Moms have busy schedules! With the ever-present tasks of dressing, feeding, cleaning, tutoring, doctoring, playing and loving… who has time for exercising? All too often the very important task of staying fit gets pushed to the bottom of my priority list. How can I teach Kaitlyn to lead a fit life if I’m not making it a priority myself?

The only way for me to make it a priority is to carefully choose a true “motivator.” It could be a specific weight-loss goal, athletic event, or even a friendly competition among family, but I find that if I have a concrete goal in mind, I can prioritize my time to make it happen. When it comes right down to it, we have time for whatever we make time for. Just going at it willy-nilly by putting “get in shape” on my to-do list has never really worked for me.

In the last few years, I decided that I wanted to become a runner. A couple years back, my brother and sister-in-law convinced me to sign up for a race. It was only a 5K race, but for someone who hadn’t done any real training before, it was a big enough challenge for me. At first I just ran around our neighborhood. It was tricky to find a time to do it because often my husband would leave for work before the sun came up and not come home until dinner or bedtime. I didn’t want to join a gym because I didn’t think I had the discipline to go regularly and make it worth the monthly fee. (I also didn’t feel comfortable leaving my kids with the childcare in the gym.)

I had to figure out a way to exercise that would really work with my life, and I ended up buying a treadmill. This was the ticket for me! I could run anytime I felt like it, and I didn’t have to worry about finding a babysitter, loading the kids in a jogging stroller or waiting until my husband was home to watch them. I became so excited about running! I trained for my race just about every day. When race day came, I was ready and ended up doing better than I thought I would. It was a successful and positive experience, and when it was over, I was anxious to sign up for another event.

I think the key to finding time for fitness is to figure out what motivates you best. Whether it be reaching a healthy weight, improving your mile time, or getting ready for a backpacking trip, figure out what will motivate you to put exercise on the priority list and figure out how to make it work with your lifestyle. You don’t have to buy expensive exercise equipment or a gym membership or make any extreme changes to your schedule.

I still remember being just out of college with a new baby and a tiny apartment. I wanted to lose that baby weight so badly that I would do jumping jacks and run up and down the stairs in our little apartment. All you have to do is figure out what motivates you and how to make it happen, then go for it!


Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the “typical” experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.

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