Crunch Time: 5 Ways to Keep Fit when You're Too Busy

Crunch Time: 5 Ways to Keep Fit when You're Too BusyCrunch Time: 5 Ways to Keep Fit when You're Too BusyThe feminist in me is ashamed to admit that I still feel guilty when I leave my family for a night or an afternoon for some 'me' time. For the longest time I didn't even consider getting back into a fitness regimen because there just weren't enough hours in the day, unless I were to actually leave my kids for a few hours.

Then I realized that I'm in this for the long-haul. I'm a mother FOR-EVAH. And, I'll have this body to live in forever. I want need to start feeling good in it again. Something tells me that in taking better care of myself; my family will be getting the best of me. Maybe I won't wake up at 40 and look in the mirror thinking, "Why did I let things go like this?" Because that sort of stuff MATTERS. Yes, I can still be a feminist and say that body weight and self-image matters.

At 35, I'm thinking about how I want to feel in my middle and old age. Not just what my body looks like. I want to lead by example to my kids and show them that exercise and healthy eating are a regular daily part of life -- to be actually enjoyed, not bemoaned.

Pulling in the reins means letting go. Here are 5 ways that I've been making the time to hit the gorgeous trails I live close to and remember what a core is.

1. Work Out at Home
You don't need a fancy gym membership to reap the benefits of having an instructor anymore. With the popularity of blogging and vlogging comes some great workout channels on YouTube that you can subscribe to. So what if the house is a mess and there's laundry to do? The daddy will make breakfast or dinner just fine on his own while I work out or go for a run. It took me some time to curate a selection that I choose from - that don't annoy the heck out of me. (There are LOTS of those). Sometimes I just do a yoga and weight/core session then go for a run. On the days that it's 20 below zero? I add in a home cardio to the list. Now all I need is to install a hot-tub in the back-yard and build a sauna in the basement. (One can dream).

2. The Tunes
There are tons of work-out play-lists surfing around the internet, but for someone who can do without main-stream pop ... it can be hard to find something that doesn't suck. I plan on making a few of my own collections, but in the meantime I found this great site and a few of the mixes don't make me want to stab my eyes out.

Related: The 5 WORST foods for weight loss

3. Take the Kids With You
I don't use the excuse of having the kids stop me from going for a run. With a double jogging stroller or bike chariot, there's really not much of an excuse. My friends, it is COLD here. The past week has blessed most of Canada with sub zero (-20) temperatures. Lots of snow. Which means bundling up my rowdy kids in lots of layers, tucking a wool blanket in around them, where pretty much all you can see are their peepers and just doing it. Pushing myself. HARD. That's a lot extra weight to push up-hill - making for a great (albeit super challenging) workout. Hooking myself up with the proper winter gear was also super important - winter running kicks, thermal pants, undershirts and lightweight yet warm and breathable coats. Do some research, talk to a pro at a sports store (like I did) and make some frugal choices. Or maybe splurge on some items from Lululemon and/or MEC (like I did) and feel great about it. Hey! You're saving all that money for a gym membership, right?

4. They'll Love the Excursion
All the fresh air will knock them out and instead of staying home whilst they tear into every single toy/puzzle/magnet/book imaginable, you'll come home to a tidy house just in time for their synchronized nap! Seriously, fresh air IS that awesome.

5. Cook Simple, Healthy, Delicious Meals
For something that doesn't sound so difficult, we all know that doing as such huge problem in North America. Avoiding pre-fab foods and dieting is a great place to start. You don't have to go all paleo or gluten free (but less gluten and sprouted, whole grain carbs is definitely a good way to go). We've opted for not buying into all of the gimmicks and just getting back to basics, coupled with good old fashioned moderation. It's not just about my own health either, it's about the choices I make for my kids and the things I am teaching them about food, fitness and body image. I shudder to think what sort of message I would be sending to my little girl (or son for that matter), if I were to be constantly dieting becasue I wasn't happy with my body. Instead, I'm just the 'crazy organic mommy, who only buys local meat,' etc., etc. I'm okay with that. I'm not saying we don't ever order pizza, but when you open my fridge or freezer there's lots of fresh and local groceries in there. Hardly any boxes.

- By Selena Burgess
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