Whether it is young children and their schedules or a full work-day of your own, or you’re juggling both work and kids, your schedule can get full and exercise falls off the schedule. Something as simple as a 15-minute run that you once enjoyed can feel like one more thing to add to the to-do list. But running shouldn’t take a backseat.
Taking time to work on you is not an extravagance or an item on a to-do-list. Your health is a priority. Running helps clear your mind from the day’s stress, it helps increase your stamina to keep up with those you take care of, and it helps build your strength for the challenges that come your way.
Teach your kids
Carving out that 15-30 minutes a day to run teaches your children important lessons. It shows them that the things you love count too. It teaches them, through example, how to live a healthier, fuller life.
Whether you strap the kids into a stroller and take them with you or take those few minutes as your alone time, the kids will notice. They’ll be better for it. And who knows? As they grow older, your kids may adopt your routine of running. Running may become a family activity that your family will share long after your kids leave your home.
Running will increase your energy level. This, in turn, will help you keep up with all of those to-dos on your calendar. If you are finding it difficult to crawl out of bed to hit the pavement, change the timing of your run to the evening or midday.
When you first start out, go slow. Pick times and routes that encourage you to keep going. Build up your stamina slowly making the activity something you look forward to every day.
Your goal can be simple or complex. Add a defined number of miles to your yearly mileage. Increase the number of runs per week. Maybe you’ve always had your heart set on participating in a marathon for a charity you support.
Write your goal down. Post it somewhere. Keep tabs on it. Celebrate the milestones as you get closer to it. Adjust the routine for inclement weather, injuries, and emergencies but do not let yourself derail from the goal. Write it on your calendar, circle it in a bright color, and mark off the days as you approach the finish line.
Pick the right gear
Set yourself up for success by making sure you are prepared. If you are taking the kids with you on your run, invest in a sturdy running stroller. Purchase proper foot support with well fitting running shoes and compression socks. If you are someone who hates to run alone, recruit a running partner to keep each other motivated. Plan ahead with healthy recovery snacks and take water with you on the run.
When you realize that your mental and physical health is essential to making sure the rest of life runs smoothly, suddenly those 15 to 30 minutes become less of a chore and more of an essential part of your day. Much like sleeping, eating, and showering.
Don’t forget to take care of you. The truth is if you think you are too busy, your priorities need to shift. Make yourself a priority; your day will be better for it.