Balancing health aspirations with family commitments often hinges on discerning between reasons vs. barriers. Join us in exploring this delicate equilibrium and uncovering strategies for a harmonious approach to wellness.
Reasons vs. Barriers
Why are your health and wellness goals important to you?
I want to get on the floor and play with my grandkids.
I want to dance at my daughter’s wedding.
I’m going on vacation and want to keep up with my family.
What has prevented you from exercising this week?
I’ve been driving my kids to sports and activities.
I’m caring for an aging parent.
I’m home with a sick child.
For many of us, the people we love are both the reason we want to be healthy and the barrier to making meaningful lifestyle change. We want to live healthy, vibrant lives that we can share with the people we love. At the same time, these loved ones keep us so busy that it can feel impossible to add another thing onto an already overloaded schedule! Is it actually possible to do both? It is, but it requires some creativity and planning! Here are some ideas:
Goals and Self-Talk
Even the most motivated people have days when they don’t want to exercise. We can’t rely on motivation alone when we’re creating new habits. Keeping your goals in front of you can help to create consistency. Consider writing them out or finding a picture that represents your goals and hanging it where you can see it. Take notice of your self-talk around your exercise routine. The next time you catch yourself saying “I don’t want to exercise.” try substituting the word “exercise” for the goal it represents, and see if the sentence is still true. “I don’t want to be strong enough to play with my grandchildren.” “I don’t want to dance at my daughter’s wedding.” Clearly this is not true. Bringing the focus back to your goals will help you to keep making the choices necessary to achieve them.
Take Your Workout to Go
Baseball tournaments, doctor’s appointments, sick family members: there can be many valid reasons why it is challenging to fit in exercise. It may be difficult, but it’s not impossible! When things are busy, be on the lookout for opportunities to add movement. Taking an extra walk can make a big difference. A 12-inch loop resistance band is a packable and versatile workout tool. If you have a 20 minute break you can do 2-3 sets of 8-10 reps for a full body workout. You could also break it up into smaller pieces. Take the exercises two at a time and work them in during your breaks.
Here are some exercise ideas to get you started:
- Chest Press
- Low Row
- Shoulder Press
- Bicep Curl
- Tricep Extension
- Lateral Leg Raise
- Glute Press
- Step out Squat
All of these exercises can be done in a small space and a short amount of time. At first it might feel strange to exercise away from a home or gym environment. The next time you’re in an airport, waiting room, or all day sporting event, watch the people around you. You’ll see them scrolling their phones, knitting, reading, coloring, arguing with their children, etc. Doing a few exercises to prioritize your health and wellbeing is not that strange! You might even find someone who wants to join you!
Try Something New
Does your spouse love to dance? Best friend can’t play pickleball enough? Do you have a kid who wants to ride bikes all day? Tag along! Maybe none of the activities that your friends and family love appeal to you, but you might change your mind if you give it a try. At the very worst, you’ll get some exercise in, try something new, and spend some time with someone you care about! Challenge yourself to say “yes” to trying something that you normally wouldn’t try, and see what happens!
Stay focused on your goals, be practical and plan ahead, and don’t be afraid to try something new. The people you love can either be your reason for making meaningful changes or the barriers to your health and well-being: you decide.