How real women find time to exercise

Never find time to work out? Three busy Canadian moms share how they've worked walking into their jam-packed schedules

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Make it mother-daughter time

In January, my daughter complained, ‘How did we go from seeing each other every day over the holidays to not seeing each other at all?’ (She lives around the corner from me.) Meanwhile, I had the typical resolutions: I have to start exercising, I’m going to lose weight. So I said ‘Well, I’m just about to go for a walk,’ and she said ‘Pick me up.’ We now walk five times a week at 10 a.m. We do laps around the ice at the arena for half an hour. You feel like you’re letting the other person down if you can’t make it, so it’s really motivating. And we never run out of things to talk about.
– Peggy George, community volunteer and part-time babysitter for her granddaughters in Melfort, Sask.

Plan ahead

To celebrate my successful battle against breast cancer five years after I’d been diagnosed, I signed up for the Weekend to End Women’s Cancer. I’ve also participated in the CIBC Run for the Cure for six years now. I find it’s much easier to find the time to exercise when I have committed to a charity event. I figure out how often and how much I need to walk to prepare for the big walk, and then I write my long walk days into my planner. That way, I make sure to do them, and I know to prepare a meal ahead of time that I can just throw in the oven.
– Gianna Dalla Rosa works for the federal government in Toronto.

Multi-task like a PhD student mom

My daughter used to like to sleep in the stroller, so I would just walk for her entire nap. Now, at eleven months, she likes to look around. I throw the baby carrier in the stroller in case she gets fussy. You have to be flexible. The hills are incredible in Dartmouth, so I get a really good workout in. I’ll sometimes put a journal article on the top of the stroller and read – I guess that sounds weird! When I’m reading, I usually take the same route to make it easier. Before my treadmill broke, I used to make my phone calls while running. I’d call family members – they didn’t mind me huffing and puffing!
– Shannon Webb, PhD student at St. Mary’s University, N.S.