When you’re a mom, it’s easy to let anything that doesn’t have to do with taking care of your kids or home slide. Things that appear to be “just for you,” like working out, eating right and getting enough sleep often fall by the wayside as you try your best to keep up with the rigors of motherhood.
While this is natural, it isn’t something you should just accept. Taking care of you is vital, as a healthy mom is always a better mom. If you’re struggling to get in the workouts you need, try some of these simple tips. You just might find that they improve your ability to shed that baby weight you’re hanging on to and regain the muscle tone you had pre-baby.
1. Schedule It
Between soccer practices, piano recitals and trips to the supermarket, if it’s not on the schedule, it doesn’t get done. Don’t let exercise be one of those things that you just don’t do because it’s not on the massive calendar that dictates your life. Schedule in exercise time. This increases the likelihood that you actually tend to your fitness need.
2. Set Goals
Just like scheduling your workouts, setting goals is a highly effective way to make your workout plans actually become reality. Decide what you want to accomplish in terms of fitness. Maybe you just want to increase the frequency with which you work out.
If so, set a goal of working out at least three times a week. Perhaps you want to accomplish some feat of physical fitness, like running a 5k. Whatever your goal, having one can improve your chances of sticking with it.
3. Try Morning Exercise
If you’re not a morning person, the thought of getting up early just to sweat probably sounds about as appealing as finally emptying that diaper genie. While getting up early might not be fun, if you can manage it, it’s an effective way to make sure your workouts don’t get lost in the hectic scramble of your day-to-day life.
The later in the day you plan your workout, the more likely it is that it’s going to get delayed or canceled by some unexpected event or series of plans that took too long to implement.
4. Opt For Stealthy Workouts
If, despite your careful scheduling and your attempts at getting up early to work out, it’s still just not happening, try being stealthy with it. Instead of planning workouts that involve the commitment of a large block of time, acquaint yourself with smaller activities that you can do in 10 to 15 minutes.
With these simpler activities as part of your repertoire, you’ll most likely find it easier to eke out workout time. Just take any of that boring time you normally would have spent waiting and use it as impromptu workout time as well.
This may mean you’re doing a round of wall-sits while you wait for the school bell to ring or some jumping jacks while you watch the timer you have on the macaroni and cheese. You’ll still be getting your exercise in, and for that, your body will thank you.
5. Ask For Help
You don’t have to be supermom. If the rigors of your current daily requirements are preventing you from working out, you need to ask for help. Whether you turn to your spouse, a family member or a fellow mom, asking for help is nothing about which you should be ashamed.
You need to maintain your health, and if you require some additional assistance in making time to do so, that’s just fine.
6. Make The Playground Your Workout Room
Sure, the gym is great, but when you’re busy with your kiddos, it can be difficult to find time to get there. You don’t have to go to the gym to get buff, however. The playground is a great place to get your workout on.
Tackle those monkey bars and climb those ladders. Not only will you get fit, but also your kids will appreciate your active involvement in their playtime.
7. Get Your Baby Involved
If you have an infant, you probably find it difficult to set them down long enough to do your workouts. A simple solution to the problem – don’t set them down.
While you don’t want to involve your infant when you kick box or parkour, there are lots of exercises during which you can use your baby to add extra resistance. If you’re doing squats, for example, holding your little one is just as effective as holding some barbells.
8. And Get Your Kids Involved
Your baby isn’t the only one who can take part in your workout efforts. Your kids will benefit from getting active, too. By getting them involved, you can make it easier to find time to work out. If you’re a runner, make your kids runner apprentices.
While they might not be able to keep up with you typical pace, they will most likely enjoy trying and will certainly reap the health benefits associated with engaging in exercise.
9. Don’t Stress About Workout Attire
While some girls show up to the gym looking fashion show ready, with a face of make-up that indicates they are less interested in sweating and more interested in catching the eye of a ripped weightlifter, you don’t have to follow suit. You’re a confident and independent mom.
If you want to select a cutesy matching workout outfit, it’s fine, but you don’t have to. A pair of black yoga pants and a ratty tee you borrowed from your teenage daughter will work just as well as pricey workout attire.
By stressing yourself with what you’re going to wear, you create yet another barrier standing between yourself and that regular workout. Eliminating as many barriers as you can – including this one – will improve your chances of success.
10. Pack A Lunch For You, Too
If you’re always grabbing food on the go, cut it out. When you pack a lunch for your school-age kids, whip up something for yourself, too. By toting along a nutritious lunch, you can make it easier to avoid not-so-healthy choices – like stopping at the local fast food restaurant. As an added bonus, this can be a cost saving measure, giving you more money to spend on that vacation or home improvement project.
11. Get Enough Sleep
A well-rested mamma can seem like an oxymoron. Yes, being a mom naturally leads to sleep deprivation, especially when your youngsters are infants. While some periods of sleep disruption can’t be avoided, if you’re perpetually allowing yourself to miss out on your Zzzzz’s, you’re not doing yourself any favors.
Getting enough sleep is critical to maintaining both your physical and mental health. Make sleep a priority. Even if it means that basket of towels has to wait until morning before getting folded, getting to sleep on time is vital.