Mommy Miles: Ways You Can Incorporate Running into a Busy Schedule

Between caring for the kids, chores, work demands, school and all the rest, who has time to fit in a run? As mothers we tend to put our own needs last where eventually they just get forgotten. I’m calling on all of my fellow running moms out there to make your health and happiness a priority because let’s be honest, a happy, healthy mom leads to a happier, healthier home. Logging in some Mommy Miles each week is a great way to begin, and here are some tips to make that happen:

1. Sunrise Sweat Sesh: Choose one day each week to get up early, before the kids wake up, so you can run while dad is home. I love watching the world awaken as the sun rises. The morning stillness allows me to hear the birds chirp, dew falling from trees, and even my own thoughts! If safety is a concern, fear not by preparing yourself with added security measures to keep your mind at ease. I wear my FlipBelt to keep my phone close by comfortably and a headlamp provides extra visibility to prevent me from falling on my face.  Lastly, as an extra measure of solace for protection against wild animals or that creepy stranger, I make sure to carry pepper spray.

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2. Buddy Relay: Create a scheduled appointment each week with another mommy friend for what my kids call, “a sweaty switcheroo.” You watch her kids while she goes on a run and then she’ll pass the baton to you and watch yours. Win-win for both mommies, and the kids who get a play date.

3. Treadmill Trot: Schedule one day a week for a treadmill workout either at the gym or at home.  Most gyms have a pretty inexpensive childcare facility and some gym memberships get waived if you work the child care for a couple of hours each week. If you have your own treadmill, lay out Legos or drawing activities that you only put out on your treadmill day so the kids are entertained while you run. I like to add in some speed or incline intervals to prevent boredom and break up the monotony. Plus, by applying high-intensity principles to your next treadmill workout, you can increase the amount of fat you’re burning per session – in far less time.

Check out these Treadmill Workouts from Runner’s World

4. Family Fitness: Go to your local high school, college campus, soccer field, park, or beach. Have a contest to see how many laps each family member can do each week and then offer up some prizes at the end of the month for everyone’s success. If your partner isn’t a runner, there are usually stadium steps or pull up/dip bars near by where they can create their own workout. As an incentive, I bring my favorite running fuel (gel, blocks, or bars) so my kids feel like a training champ by getting to have one of “Mommy’s running snacks” during their workout. Modeling an active lifestyle for your children is priceless.

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5. Werk it at Work: Take a look at your week ahead and plan a day where you can run on your lunch break. When I don’t have any meetings on the calendar, I pack my own lunch to eat at my desk and instead make my lunch hour into my run hour. Luckily I have access to a shower at my workplace, but on days when I don’t have time, Action Wipes are a simple and quick solution to get me through the rest of the day.

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6. Kid Canter: Run with the kids. If your kids are old enough, they can accompany you while riding their bikes. This makes for some great mommy/kiddo bonding time and displays the value of physical activity. With young children, a jog stroller lends itself to some intense training because it’s really hard pushing around all that extra weight. Once you become stronger at running with the stroller, try upping your game by jogging along a hillier route. Carrie Barrett, a USAT-certified coach at Austin Aquatics and Sports Academy points out, “These short bursts of effort increase muscular endurance by improving neuromuscular responsiveness.” As busy moms, sometimes all there’s time for is a short workout, so why not get more bang for your buck. You go, Mama!

When Mommy is healthy and happy, it creates a better environment for the whole family. Fitting fitness into a long list of to-dos is hard, and it’s all too easy to push exercise to the very bottom of that list. With a little forethought and planning though, it can become a fun part of everyone’s schedule.  Don’t let 2017 run you, get in those Mommy Miles and make it a happy new year.

Jenny is a marathon mom in every sense of the word. Not only does she run marathons, but she is constantly running around with her two kids, helping to teach them the value of an active lifestyle.

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