As a parent, trying to find time to work out can make you feel like you have to choose between your family and staying in shape. Obviously family comes first (always), but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to find time to exercise. Here are some tips to stay in shape and still be the best Mom you can be:
Rise and Shine
Be honest with yourself: if you wait until the end of your day, your motivation meter is going to be at zero. It’s just not going to happen. You may not be a morning person, but by the end of the day you’ll be so exhausted between work and spending time with your family, the sweet softness of your pillow will be impossible to resist. If you’re trying to get back into a routine, the best thing you can do is to wake up a little earlier and force yourself to get a workout in. Then it’s out of the way and the rest of the day is yours for family time.
Schedule an Appointment with Yourself
As a Mom, it can be difficult to stay organized, but setting an appointment for yourself to work out will make it easier to stay on task. And don’t just put it into your calendar- map out exactly what you’re planning on doing each day. That way you’ll not only be motivated enough to get to the gym, but you also won’t waste any time trying to figure out what you’ll be doing. If there’s anything we know for sure, as a Mom, time is precious.
Include your Kids
If you find it too hard to wake up and get a whole workout in before the day starts, try including your kids in your workouts. Get a jogging stroller, play with them on the jungle gym, use them as your weight and do bridges or squats. Make it a game. Not only will it make working out fun, but it won’t make you feel like you need to choose between working out and spending time with your kids.
Sneak in Workouts
Let’s face it: some mornings are harder than others. If you don’t have the motivation to get up an hour earlier than normal, maybe get up twenty minutes or half an hour early, do a small workout, and then fit other exercises into the small windows you have every day. Do some jumping jacks or squats while your kids are having meals. If they have reading or TV time throughout the day, use those precious minutes to do some push-ups. As with all aspects of being a Mom: preparedness is key. Make sure you have a circuit ready for yourself each day so you can just jump back and forth from Mom mode to workout mode without missing a beat.
There’s an App for That
If you’re someone who needs to be pushed, but you don’t have the extra money to hire a personal trainer, guess what? There’s an app for that. If you’re a runner who is trying to get back into shape, one great app is Couch to 5K. This app gives you a pre-made workout each day, gradually increasing them in difficulty and length until you finally find yourself back in racing shape.
On the other hand, you may be someone who prefers to do something new each day. If this sounds like you, there’s an app called Sworkit which is like having a personal trainer on your phone. You can select pre-made workout plans or customize your own based on the time you have to allow and what your goals are. If you don’t feel like you have the time or expertise to research and plan out your workouts, this takes the guesswork out of it.
Treat Yo’ Self
Remember there are no “off limits” foods when it comes to watching what you eat. If you eliminate an entire food group from your diet, it’s most likely not something you can sustain for your entire life. With a little portion control, every food can fit into a healthy lifestyle.