Workout, Interrupted

crying kids

Sometimes duty calls in the middle of a workout. Credit: D Sharon Pruitt

As I’ve mentioned, child care was a hugely important factor in joining my new gym. I knew that my daughter would likely take some time to adjust to the child care situation, but I didn’t really anticipate that it would take over a month of pretty consistent drop-offs without seeing a ton of improvement.

While we’re working through this adjustment phase, I’ve been fitting in 15- to 20-minute workout sessions so that my daughter knows I’ll be back soon. That means fitting in the most intense workout in the shortest amount of time possible.

The child care staff, all of whom have been great during my daughter’s tears, will hunt down parents if a child can’t be comforted or distracted within 10 minutes or so. So, during one of my personal training sessions, I heard my name called over the intercom and had to take a timeout to run down to the child care center. Luckily, my daughter was able to be reassured and I managed to pry myself away to finish the workout. Another time, the first time I took a Zumba class at the gym, I was busy getting my groove on when in pops one of the child care staff members, holding up a sign, with my name on it. I called it quits, glad I got at least 25 minutes of a cardio workout.

So my sweat sessions have been short and sweet, but it reminds me that anything is better than nothing. And I really am seeing a difference in my strength and cardio, even with such short workouts. Maybe it’s a good thing, and it’s helping me break back into my workouts a little more slowly and steadily than I would have otherwise. Or maybe the purpose is for me to learn how to maximize a teeny-tiny amount of time. But like any life change for the better, we’re sticking with it, and eventually she’ll adjust. And maybe I’ll get that full hour of Zumba, eventually!

How do you maximize your time when you know you’ve only got a few minutes to work out? —Erin

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  1. Ivori says:

    I maximize my time a couple of different ways; doing squats while brushing my teeth, calf raises while washing dishes, ETC

    I do not workout for 1 hour straight; being a Mom, you’re going to be needed WAY before an hour is up. I like to workout in 10, 15, 20 or 30 minute segments.

    I also love Blogilates and the immense variety of workout video on YouTube.

  2. I had the same issue when my daughter was little and I started her out in the gym childcare. It seemed like whenever I got my sweat going, I’d be buzzed (we had beepers – so fancy!). I got to where I’d do whatever was most important, first. If I needed to lift, I’d start there – I’d sacrifice warmup and just get at it (and really, isn’t lugging your toddler in and out of the car, into the gym, unsuiting her and settling her warmup enough?). It took her a couple of months to get acclimated, but it felt like FOREVER that I waited . . . hang in there! If it were me, now, I’d do HIIT so that I’d be getting cardio and some muscle work in all at once . . . 20 minutes of Tabata and you’d definitely sizzle some cals. and feel energized.