Is Working Out a Privilege?


Recently, CT Working Moms started a new initiative, Working Moms on the Move, an online forum for working moms to motivate one another to work out, hear what busy moms are doing to fit exercise into their lives and feel empowered to take care of ourselves while taking care of our families.  The support and motivation I’ve experienced has truly been amazing and keeps me getting up at 5:40 to do workout videos and runs! If you aren’t participating already, you should really consider signing up!

Another thing that this online community of women has done is caused me to question if exercise is a privilege.  I never thought about exercise as a privilege before, but having the time to exercise, or a safe community within which to exercise, or the money to pay for a gym membership or pay for classes is a privilege that not all working moms have access to.

I feel extremely fortunate.  I have a 10 minute commute and my childcare is 5 minutes from my work. I live in a town where I can leave my door and run on sidewalks typically passing between 6-12 runners at 6am in the morning.  I can purchase workout videos and have a place in my home where I can do them comfortably.  I’m married, so when I leave the house to go on my run I have a supportive partner at home to care for my kids.  All of these things afford me the opportunity to workout and take care of myself, body and mind.

For many working moms, finding the time and space to workout is incredibly difficult.  I wish this were different and I wish I had the solution, but I don’t. I can however offer, at $5 a month, a community of hard working moms doing the best they can to take care of their families and themselves. Working Moms on the Move is a place for working moms to brainstorm ways to fit fitness and healthy eating into their lives. It’s done wonders for me and I hope it can do the same for you!


13 comments on “Is Working Out a Privilege?”

  1. i just wanted to show my support for this blog entry, what a thought provoking topic; excersize as priveledge, guilt associated with taking time out for our own well being even if it means time away from kids, the role a supportive spouse plays. I also can’t help but wonder if this were a conversation among working men / dads, in what ways may the feedback be similar / different. This post is another reason why I am so glad I found this blog. And on that note, I am going for a walk on my lunchbreak today becasue I can, I am worth it, and it’s free!

  2. What a great topic. I struggle with this issue. I understand the perspective that working out could be viewed as a privledge, but I have issues with it. Working out keeps me healthy, helps me sleep, provides me with more energy, and sets a good example for my daughters. It’s kind of like eating vegetables and brushing your teeth, it’s healthy and good for you. So, why should I feel priveledged that I manage to fit in the time to work out? The Wall Street Journal recently ran a two page story on Moms who are super fit and the title was, “Don’t hate them because they are fit!”–it was a great read, but it definitely made working out seem like ‘girls night out’ or a mini vacation. I will fully admit this, I am able to work out because my husband helps me to find the time, and for that I am very appreciative.

    1. Thanks for the comment. I know exactly where you’re coming from because that’s exactly where I was coming from, but in keeping with your example some people don’t have access to fresh vegetables either. Working out definitely shouldn’t be a privilege… I’m looking forward to reading the article.

  3. I think it can be considered a privilege in the sense that things like health clubs, home gym equipment, and sometimes even a pair of shoes can be costly for some people with financial difficulties. But when I think of working out as a privilege, I think of the time that goes into it and how it takes a lot of support to be able to fit an effective workout into a busy schedule. I used to get so annoyed when I would complain that I had no time to exercise, and people would say things like “get up early” or “go running outside so you don’t need to drive to the gym.” I barely get enough sleep as it is, and my fallen arches mean no more high-impact cardio like running. It’s just not that easy. I have a friend who is always doing those crazy races where you need to carry around bricks and crawl through mud and crap, and I’m like, how do you find time to train for these things, number one, and number two, what kind of masochist are you to actually take joy in that crap, lol. But that’s me … some people looooove exercise … I see it as a means to an end. You would never believe that once upon a time I was 16 and skinny and on the cross country team at high school. Life got … hard … and in adulthood my attitude toward exercise has totally tanked. I think I’m the only person I know who can finish a workout and feel horrible about it immediately after (because I should have worked harder, didn’t burn enough calories, can’t eat for the rest of the day, etc.). Whoa, getting a bit off topic … I guess this is an emotional subject for me! But yes, I do see it as a privilege, especially when we’re talking marathon training and not just the basic exercise needed for health.

    1. I definitely was one of the people you’re talking about…questioning how people couldn’t fit it in. That was, until I joined the CT Working Moms on the Move. It really opened my eyes to how challenging it can be to find the time, space and money. As for your negative feelings once you finish a workout…you need to nip that in the bud. Celebrate what you do and who you are and try taking it one day at a time. Glad this post sparked something!

  4. I have a hard time working out because of my husband’s work schedule (he leaves for work after I do, but gets home at 7:30 PM). It’s very challenging to go after work because I have to do daycare pickup and cook dinner every weeknight; if I go into work early, have no errands to run after work, AND nothing keeps me at the office I can go run for a half hour at the Y before I pick up our 2 year old. Likewise if I plan ahead I can get to the gym to swim or lift before work but it requires prepping the night before so I can get out the door at 6 AM. It’s only in the last 6 months or so that I’ve been able to make any time to work out regularly and I have to make it a priority or it just doesn’t happen.

    1. I’m with you on it being challenging after work…I’m just so exhausted by that time and just want to be with the kids. It certainly takes time to make working out a regular occurrence in the daily routine. And then still there are days where the need for some extra rest overpowers my desire to workout! Keep up the good work!

  5. working out IS a privilege for me. i work very demanding hours and have a husband who takes care of a lot in our home – all the garden, grocery shopping, cooking, etc.i feel super guilty, you know that mom guilt, to ask hubby to watch our daughter while i work out. instead i try my best to get up early before my daughter to run or i run on my lunch break on days she’s not home with me since i work from home. if i didn’t work from home, i’d probably never be able to work out.

    1. I hear you on the mom guilt… Knowing that you’re doing the best you can is sometimes all you have and need. Keep up the good work…in all areas of your life!

  6. Has anyone thought of doing a fundraiser with a gym chain in the area like Planet Fintness/ Child care facilities to raise money to provide moms in need with help paying for child care or possibly getting a gym to give discounts to new mommys ?

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