A big welcome to Dustin Riechmann of Fit Marriage and Engaged Marriage, someone you should definitely meet. I bumped into Dustin when I wrote about NFP for Simple Organic last year and was immediately impressed. He just released the 15-Minute Marriage Makeover (more on that at the end), which I’m pretty excited to work through. I’m thrilled to have him visit…especially because, um…I kind of need this reminder. Ahem. Here’s Dustin:
When you love your family, it’s really easy to put them first in everything you do.
We work hard, we play with our kids, and we try our best to spend quality time with our spouse. As a Kitchen Stewardship reader, there’s a good chance you even let your love influence the way you prepare food for your family.
This is the way God wants us to lead our lives, right?
Sure Thing. But…
As a busy parent, it is so easy to put everyone’s needs ahead of your own and neglect one of the most important blessings you have – your health.
Whether you really consider your body a holy temple or not, we all like to look good and feel full of energy. It’s one of the reasons we pay so much attention to our diets and strive to eat Real Food.
It feels good to be healthy, it allows us to be there more fully for our families, and it respects the great gifts that God has given to each of us. If you follow the fantastic nutritional wisdom that Katie shares with us each day, you’re already ahead the game.
But if we only focus on our food intake, we’re missing a vital part of the wellness equation.
What About Exercise?
It’s really tough for busy couples and on-the-go parents to find the time to exercise consistently. Trust me, as a busy husband, father of three, professional engineer, active Natural Family Planning promoter, community server and podcaster who also runs two different blogs to help other busy couples have extraordinary marriages and make fitness work for them, I know what it’s like to struggle to find the time.
However, I make exercise a priority amidst all the chaos. You’ve known all of the health reasons for being fit since elementary school. But have you thought about the practical benefits that regular exercise can have in your life right now?
- Increased productivity – If you’ve ever exercised regularly, you know how much more energy you have throughout the day as a result.
- Reduced stress – Simply put, exercise relieves stress and if your days are full of busyness, you’ve probably got plenty of stressors to put at bay.
- Improved self esteem – It feels good to be fit, and there’s a real confidence that comes from shedding extra weight and making your spouse hold his glance a bit longer when you walk by.
- Deeper intimacy – In both the physical and spiritual sense, getting your fitness on-track can have a major impact on your sexual health and the connection you experience with your spouse…both inside and outside of the bedroom.
Of course, there are dozens of other reasons why you should exercise. But that doesn’t make it seem any more feasible within your crazy schedule, right? And what about your family time and the need to be responsible with your family’s finances?
Here’s How to Make Exercise Work for YOU
If you think it’s impossible to make fitness fit within the constraints of your schedule or budget, I have some suggestions for you to consider. Here are some tips for making exercise a regular part of your happy home life:
Make It Quick
When you do the right kind of workouts, you’d be amazed by the results you can get working out just 20-30 minutes per day several days a week. For a real metabolism boost, you should stick to full-body workouts mixed in with High Intensity Interval Training and your favorite cardio.
Do It First
If there’s one practical key to making exercise work as part of a busy schedule, it’s doing it early in the day. When you get your workout done before all of the distractions and mini-emergencies of the day unfold, you are much more likely to stick with your routine. Plus, starting the morning off with a quick workout really sets you up for an energetic and productive day.
Include Your Family
At Fit Marriage, we love to hear from couples who workout together and make fitness an integral part of their quality time together. However, it’s not always possible to exercise together, and some couples just don’t enjoy it (you can put my wife and me in this category actually).
Even if you don’t make it a regular practice, you should definitely include fitness as part of your family time. Some time spent chasing your kids or climbing the playground equipment (don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone) is an awesome way to get a workout and have a blast in the process!
Do It At Home
If you are tight on time and/or money, or even if you just don’t like the health club environment, you should definitely consider working out at home. When you skip the gym, you save a lot of travel and preparation time, not to mention an average of $43 per month in gym membership fees. You can definitely achieve your fitness goals in your home (without the need for a babysitter) with little or no equipment.
How many times have you started a fitness program only to fall out off the wagon and lose your motivation? It takes about 21 days to form a new habit, but getting there requires real determination and some practical tools. One of the best things you can do is tie your fitness goals to emotional reasons, and of course you need to have useful goals to begin with.
If you’d like to learn much more about these and several other keys that will let you get fit in a way that enhances your family life rather than competing with it, you can sign up for the Ready, Set, Go! Blueprints library where we’re building a growing assortment of great nutrition tips, fitness plans and motivational tools. And it’s all free.
With the right plan and the right attitude, you really can make fitness an enjoyable part of your family life. Then you can eat more of the Real Food you enjoy while staying slim and feeling fantastic!
Dustin Riechmann helps busy couples improve their fitness and rock their marriages in the process at Fit Marriage and through the Thrive90 Fitness program, which was designed specifically for busy couples and on-the-go parents. He also writes about everything from great sex to building a budget at Engaged Marriage.
Please note: From now through midday Sunday, you can take advantage of a great bundle deal on several cool resources through the Marriage, Intimacy & Fitness Super Sale!
From Katie again: You can also look for Dustin’s ebook, The 15-Minute Marriage Makeover, in the Simplify Your Family Life Super Sale starting Monday at 2:00 p.m. – you’ll find 30 ebooks, regularly worth over $450, including Healthy Snacks to Go and the Family Camping Handbook from KS, for just $47. Look for more on that here when the 4-day sale starts Monday afternoon!
Disclosure: I am an affiliate with Dustin’s program and ebooks, which mean I’ll earn a commission if you happen to buy from a link here. I only work with honorable bloggers who consistently turn out quality products, however, so nothing to worry about. Hope you enjoyed this guest post – now to drum up some good motivation (I’m hoping the rising temperatures and melting snow will do a great deal for my exercise routine…).