Fitting in Exercise as a Parent


Being a parent we live busy lives.  Many of us are trying to juggle our own schedules and also the schedule of our children, which seem to be about as busy as ours.  Finding an extra minute is nearly impossible.    When the doctor told me that I needed to lose 15 pounds and lower my cholesterol, I nearly laughed.   Did this guy really think that I would find time to go to the gym?

I began to look into my schedule, wondering, where I could find it.  I did not want to come home from work, turn around, and go for a run.  That would cut into the time that I would get to play with the Rookie. After the Rookie would be in bed is also my opportunity to catch up on the DVR, my time to decompress.

There was one block of time that I had available.  It wouldn’t be easy and it would require some sacrifices.

The morning.

Exercise Parent - The Rookie Dad

Image Courtesy of Outdoor Online

That is right I said it, waking up early before anyone in the house was up, lacing up my shoes, and going for a run.  I decided to go for it.  This was important to me and my family who would like me to stick around for a while.

5:30 A.M. the alarm goes off.  I am groggy, tired, and grumpy because my alarm woke me up from the nice warm bed.  I slide my shoes on, put my ear buds in, turn on some classic rock, and walk out the door.

As I pick my pace up I am the only one up, there may be a stray light on in a house as people begin to wake up for the day.  But it is just me and the sidewalk.  My muscles are screaming at me as I make them work too early in the morning.

Suddenly, the muscles loosen up and my pace picks up even more.  My lungs taking in the cool, crisp morning air. Without warning I hear 3 miles in my headphones and begin to head back home.

Feeling accomplished as I run up the driveway, I walk in the house to the smell of coffee and a quiet house.  My reward for waking up this early.  As the sun rises, I hear the alarm to wake up my wife.  She wakes up and walks out, shocked to see me standing there, still in my bright green running shirt.

“4 Miles,” I tell her.

Smiling I get ready for the day.  I can feel that it is going to be a good day.

It is so difficult to find the time to fit exercise in as a parent.  Kids can take up so much of our time that it is one thing that falls to the bottom of our to-do list.  But parents are the best at sacrificing and sometimes that is what we have to do to take care of ourselves.

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This post is sponsored by Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Missouri and the views and opinions expressed are my own and not influenced by the sponsoring company.

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About The Rookie Dad

I am husband and father foremost. Secondly, I am a PBS producer and contribute to Traveling Dads and Dads Round Table.

Posted on October 14, 2014, in Parenting and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. My SO and I were recently down in Austin, TX and stayed with a friend. He is able to primarily work from home, and set up his home office with an adjustable height desk, and has a treadmill set up. He walks all day at a 1.9mph pace. He gets 15-20 miles in depending on how long his day goes. I thought that was a genius set up, and wondered how much that would help me. As a consultant, I’m on site a lot so it’s not necessarily viable for me, but thought it was great that he can do that. I have seen walking desks at some other customer sites too, and see others using them.

  2. After the birth of my 2nd, I started a job where I worked primarily from home. Should have been a recipe for workouts, but instead was a recipe for never-ending grazing from the pantry. By the time my daughter was 5, I was 40 lbs heavier than when I started being a dad, and that was not so good. I decided that by the time my son was old enough for me to teach him basketball, I’d better still be able to dunk. So, my wife went about revamping our diets, and I went about getting myself back in shape.

    When we moved cross-country, I switched jobs to a local gig, sold my 2nd car and began biking to work – about 60mi of riding per week.

    I’ve lost about 25 lbs and feel better than I’ve felt in 10 years. Still can’t dunk yet, but I’m getting back there.

  3. I sometimes write about this same topic for moms, who also find it very hard to make time for exercise. It’s so important, though, for moms, dads and everyone. It just makes such a positive difference in all areas of your life when you do it regularly.

    Visiting from The Good Men Project G+ community.

  4. Good on you for making the commitment and sticking to it! I love the feeling after a morning run and you have the day ahead of you with your workout complete! You just seem to walk taller the rest of the day, huh?

    Keep it up and make sure you find enjoyment in what you do, I found out the hard way that is very important! Hey, maybe you’ll be running a marathon before you know it!

  5. As a single dad with the kids full time it seems nearly impossible to exercise let alone train for marathons, but if I don’t run, then I don’t have the energy and the sanity to handle the many things I have to do in life. When I run I organize the kid’s schedules and am able to plan. I’ve given up my DVR time and my decompression before bed time because I have to be up nearly every morning at 4:30 to get my runs in and back to wake the kids up, fix breakfast, make their lunches, and get them off to school.

    I’ve had to realize the runs are my “me” time and I soak them in for all that they are. The added benefit is I teach my kids through my actions that being healthy, setting a goal, and achieving the goal is a good thing. But the best part is I’m taking care of me first so I can be there to take care of them.

  6. Fifteen years ago I worked hard not to become the ‘pregnant husband’ of a pregnant wife. I did well for a while and than things took a turn. Been pushing hard to fix that, health is too important.

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