Saturday 28 February 2009

How I Fit In Exercise With Seven Children

Some of you have asked how I find the time for exercise when I have so many children. I intend to give an example of how I fit my exercise into my daily life by sharing today's routine on the elliptical machine. (Do not read further if toddler toilet habits gross you out.)

Ideally, all of my three youngest children would take their naps at the same time, leaving me plenty of time to exercise. Sadly, this does not happen every day. In fact, it happens quite rarely. But, ever the optimist, I still try to arrange it.

Many days, I wait until my husband gets home from work, so he can watch the three youngest kids while I exercise. This is not ideal as my evenings are very busy, and the later I leave exercising, the higher the chance that I will just say, "Sod it," and not do it at all.

So there are days when I try to fit in some exercise during my children's "nap time." Today was one of those days.

First, I had to make sure that the baby was asleep. He was. So I decided to put the other two children down for their naps. Once this was done, I got on the elliptical crosstrainer and started my exercise. My goal was to fit in an hour.

Ten minutes into my exercise, the baby started crying in the other room. I stopped the machine, wrote down my time, distance and calories burned, and then I checked on the baby. After only a few minutes of feeding, he drifted back to sleep. Great!

Back on the elliptical trainer. Twenty five more minutes passed, and then a little voice from upstairs yelled, "I pooped!" This was my three year old. She is potty trained, so when she yells this, it usually means that her poop is too soft and messy for her to wipe herself and she needs assistance. I stopped the machine, wrote down my time, distance and calories burned on it, and went upstairs. I cleaned her up and washed my hands. I took another peek at the baby to find he was still sleeping. Great!

Back on the elliptical crosstrainer. Before even starting up again, my two year old started yelling, "Mommy, I poopy!" He is not potty trained, so I had to get him out of bed, change his diaper, throw the diaper into the outside rubbish bin, and wash my hands. Then he went back into his bed. I checked on the baby again and found him still asleep. Great!

Back on the elliptical crosstrainer. Despite my two year old asking me over and over to get him different toys and to get him a drink, I kept exercising. I told him, each time, to wait until I finished exercising. I actually got the next 25 minutes of exercise done, partly because it's Saturday and my husband, who had been out running errands, came home and helped out with the younger three while I finished the last ten minutes of my workout.

Easy, right?


  1. So... what is "sod it"? Is that like forget it? he he he... it cracked me up :)

  2. LOL! You got it right. I'm in the UK, and it's a pretty common phrase here. :)

  3. Hey, Becky. Seems like I ought to have time to exercise if you can do it with all the little ones around. :)

    The only thing holding me back is me. "Oh, I need to get this web page done." yeah, yeah. Excuses, excuses.

    Congrats on all your hard work paying off!


  4. good for you for sticking with it! my little ones always derail my exercise plan as well, i finally had to join a gym just so I could get an hour of peace!

  5. Wow. Major props to you! I don't know what I would do with that many distractions.

    Btw, your kids sound adorable ^_~

  6. ID LOVE LOVE an article on that for MizMag.
    swing by today if you have a moment.

    Im so impressed.


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