Tips for working out while parenting?

Hi, I am looking for practical tips and motivation please! I am a 48 yo mother of two children under 10, single parent for all practical purposes, and new in town (meaning no social support or convenient network of babysitters). I work a full time desk job. BMI 35, feeling like my age is catching up with me. By the time the kids are in bed, I feel wiped out. I wake up tired at 6:30 to get the day started all over again. I got tested for sleep apnea, didn’t have it. I truly believe it’s the weight that’s sucking the life out of me. I was on MFP two years ago, and lost 19 pounds in 6 months with no exercise, only to put it all back again.

The father of my kids is still in our lives, and a tremendous source of stress. Food has become my escape. I used to be very active, ran a marathon, danced, but then developed a labral tear in my hip. Surgeon recommends surgery, but I am scared of anesthesia for what is considered elective surgery. Walking and running are painful. PT can’t fix it. There’s no pool where I live. Yikes!

I’d like to believe others in similar situations have started from scratch and managed to get in shape. I can use all your tips and good wishes. I want to be there to see my children grow up. Give me some hope please.

Replies

  • wiigelec
    wiigelec Posts: 503 Member
    I have a squat rack and weight set in the basement. When the kids were a few years younger they went downstairs with me into the pack-and-play and watched Netflix. Did many squat reps to my little pony and transformer rescuebots...
  • midgetgrl72280
    midgetgrl72280 Posts: 27 Member
    I hit up the gym at lunch time attend eat at my desk when i get back. Just a 30-40 min workout each day and that has helped a lot. It's my ONLY time to do it.
  • isleycat
    isleycat Posts: 5 Member
    Putting the weights in the TV room is a good idea, thank you.
  • MaltedTea
    MaltedTea Posts: 6,287 Member
    Hope abounds everywhere...it's about having the energy though lol

    Do the kids have sporting activities? If so, you may want to actively watch from the sidelines (walk the track, use the bleachers as stairs, etc) instead of sitting down the entire time.

    You tried a physiotherapist (PT) but perhaps an occupational therapist (OT) can give you a different angle to attack your hip challenges.

    You got this, Mamma!
  • serindipte
    serindipte Posts: 1,557 Member
    Not sure how heavy your kids are, but I have a home daycare and use my kids as weights!
    1. Lifting them by the arms - They're dumb bells.
    2. Lying on my back, they sit on my feet and I let them 'ride the horse'.
    3. Still on my back, I flip them over my head onto a pile of blankets and pillows. This one works a ton of muscles, arms, abs, gluts, as well as legs.
    4. They also join me in yoga workouts and dancing videos.

    And just re-read your post and noticed the hip issue. May want to avoid some of what I mentioned above, but I'm leaving it here in case any others could make use of it.

    With the physical issue, start slow! Get your eating in order, weigh it, log it and watch your calorie goal. Do what exercises you're able even if it's just wandering more through the house. You may want to check out the thread about increasing NEAT. You can burn a lot of calories just by changing up little things you do on a daily basis without pushing into real exercise.
  • gearhead426hemi
    gearhead426hemi Posts: 920 Member
    Have you tried riding a bike or kayaking? My daughter did competitive gymnastics until she got compound fractures and bulging discs and similar to you a lot of walking or hiking is hard for her. We started biking and kayaking instead and she loves to do both. Get your kids involved and make fitness fun and family time all in one. You can also have your kids help with cooking and try some meal prep. Best of luck!
  • quiksylver296
    quiksylver296 Posts: 28,367 Member
    edited February 2020
    I would walk or jog on my lunch break when my kiddo was younger. It was all I could make work at the time. Luckily, my boss let me eat at my desk after. ETA: Oops, just read about the labral tear. That sucks.

    Weight loss comes down to calorie deficit. You technically don't have to workout at all to lose weight.

    http://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/1080242/a-guide-to-get-you-started-on-your-path-to-sexypants/p1
  • puffbrat
    puffbrat Posts: 2,806 Member
    I think there are lots of options for you as a parent, but it's your hip pain that is a really limiting factor. What about yoga or pilates at home? You kids can join you or entertain themselves. Or you could do it after they go to bed. Another poster suggested biking which may be an option for you as a nice family activity.

    Like a poster above, I have weight lifting equipment in my garage. Cardio is done as family activity with walks to the park, hikes, the toddler version of soccer, etc.

    One of the biggest things for you to keep in mind, that any movement will be good for you and helpful as long as it doesn't cause or exacerbate injury. You don't have to do really long or intense workouts, but even 5-10 minutes spread throughout the day helps. And for me at least, that thinking makes exercising feel less overwhelming or burdensome when I'm already exhausted and just want to collapse on the couch.
  • isleycat
    isleycat Posts: 5 Member
    puffbrat wrote: »
    One of the biggest things for you to keep in mind, that any movement will be good for you and helpful as long as it doesn't cause or exacerbate injury. You don't have to do really long or intense workouts, but even 5-10 minutes spread throughout the day helps. And for me at least, that thinking makes exercising feel less overwhelming or burdensome when I'm already exhausted and just want to collapse on the couch.

    Thank you for this affirmation, I think part of my problem is definitely an “all or nothing” mentality; if I’m not running a mile, what’s the use of walking over lunch? I’m going to try to have faith that “something is better than nothing.”
  • isleycat
    isleycat Posts: 5 Member
    Is there a YMCA near you? Many Y's have childcare that's included in your membership and it provides a place where your children can play under supervision while you work out. Also, the Y can give you an income-based monthly rate.

    I hadn’t thought about childcare while working out as an option, thank you. There’s a Y in the next town over. If my kiddos are with me, I’d feel less guilty about spending the time on exercising.
  • Blondie_130
    Blondie_130 Posts: 23 Member
    Fitness videos on YouTube together with the kids! My 10 year old niece loves this — yoga, strength training with body weight, etc.
  • dsg2000
    dsg2000 Posts: 36 Member
    Would walking or running while commuting to work be an option? It's the only way I can fit in my runs (I have a 3 yr old and 18 mo old), and it works out super well since for where I'm at it takes me approximately the same time to run as it would to take transit. Even just part way could work - like, park you car somewhere on the way to work and then walk/run from there. I find it's best to exercise in the morning, when I've got more willpower and I'm less tired, than trying to motivate myself late in the day.
  • krina01x
    krina01x Posts: 5 Member
    I am in the same situation and have just purchased a exercise bike ive been using it 30 mins a day for this week and will be doing a hour next week i do it while the kids are in bed or give them there ipads for a hour in the evening after they have dinner its working alot better than paying out for a gym membership i never seem to make it to i have also been taking them to a trampoline park once a week