In today's go, go, go world, everyone seems to be running around.

Moms and dads are running kids from place to place; they are running to the store, to work and everywhere in between.

They describe their daily activities as “juggling,” “balancing” and “stretching” — as in being stretched thin. (This may be a stretch, but you'll get the point.)

But with all these figurative uses of exercise and fitness terms, is there any running, juggling, balancing and stretching actually taking place?


As parents, fitness often takes a backseat to all of the other running around and busyness that accompanies each day. We all know that exercise is important, but fitting it in is an often daunting task and one that many just can't seem to find the time in their already busy lives to do.

How do I know this? Because I have been there many times.

As a mother of five (almost six) kids — all under the ages of 9 — I know what a difficult thing it is to find time to exercise. In my years of motherhood, I have been — at one time or another — a working mom (both out of the home and in), as well as a stay-at-home mom. There is not one role that is easier than the other; not one that requires more time and effort, and certainly not one that allows for more time than another.

Finding time to fit in fitness is not an easy thing.

However, it can be done. As a former collegiate athlete, I have found that with a few minor adjustments, it is not only possible, but it can be fun and enjoyable.

Here are some tips to get you started.

Who: That's you. Decide now that you are going to take care of you.

What do you plan on doing to stay fit? Make a list, whether it is walking, running, swimming, biking, dancing or all of the above. What do you like doing and what makes you enjoy exercise?

Where will the exercise take place? There could (and should) be many places.

When will you exercise? Look at your schedule and decide the best times. You may need to make minor adjustments to your schedule, but once you find a time that works, stick to it.

Why will you exercise? If you're like me, doing something “just because” is never enough motivation to start doing it, let alone continuing to do it. If you decide on why, it will make it that much more meaningful and long-lasting.

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How will you exercise? This is where the plan comes in. Take all of the above into account, write it all down, keep it somewhere safe and refer to it often.

As you strive to fit in fitness, it is my hope that your running around, juggling, balancing and stretching will be describing a literal event rather than a figurative exaggeration.

How do you fit it in? Email Arianne Brown your stories and questions at For more information on how she fits it all in, go to her blog at or follow her on twitter @arimom5.