family · fitness · Guest Post · Sat with Nat

Where I find the time to workout

I’ve been asked many times “Where do you find the time to workout?” so I will share my secrets with you. First though, since I don’t want to self identify as a bad feminist, I need to do my privilege check. Being busy is automatically a privilege. Friends who’ve lived in poverty/through times of unemployment remind me that having a lot of time on your hands can be a sign that things are going pretty badly. So on to how my privilege plays out around time to workout.

  • My full time job is 35 hours a week, no overtime, I flex time so my job stays neatly within that time box.
  • I can walk my commute because I can afford a place close to my work. Commuting AND exercising at the same time!
  • My teenage sons are physically and emotionally able to care for themselves unsupervised
  • My feminist partner does all the cleaning, most of the laundry and makes sure the teens do the dishes. I cook, a lot.
  • I don’t wear make-up or style my hair aside from a dab of wax. I’m that adorable.
  • I don’t dye my hair and see a barber, I think I look great just the way I am.
  • Aside from eyebrows and chin hair I don’t manage my body hair. My fluffy pits and legs say, I got better things to do!
  • I cook large batches of food, we frequently have “leftover dinner” where we heat up a variety of things
  • I don’t floss. OK that’s not about finding the time, I just don’t floss, sorry Mom!
  • My wardrobe is wash and wear so I don’t press clothes, polish shoes or take stuff to the dry cleaner
  • More and more I’m adding socializing to my workouts, both are vital to my mental health, plus that time is doing double duty!
  • I live close to my gym so I can run there for yoga class or swimming. Double duty! (it’s a theme)

So, here’s the deal. I have really low maintenance routines around my physical person. Some of it is because I’m a feminist (leg and pit hair), some because I identify as a bisexual/queer woman (short hair, no makeup), some because I try to reduce my environmental footprint (no dry-cleaning, hair dye, minimal beauty products) but a lot of my minimalist approach to myself is because I think I look just fine thank you very much. Plus my body gets me where I need to go with little advanced planning because I am able to walk and run, so the privilege is piling up.

I have an astounding support network (Hello feminist partner and low maintenance teens!). Single parents have way more care-giving time needed/ parents of younger kids/kids that need more care or have complex needs.

This isn’t to belittle the effort it takes to go on that longer ride, the pre-planning, and acknowledging the impact my training has on the rest of the family routine. In fact, where much to happen to shift in my privilege my workout is the first to go.

To be frank, I don’t always find the time. This past week is a prime example of me over committing while dealing with the consequences of procrastinating my schoolwork. I didn’t make one of the four workouts I had scheduled because I had to write papers, two papers in five days, because I hadn’t found the time to write them. So I chalk that up to a missed week and keep on trucking. It’s not like a few missed workouts derails the whole plan, it just calls for an adjustment.

So my secret is ridiculous privilege, what’s yours?

14 thoughts on “Where I find the time to workout

  1. I never realised that my fuzzy legs were a timesaver… I’m always too busy stressing over all the things I don’t get done (mostly due to mental health rather than real busy-ness) that I forget that the gift of not giving a hoot about silly things like body hair is a wonderful thing when it comes to timesaving. Thanks for reminding me.

    1. I figure it’s at least a second saved per square inch of body hair per day. We’re practically CREATING TIME ITSELF!

  2. Privilege, good luck, and many approaches similar to yours. Also, my house is well, untidy, let’s say. I’m very fortunate.

  3. Thanks for reminding us that privilege plays a large role in health and fitness. As women we suffer those imbalances, but it’s great when we have the resources, options and good luck to have supportive and positive environments. I’m lucky in this regard, too. But it is still hard sometimes to give myself permission (sometimes stern direction) to go work out when life gets so busy. But you’re right– incorporating movement into life is certainly a really good strategy.

  4. Another privilege that can be overlooked is the time used by the hidden labor of disability. This isn’t just the work involved with managing the disabled body, but the work of acquiring accommodations. Some weeks I spend hours and hours dealing with accommodations issues, which cuts into my workout time (or sleep time). I’m a huge fan of layering my workouts with other activities (walking with friends instead of catching up over a meal, reading/prepping for class during gym cardio, fitting in errands before and after gym time), but I’ve yet to figure out how to double up my workout time with fighting for accommodations time. Then again, workouts are a great release for dealing with anger and frustration generated by wealthy institutions and organizations who refuse to follow the law!

    1. That is a huge piece, advocating for accommodation and managing other supports. For example here on London if a person uses para transit you have to book 5 working days in advance. I have instant flexibility that someone using that service does not.

  5. I have an inherited privilege to stay fit: I’ve become hairfree on legs and in ‘pits with age: my hair stopped growing there. Thanks to mother’s genes. 🙂

    I have personality privilege to stay fit: I was never comfortable with driving and felt I would endanger others. So I dropped my driver’s license in my 20’s. So I MUST walk, take transit or cycle to work and to do other stuff in life. For last 3 decades.

  6. We hire a third parent. We have a live in caregiver for our kids, who are now 11 and 9. She gets them to and from school and does all the housework and laundry while they are gone.
    That way I have my evening time free to work out. Husband works out before work, when we are all still asleep.

  7. To stay fit and strong we need to do workout & for doing workout we need good time. Steroids are also helpful to get strong body, strong muscles and more.

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