Everyone's busy. As a working mom, I often have my days planned, every minute, from the time I wake up until at least when my son goes to sleep. By that time, my energy is spent! Since I want to make my health and fitness a priority, I plan it into that busy day. Usually that means getting up early and working out when I won't be interrupted...no matter how well-meaning, everyone in the family always seems to want something from me ...if they're awake! Working out first gives me a healthy start to my day AND gives me some time for myself. In my world of parenting and teaching, it often feels like 'give, give, give'...I do enjoy that, but only if I get the 'me-time' I really need to start my day.
Another key to fitting in my workouts is to make them short and effective. I used to go to the gym, but when I went back to work I had to look seriously at my daily schedule...just getting to and from the gym adds another 30 minutes minimum. I think 5 am is plenty early to get up, don't want to be up at 4:30! So I found some great home workout DVD programs - they're more than just one workout, they put a whole system together so I don't need a personal trainer to show me how to round out my program. The cardio program I use, called TurboFire, includes what are called High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts. This is a strategy athletes use, basically you sprint for about a minute, rest for about a minute, then repeat. It really pushes you to the next level in your workouts, helps get you past plateaus... and the best part? The HIIT workouts are shorter! Check it out:
It's advised that you do only 2 or maybe 3 HIITs per week, so I mix that up with weight training (also at home) and longer cardio workouts. I schedule the shorter HIIT workouts for days when I won't have as much time, but I still get in a super-effective workout.
One of the other important elements for me has been in finding workouts that I truly ENJOY. I don't feel tortured when I do my workouts, I feel inspired. The music is thumpin', the moves are dynamic and varied, it's actually become addicting! Because of this, I'm able to schedule my workout time as my 'me-time'. I guard it jealously and make sure it fits in somewhere.
The bottom line is that working out is a priority, a DAILY priority. I enjoy it and I know it's good for me, so I make it happen.