I don’t know about you, but I often have grandiose dreams about the exercise goals I can accomplish. Then reality sets in and I have to acknowledge I am a mother of four – two of whom are small. And I don’t have a gym membership.

Even so, physical fitness is important to me. When I don’t find a way to wedge it into my days, I get grouchy, stressed, and depending on the day ansty. If I’ve established any sort of exercise routine, my body lets me know that it appreciates the chance to let off steam. So what’s a homeschooling mom to do?

Over the years, I’ve had to get creative:

  • For a wonderful season, I met twice a week with a neighbor to do Body Pump while her girls napped. We’d turn her basement into our personal gym and push our bodies while connecting and fellowshipping. Then she moved. I still haven’t recovered!
  • I’ve trained for the Indianapolis 500 mini-marathon. There is nothing like knowing you will run 13.1 miles the first weekend in May to make this girl get on the treadmill or outdoors to run the miles necessary to not fall on my face. After the first year, I’ve made it my goal to run a little faster each time. I’ve taken years off when I was pregnant or had a small infant (my husband makes such crazy requests!), but it’s a great way to push my body and fitness levels at a time of year I just want to curl up with a good book. Did I mention I’ve learned how to read while running?
  • I’ve invested in exercise DVDs. Because gyms don’t work for me at this season, I decided last year to take a small fraction of a gym membership and buy an assortment of workout DVDs. That’s meant some Jillian Michaels, a couple Denise Austin, and a few Turbo Jam. The result is that I have an assortment to choose from: everything from Jazzercise to yoga or Pilates. If I only have 25 minutes, I have a video for that. If I don’t want to sweat, I have a video for that. What I don’t have is an excuse not to exercise.
  • Now that my children are getting older, I’ve incorporated family walks and bike rides into our schedule.  I could do more with this, but it’s another way to model a lifestyle of fitness.

How do you find time to exercise? Any tips you can share?