, and the crazy thing is once you get used to it, you end up feeling like that woman at the gym who inspired me…Like you didn’t brush your teeth or something, when you miss it.
Aside from that I figured I’d list out some tips that make it a little easier and keep the motivation up. Here you go:
• Invest in some sort of home gym equipment: Dumbbells, a TRX, resistance bands, a Kettlebell, Pick one, pick a few. It’s amazing what having that resource where you live can do.
• Mix it up – One day a week I wake up super early for a beach run while everyone is still back home asleep. It does wonders for the motivation. Lifting-wise, I say switch up your reps, your movements, go heavier, try something new, etc.
• If you can’t get your workout done in under 40 minutes you are doing too much. (My cousin who is one of the fittest humans on the planet and wakes up at 4 am each day to lift told me this one.)
• If you have zero time, bust out 50 push ups, 100 squat jumps, and some burpies. It’s so much better than nothing.
• Put a pull up bar in your kitchen. Stop and bust out some pull-ups on a whim.
• Find workout videos on youtube to try if you don’t know what to do the day. Or feel free to try some of mine. (Sorry I am just incapable of making a video, but I’ll gladly keep on writing them down and sharing them)
• Do a quick 20 minute workout during nap times, or right after the kiddos go to sleep. Or if you are at the office, lunchtime workouts are a gem (and saved me a ton of sanity back when I worked in an office.)
• Have workout time be a no phone time. I see way to many people wasting valuable sweat minutes just staring at their phones.
Boom. There you go.
Then, to top it all off (and add additional motivation) it’s amazing what some good physical blood pumping activity does for my focus, productivity, creativity and mood. It’s like it gets all the blood flowing, your heart pumping and endorphins going. Oh wait, it actually does. Plus, I sleep so much better too…when I actually do get to finally go to sleep at night. (I do the majority of my blog work from 9:30pm -12:30 am each night. Not good for my 8 hours of sleep, which I am a huge advocate of, but it’s just the way it is lately.)
The funny thing is, the less time I have the more I look forward to working out, and carving time to do so. It’s like my body and mind really appreciate the extra effort.
When it comes down to it, I’ve realized very few people on the planet have as much time as they want, exactly when they want, to workout. (I mean, The Rock even has to wake up at 4am to workout) The rest of us just have to figure out how to make it work. It’s not easy, and it can be exhausting and frustrating, but man oh man it is SO worth it.
For so many reasons.
So that’s how I do it, my mindset, and a little bit of my inner Jack LaLanne coming out too.
Just do your best, know no one is perfect, but if there’s one thing you can seriously benefit from carving out time to do each day, it’s moving your body.
Stay schweaty my friends,
Also, please feel free to ask me any health/fitness questions anytime. I might not be a “Fitness blogger” but it’s something I’m passionate about and love helping out when I can.