We lead busy lives and it’s a daily struggle to find the time to do all we need to do (pay the bills, eat, sleep, pay taxes) let alone carve out some time for what we want to do (spend time with the family, workout, get my nails done). In an effort to accomplish more in a day, I try to multitask.
For instance, my son loves the beach, so while he’s playing in the sand, I workout. As if my cyclist tan lines weren’t drawing enough attention, I do lunges, push-ups, and core work around the area he plays. While this doesn’t compare with getting in the gym to load up the bars, it’s still beneficial to my cycling, and in many ways, to my mental attitude.
Changing things up helps break the monotony of going to the gym to do the same work out, using the same equipment, staring at the same people who are usually staring at themselves. (Don’t they know they can do that in the privacy of their own home like I do?) After several weeks, I’d rather stab my eye with a pencil than go to another indoor workout. I can tell you from experience that changing my workouts from time to time produces physical gains and renews my motivation, both of which lead to better performance.
In addition to what I accomplish for my fitness and motivation, it’s fun to be at the beach, play in the sand, and embarrass my family in new ways. (How many moms do you see making sand angles?) Once I let go of trying to keep sand off of everything, it’s a lot of fun! It reminds me of when I was a child and played with abandon, the way my son plays now. Besides, there’s nothing at the beach that can’t be washed off by playing in the surf (more fun!).
When my son sees me doing all of this, he sometimes joins in. He knows what lunges, push-ups, and “guns” are (we’re still working on “quadtastic”). He is learning at a young age that being active is fun and will sometimes allow me to lunge while carrying him piggy-back style. A wiggly 4 year-old adds resistance for the legs as well as engages more of the abs!
Plus, workouts often stimulate conversation with him that I’d never think to have at this age. “Mom, why do you do that?” he’ll ask.
“To keep my muscles and bones strong,” I answer.
He comes back with, “Strong bones?” while making his sideways inquisitive face.
So, I begin explaining osteoporosis. His eyes glaze over and he literally picks his butt. Two days later, though, he’ll ask me to tell him what ostrich osis is again. When I tell him and remind him we talked about it at the beach, his reply is, “Can we just go to the gym next time?”
Not only did I get to workout, spend time with my son, teach him something, and get new tan lines, but I also have a more cooperative kid! THAT’s multitasking at it’s best!
So, if you have kids, use them (this isn’t something I should need to tell parents, we use our kids all the time). If you don’t have your own rugrats, borrow someone else’s, but ask first.