Parents — Fitness in Your Life

The Routine 

Parents, if you’re anything like me when I had small children, your day goes something like this.

6:00 – get up, get self-ready for work

7:00 – wake kids, get them ready for daycare

7:30 – maybe get breakfast into some or all of us if the kids found their favourite clothes and got dressed willingly and quickly

7:45 – out the door, daycare drop off

8:00 – make it work on time if the kids found their friends at daycare and managed a quick good-bye.  otherwise, late for work

12:00 – try to squeeze in a quick fast food lunch unless I need to catch up on work I missed by being late

5:00 – finish up work and speed to daycare to get kids

5:30 – pick up kids, usually one of the last parents

6:00 – arrive home and check if there are any groceries in the fridge.  Finding none, make KD or order pizza or both depending on whether the kids can agree on dinner.

7:00 – help kids with homework and/or do own work to prepare for tomorrow while at the same time throwing in a load of laundry, so favourite clothes are clean and available tomorrow morning thereby avoiding this morning’s debacle.

8:00 – get kids ready for bed, ensuring they actually brush teeth and not just swish with toothpaste

8:30 read bed time stories to kids

9:00 fall exhausted into bed

Repeat Monday – Friday unless you are blessed with a long weekend.

Weekends – depends on whether it is soccer, lacrosse or football season (sub in hockey, ringette, gymnastics or whatever other organized group activities your kids agree to participate in).


Does this sound like your life!!


Where in the heck do, I find motivation to exercise?  And I hear the mountains calling?  Will I ever find time to get back to the blissful, therapeutic calm of nature?

Fitting It In

Cardio Time

When my kids were babies, I was fortunate to have a jogging stroller.  Not only did the big wheels make it easier to get out for a jog with baby strapped in and napping, they also rolled easily over snow, so winter walks and jogs became routine.

When my kids were in school, I decided to train for a half marathon.  Weekdays, I’d get up at 5:30 and go for quick run.  When they were too big for the baby jogger, I’d do my longer weekend runs in the neighbourhood.  I could leave the kids alone for up to 15 minutes, set up in front of the TV with their breakfast cereal.

Store your home gym equipment where it's easy to access.

I’d do 2 km laps, stopping in at the house after every lap to see how everything was going with them.

The treadmill also helped a lot.  It was a big investment but has been worth every penny.  In the winter time, or when I didn’t feel comfortable leaving the kids alone for even a 2 km lap, I could get my runs done on the treadmill.  I’ve used it regularly for over 10 years, it’s more than paid for itself.

Strength Building Time

Incorporating strength training into my routine became easier once I started buying a few small pieces of gear for a home gym.  Initially a few light dumbbells, a set of 3 lb, 5 lb and 8 lb, allowed me to expand my strength training beyond the body weight exercises such as push-ups, planks, bridges, step-ups and lunges.  A pull up bar is also useful, not just for pull ups but hanging leg raises and later on ice ax hangs.  Over time, I’ve added resistance bands, 10 lb dumbbells, ankle weights, a hang board and a weight bench.  I can do almost every gym strength exercise at home now, without leaving the kids alone or with a sitter.


Feeling the Results

Feeling fit helped me to get out to the mountains.  There were days when my kids spent a Saturday with a baby sitter while I climbed in the mountains.  My fitness made it easier and more enjoyable to fit the mountains into my life.  A baby carrier helped me do short hikes when my first born was little.  When the kids got older, I could take them for longer hikes and even up mountains.  My fitness helped me to help them out there, made me more confident going out with them. This effort to fitting fitness into my life has helped my kids find a love for the outdoors as well.

There are so many ways to fit fitness into your busy life.  It just takes a bit of planning, perhaps a small investment and a willingness to pause your workout when the kids need you, as well as the motivation to get back to it once their needs are met.

And if you’re looking for a fitness program with workouts you can do at home, check out our Training Programs page.  We can customize a program for your fitness level and your schedule.

If you’re in the Calgary or Canmore area and would like your very own personal trainer to come to your home and train you there, look no further than Paula Macdonald.  For more information, e-mail her at




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