Fitting in fitness One mom considers her options

Facebook’s former director of market development, Randi Zuckerberg, once tweeted, “The entrepreneur’s dilemma: Maintaining friendships. Building a great company. Spending time w/family. Staying fit. Getting sleep. Pick 3.”

I wonder how many others identified with her words; they definitely ring true for me.

Spending time with my family is number one and has not budged at all over the years since I became a mom. I will always find time to read to my kids, go to their events, play a game of hide and seek and sit with them while they work on homework. My second time grabber would have to be work — many households nowadays need two incomes and ours is no different.

Those two picks have gone unchanged throughout the years, yet my third seems to switch a lot. Sleep became a major priority when my kids were babies and toddlers because, quite frankly, I never got it. Now, they are — knock on wood — sleeping through the night, so I don’t prioritize it as much.

When my kids were preschool-aged, I made a lot of really great mom friends, who were greatly needed as most of my college and high school friends now live across the country. My mom friends and I would often meet up for play dates, text each other and sometimes gather for an event. Now that our kids are school-aged, I rarely see them due to our conflicting schedules.

That leaves staying fit. Ugh. So according to the National Institute of Health’s Ideal Height & Weight chart, I am OK and safely in the recommended guidelines. I do stay active running my kids around to multiple activities and walking my dog for about 30 minutes a day, but I don’t think I am in shape. There just never seems to be enough time.

Recently, I decided to start looking for a class that would fit my hectic schedule. I was shocked at how many options are out there for adults looking to get fit.

Gyms are the go-to place for classes and you will find plenty in the area, like Brick Bodies, Planet Fitness and Merritt Clubs. There are also gyms dedicated to certain workouts or clientele, such as Miss FIT, which is a women-focused facility; Alternative Routes, which zeroes in on parkour ninja warrior and martial arts; and Knockout Fitness, which targets those who enjoy boxing.

For some families, gyms can be cost prohibitive. An alternative? Area hospitals, which also offer adult fitness classes: LifeBridge Health & Fitness presents more than 110 group exercise classes at their 70,000-square-foot facility in Pikesville. University of Maryland’s Baltimore-Washington Medical Center has 10-week and holiday mini sessions at multiple locations for those of any age and fitness level.

Another great venue is exercise classes through your county government’s parks and recreations department. Many offer yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, barre, kick boxing and total body fitness, just to name a few classes.

I ended up signing up for a 10-week strength training class through my daughter’s dance/fitness studio, which is another great option for people to consider when looking for a place. I like the instructors there and the small, family-friendly atmosphere.

On the first night, quite frankly, I was nervous. I haven’t been in a fitness class since I was in high school. I even messaged the instructor to ask if I would be the oldest. I found out all the women were around my age, which made me extremely happy.

I was pleasantly surprised by the class. We did a total body workout, but I was able to keep up and I felt great afterward. The next day, I wasn’t too sore and I am actually looking forward to the next class. Plus, it felt great to do something for myself. Most of us moms never do.

While two of my priorities always stay the same, for now, exercise is going to be my third choice.



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