How To Make Time For Walking When You Really Have No Time
By Di Westaway | Founder and Chief Adventure Chick at Wild Women On Top
If one thing’s for sure, COVID-19 lockdown has created a big divide between those who have time, and those who don’t.
There are the child-free millennials, who have reached the bottom of Netflix (and Stan, Prime, iView etc), killed three sourdough starters and planted an entire balcony garden.
Then there are the parents of young kids, who are run off their feet trying to teach Year 3 maths, run a Zoom meeting, make sandwiches and keep kids entertained for 73 hours a day (that’s how many hours in a day now, right?).
It is to these people that I speak.
Because fitting in exercise when you feel like you don’t even have time to go to the loo is a real challenge. But it is possible.
Firstly, forget about ‘becoming your fittest, healthiest self’. It’s a pandemic… now is not the time to do anything drastic (unless you want to, in which case, go for it). When I talk about exercise, I mean gentle, regular walking, as a form of self-care. I mean taking 30-40 minutes a day (it doesn’t need to be every day, and it can include the kids) to fill your own cup, so you feel better.
The secret is frequency, rather than intensity. So forget about all that HIIT, spinning and burn, baby, burn. What you need is a fitness habit that’s fun with friends.
And you need to get it done before the kids wake up.
Here’s how to make it happen.
- Find a friend who also needs a bit of motivation, have a coffee and make a training plan. If you don’t have any friends who are interested, join our Wild Women Community on Facebook and connect with someone there.
- Sign up to some sort of physical challenge together, preferably for charity, that takes away the guilt you may feel for taking seven hours out of your week to exercise. I needed this, too, so we created the perfect challenge. It’s called the Stayin’ Wild Challenge and you will love it!
- Put up a habit chart on the fridge and record every day you get 10,000 steps and five minutes puffing. This will help keep you on track. (If you join our Stayin’ Wild Challenge, we’ve created this for you, too!)
- Set your alarm for 5.30am every day, have your activewear ready at the bottom of your bed and get out the front door before you have time to think. Make a plan to meet your buddy so there’s no backing out at the last minute.
- Walk somewhere green and hilly for 30 minutes, making sure you puff for at least five minutes. If this seems too easy, put some weight in your backpack so you get your bum and thighs working more.
- Be back home in time for breaky with the kids feeling fabulous.
- Diarise one night a week where you get the kids fed and bathed, get a head torch and a buddy, and go walking outside for two hours seeking out hills and nature.
- Diarise one Sunday morning a fortnight where your partner takes the kids and you go wild with the girls. Make it a three-hour hike, where you commit to a distance or a number of hills, then grab brunch afterwards. It’ll become the highlight of your week! On the alternative Sunday morning, you can take the kids while your partner has some ‘me time’.
If you’re feeling a bit blah about the WHY of exercise, remember this: walking helps your heart, buffs your butt, tones wobbly bits, increases suppleness, builds balance, reduces brooding and maximises memory. It helps with stress, mood, energy and vitality. And it’s bloody great fun.
And at the moment, we all need a bit of fun in our lives.