This week on the blog we are talking about self care. When you’re a parent, it’s so important to carve out some time to attend to your own wellness. It is way too easy to put all your energy into your kids’ health and wellbeing and consequently neglect your own. I know, because that is what I did for . . . oh . . . the first fifteen months of my daughter’s life. For me, self care begins with exercise. When I devote time to my personal fitness, I feel more awake, more motivated to make healthy food choices, and better prepared to keep up with my very active toddler.
Confession time: I am really lazy. It takes a lot for me to get motivated to do anything, whether it is cooking and cleaning, running errands, or going to the gym. And when it comes to exercise, I am the queen of excuses.
So how do you get motivated when all you want to do is sprawl on the sofa and eat a takeout burrito? Let me tell you what worked for me: joining a gym (with childcare!) that offers classes.
Okay, I am not a joiner. Group workouts really aren’t my thing. I feel self-conscious and embarrassed about how ridiculous I look attempting a burpee. But classes are the one thing I found that could get me up and moving multiple times a week. Like I said earlier, I’ve always had trouble motivating myself to get out the door. I’ve never had success working out at home, and I was always miserable running by myself. If you are not having fun, you are a lot less likely to devote time to fitness.
Why do I love classes so much?
- Signing up for a class means committing to go. Even if I’m technically able to cancel, having that class on the calendar tricks my subconscious into thinking it’s mandatory.
- Once I’m there, I have to stay for the full class. There’s no turning off the home workout DVD if I’m getting tired or I think of something better to do.
- The instructors do all the planning. All I have to do is show up and do what I’m told. I don’t have to pre-plan a routine and make sure I’m hitting all the important muscle groups.
- If I’m not sure how to do a particular exercise, there is a professional on hand to show me how it’s done. I’ve suffered more sports injuries than I’d like to admit, so proper form is really important to me. It is comforting to know that if I’m doing something wrong, the instructor at the gym is going to point it out before I hurt myself.
- I get some “me time,” and my daughter gets out of the house to play with other kids. Win-win!
So where do you find this mythical group exercise + childcare combo? My favourite gym is BOMB Fitness. They have childminding in the morning and on weekends (only $3!), and two east-end locations (Danforth and the Beach). The owners, Kevin and Victoria, are awesome people, and the gym members are incredibly welcoming. In fact, during a particularly difficult two months of sleep regression, toddler teething, and renovation craziness, one of the gym employees actually emailed me to check in—they wanted to know where I’d been!
Now that you know my secret to getting my butt out the door and into gear, maybe you’ll feel some extra motivation to go out there and get moving. Have you found an exercise regimen that works for you? Please share in the comments!
Disclaimer: Other than being a happy member, I am in no way affiliated with BOMB Fitness. This is not a sponsored post. (I just really love this place!)