Fitting a Workout into a Busy Schedule

I’ve been skimming a lot of fitness and weight loss sites out there in the world wide web, and they seem to have something in common:  they make me tired.  I see words like “pushing myself” or “addicted to running.”  I read people’s discussions about adding something new to their two-hour long routines in utter consternation.  Where do these folks find the time or energy?  What is the rest of their family doing while they’re working out?  How do they have energy left to unload the dishwasher and fold laundry before going to bed?

I can almost hear my fit friends telling me that it is a choice to achieve their level of fitness and a matter of priorities.  I agree wholeheartedly and still say, No thanks.

It’s not that I don’t think exercise and fitness are important.  It’s just that I have a lot to juggle and a 90-minute workout is not a priority for me when I have kids at home that haven’t seen their mother all day, dinner to fix, housework to do, and deadlines to meet.  For me to carve out the time and energy this kind of workout regimen demands I’d have to take it from the other things that occupy my time and energy now.  And, since I spend almost 100% of my time after work tending to the needs of my family and household, I’d have to take that time away from them.

Don’t get me wrong.  I think working out is important, and I do it.  I just don’t feel the need to do it to the level that some of my fit friends do.  I have to balance my workouts with everything else.  For me, 30 minutes a day most days of the week is all I can work in.  I don’t feel bad about this.  I don’t feel guilty.  I don’t feel the need to do more.  I can accept that I won’t see the results that my friend who alternates between P90X and Insanity every day sees.  In exchange, I’ll get a workout that I can adjust to my interest and commitment level for the rest of my life.

This is definitely not for me.

With that said, Pilates is my favorite workout.  Pilates stretches and strengthens at the same time.  After a good workout, either in a class or on dvd, I feel worked and rejuvenated.  I can do a good Pilates workout in around 30 minutes and barely break a sweat.  What’s that you say?  How good can a workout be if you don’t break a sweat?  Well, I took a 45-minute class yesterday that saw nary a glisten on my forehead, and today my obliques, thighs, and abs are sore.

Winsor Pilates is my favorite, but there are plenty of others. I like the Circle Workout.

Once I’ve worked in a few Pilates sessions (my goal is 3 a week, but usually I only get in 2), I feel really good about doing 2-3 cardio sessions (30 minutes, tops, of jogging, doing the elliptical or rowing) and calling it a week.  Pilates works my muscles.  Cardio works my heart and lungs. Done.

I realize that doesn’t seem like much.  (I watch Biggest Loser so I know what people think you have to do to lose weight.)  But, if I continue this plan for years and years, I’ll see all the results I want.  I’ll be 50 in 2023.  I want to look like someone who has exercised her whole life, not someone who worked really hard for a few months until she twisted her ankle or until her son started playing baseball or until whatever else pops up in the next few months and years that would keep me from exercising.  A manageable amount over a long period of time.  That’s my plan, and Pilates fits it perfectly.


4 responses to this post.

  1. I have enjoyed reading your blog, so I am nominating you for the Versatile Blogger Award!




  2. i find that if i don’t work out, i spend so much of the time i spend with my kids being distracted that i haven’t worked out. so i like to just punch the workout out, check it off my list, and get on with the business of being a working mom. that said, i no longer work out seven days a week; 3-4 times a week and i feel ok. also, the older i get, the less i notice my workouts making a difference, so i’m trying to focus more on my diet. getting old is so fun.


    • Me too. There’s this young guy at the office that works out 2 hours a day, 6 days a week. He’s always giving me advice about how I can get more motivated or try new things. What he doesn’t realize is that I don’t want to! 30 min a few times a week is good enough.


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