The Power MOB is a business organization I have been involved in since it's beginning stages. I blog monthly for them and this post can help many of you. Please take a read and know that we can find ways to fit in extra time to your schedule to run. Yep, we can make it happen! Cheers-Erin
Running for me is a healthy drug. Yep, I am addicted, just like I am to coffee, to my children, to my husband, to my business, friends, and a vibrant life. I am not "myself" if I can not run. I don't feel like a balanced individual and am not my most ideal person...quicker to get frustrated, quicker to feel anxious and not as patient with my children. It could be why I run, a lot.
The joy of running is that you can anywhere and everywhere, with little equipment outside of yourself and running shoes. But many of my clients are trying to figure out how to incorporate running into their lives when they are busy as Moms, business owners, partners and lovers of life. How can they adjust their schedule to make a balance of running and getting all the "to do's" done? My answer is you can't get your "to do's" done unless you have done your run. Yes it rhymes, but it is a very true statement. Every Mama can start somewhere by allowing herself the 20-60 minutes to pound the pavement either solo or pushing kids in a jogger. It makes you a better Mom.
When you are stressed and flustered, what is it you often think of doing? Outside of enjoying a glass of wine, what is it that calms you down? 90% of the time it is to exercise and feel the endorphin rush. If that is the case than why is it only 30% of the population regularly exercises? I have been trying to find the answer to that question since I graduated with my degree in Kinesiology in 1999. My focus was to work with women and developing their self esteem through athletics, and through my research I continued to find women putting their time to exercise aside as they took care of all other needs first. But WHY when women have experienced the way they feel after exercising and related to being in a better state of mind? In my opinion it is because our hearts are bigger than we can comprehend and we are all incredible in the ability to do so much for so many. Nobody informed me that the title Mom was synonymous with multitasker, but I also learned quick.
NOW running shoes WILL make their way into your life. If you just had a baby, know that running with a baby is incredibly good for them. It helps calm them down, gives them fresh air, and the movement in the jogger can feel soothing and lull them to sleep. If you have a toddler, run with them making each run an adventure. Come prepared with snacks, stickers, notepads and your singing voice. If your kids are older elementary age, invite them to come along and ride a bike while you run or go for a run before picking them up from school and meet them at school to walk home together, or walk them to school in your running clothes and make a run right after. If your kids are in high school, do not over commit and take the time to run first thing in the day before they wake up. We often think that as kids get older they need our time less, but it is during the Junior High and High School years that they need us more to be available to talk to. They may not need us physically the same, but they need us mentally. In order to be alert and available, a run can help clear the mind.
In addition to the above age related ways to incorporate a run into your day, map your schedule with a run date incorporated. Schedule it like you do any other meeting, with specific locations and directions (ie: trails, hills, course). Even if it is at 4:45 am, schedule the time to run. Highlight it in your organizer once it's done and write a little note about how you felt after. Each run write your exact time and miles, little motivators to continue to inspire you at week's end with how far you have run. For every 50 miles, put $10 in a jar for a pedicure. For every 5K or 10K race completed, put $20 in the jar. That is incentive enough for many, but it helps you track your miles and know how important it is to keep track of accomplishments.
Some days don't go as planned and on those days don't feel bad, but know that each hour, day, week and month is a new opportunity to get started and move. With work meetings, make sure to plan ahead and incorporate your run into the timeline. When you know a wild day ahead is looming, incorporate more sprint days to get your energy and nerves out. Do Stop Sign Drills, intense plyometrics, or 10K run at 5K pace to push yourself to the limit. Your body can help you be in the perfect place when challenged with tough meetings, work questions and decisions, but the hurdle is for us to acknowledge it!
Some things you can do to help incorporate runs to your workday:
Think positive- put your brain into a positive place
Powerless- if you feel powerless over your schedule, set alarms to time your exercise window and ask family members and friends to hold you accountable.
Ask the question "Is it work it?"- if it is worth it at the end of the day to feel not as alert and a bit more overwhelmed because there was no window to run/exercise than own it and know the next day is a new day. If not, than put on your running shoes and head outside to pound pavement for at least 20 minutes.
Make yourself a priority and know you have choices. Be consistent just like you are with your clients and family, and know that giving yourself permission to run will help make your life run more smoothly too. So put on your running shoes, hit the pavement and let me know how it goes. I look forward to hearing about your latest and greatest business plans that happen...when out pounding pavement. Happy trails to you...
Power MOB June MOM Strength Workout -
Can be done at home and/or in a park
3 Warm Up - jumping jacks, cross county skiing, jumping over an object, running in place
1 Minute Squat Jumps
1 Minute Mountain Climbers
1 Minute Burpees
1 Minute Reverse Jump Lunges
20 Jumping Jack Push Ups
1 Minute Plank with toe touches side to side
20 Dips on a bench/chair
1 Minute Elbow Plank Jumps
20 Diamond Push Ups
Repeat 2-3 times
For questions about any of the exercises, please email me anytime.
When not chasing after her two munchkins, running or teaching Power Fitness PDX, Erin writes for many athletic and parenting publications including CitySports, WalkAbout and Parents Magazine. Erin has a BS in Kinesiology and is ACE, NASM, ans Fit to Deliver Pre & Postnatal Certified trainer. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.powerfitnesspdx.com