17/05/2009 08:20 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

How Do You Make Time To Exercise When You Have Children?

Last year I set myself a goal that I would go to the gym 150 times (more or less 3 times a week).

I had to face up to the fact that I could no longer call the extra pounds 'baby weight', since my baby was by then starting school. I needed to get fit and shift the lard.

But with two children, a job and a house full of dust to wrangle, it was hard to fit in the time to exercise.

Yet, one way or another, I managed.

Here are some of the lessons I learned about how you can make time for exercise.

It's easy to make time for exercise if you

  • Find a form of exercise you like
    If you join a gym, spend the first month trying out all the different classes at least once, even the ones you don't expect to like. You might be surprised. I was - and now I love the kick ass moves of BodyCombat.
    It's much easier to make time for things you enjoy.
  • Tell people you're going to do it
    This takes the intention out of your head and further along the route to becoming a reality. Also, as a parent it's likely that you will need someone else to babysit when you exercise.
    So tell your partner you're going out for an evening run, so he'll to be home on time. Book that gym creche. Swap babysitting with a friend so you each get the time you need. Even better, exercise with your friend and combine jogging with gossip
  • Exercise at the times that nobody in their right mind would
    Early mornings, Christmas Eve, my birthday - I huffed and puffed through them all. It's surprising how easy it is to do that, once you've discovered the form of exercise you like. Getting fit and losing weight are long term goals, but if you have a short term goal of having fun, you'll feel the results more quickly.

Ultimately, there is no such thing as time management - we all have the same 24 hours in a day. No amount of managing will make that any more or less.

It's all about self management: the choices we make, the things we choose to say yes or no to. And every time you say yes to one thing, by implication you are saying no to something else.

What will it take for you to say yes to fitness today?