For most of my adult life I've been exercising, on and off, and up until the last few years it's been fairly easy to find the time to do so.
And then came the kids.
How to find the time to exercise without robbing myself of family time, or feeling guilty about it? On top of that I just can't get out as much now as I'm, often, the one left holding the baby (quite literally)!
On most weekdays, I get home and play with the kids for a bit, give them their milk, make sure they brush their teeth and put them to bed. By this time, it's usually 8pm and I'm too hungry and tired to consider exercising.
So what to do?
The only realistic way is to try and build exercise into my daily routine. Here's how I have made it work for me:
1) Walk from Waterloo to the City every morning (and sometimes back in the evenings)
This only takes 30 minutes when walking quickly and is much more enjoyable than the packed Waterloo & City Line! (and only 5-10 minutes longer).
2) Stairway to heaven - hopefully not literally...
I work in a building with 36 floors, which I use to my advantage. I walk up and down the 36 sets of stairs, once a week, at lunchtime. Three times and two steps at a time. Surprisingly, I haven't bumped into anyone else doing this, but have passed a few people, with raised eyebrows, in the stairwell!
3) Disabled toilet workout
Twice a week I use the (very clean!) disabled toilet to do push-ups and twice a week I use it to do sit-ups. Yes, yes I know this might sound a little crazy, but is it any more crazy than going outside and inhaling tobacco smoke several times a day? The tricky part is finding plausible explanations when I'm caught walking back to my desk out of breath…
4) Mid-week run
On Wednesdays, I have a half day and get home at lunchtime. Before I do the school run, I often go for a short jog.
5) Saturday swim
Every Saturday morning, my son has a swimming lesson. While he does that, I swim for 30 minutes.
So that's how I make it work. Completely cost free and not one minute taken away from family life!
My life in recent years has been all about finding the right balance and this is another example of how it works for me!
Is there a gym in my office? No, not really, but you'd be surprised!
N.B. This blog first appeared here: http://www.cityparents.co.uk/Blog/Cityfathers/212.htm on 24 February 2015