Running can transform your mental and physical wellbeing, but as a busy parent finding time to exercise can be hard. Here are six top tips on how to get out the door when you feel like you have a million other things to do.
- Schedule your runs. If you plan your workouts in advance, your partner, a grandparent or childminder can be ready to care for your child. This will also make you less likely to cancel your plans. Alternatively, work out a running routine that fits in with nursery or school, which could mean running to work or during your lunch break.
- Run first thing. Early birds may wish to rise before their kids wake, which is a really satisfying way to start the day (if you can face that 5am alarm…)
- Keep it simple. Try to stick to routes that start from your front door rather than driving somewhere further from home and wasting valuable time. If the roads and tracks in your local vicinity are uninspiring, listening to an interesting podcast will make things more interesting.
- Prepare in advance. Lay out your running kit the night before, including anything you’ll take with you, like headphones, phone holder and keys. If everything is ready, you won’t eat into running time hunting for these items before you set off.
- Take your little one(s) with you. Investing in a jogging pram or pushchair can free up hours of time and allow you to train even if there’s no babysitter available. Your child can even enjoy a lovely nap while on the move.
- Stock up on supplies. If you’re a new mum who is breastfeeding, have expressed milk ready in the fridge so that your baby won’t go hungry if your run takes longer than expected. Of course you’ll need to factor in time to allow the milk to defrost so taking it out of the freezer and popping it in the fridge the night before is essential. With a bottle ready to go you won’t have to worry so much about frantic last-minute feeds during that all-important window of freedom. Find out more about safely storing expressed milk here.