My three kids are all involved in at least three after-school activities, and none of them can drive yet, so I have a second job that I call Mom’s Taxi Service. Luckily, I have had this job for 15 years, during which I have learned to make the most of waiting times.
During the flute, piano and karate classes, however, I am allowed to roam freely while the kids do their thing, and I work that opportunity.
I suit up for a run before taking my kids to class. As soon as they are safely in the care of their teachers, I bolt for the door and warm up with a fast walk while I find the right playlist on my iPod, set up my workout-logging app, and adapt to workout mode. Then I have time to run, cool down, and stretch properly.
Conquer the time crunch
People often share with me a series of excuses of why they don’t exercise as much as they know they should. The number-one reason I hear is lack of time. “By the time I get home from work and take the kids everywhere they need to go, I just don’t have time to make dinner or exercise.”
I do understand this mentality.
But I would challenge parents to think about any time they spend waiting, as potential workout time. Don’t have time to change? Just stow a pair of sneakers and socks in the trunk of your car.
Make it social
When I do wait around for my kids, I notice that a lot of the other parents are chatting and getting to know each other better. Why not invite these newfound friends to join?
On a decent day when the sun is shining, who would not prefer to be outside, walking and talking, rather than sitting in a stuffy, crowded ballet studio lobby?
You don’t have to set any land speed records during these wait-time workouts.
As you become accustomed to using wait time for exercise, you can step it up by walking faster, trying to cover more distance in the same amount of time, doing a few bouts of speed-walking, jogging, or sprinting.
The bottom line
You support your kids’ needs for exercise by enrolling them in, paying for, and driving them to all kinds of athletic activities because you know that physical activity is important for their health, social skills, and mental development.
But when you allow their activities to drain your exercise time away, you are sacrificing those same benefits for yourself.
It’s time to turn your waiting time into workout time!