Guest Blogger: Julie Morris
Moms have so much on their plates. When you’re juggling tasks like working, carpooling, cleaning, and cooking for the family, it can seem impossible to exercise regularly. If you finally have time to yourself, heading to the gym could be the last thing you want to do. We understand, and that is why we have compiled a list of our favorite fitness tips for busy moms just like you.
Don’t worry about what you look like.
Brightly-colored, striped capris? An oversized T-shirt that is 15 years old? Socks that don’t match? Who cares! Sometimes you just have to start exercising in whatever you are wearing. If you are cleaning and suddenly find time to hit the gym, don’t worry about changing. No one is judging you! If anything, people are inspired that you are out exercising. If you are working out early in the morning before your family wakes up, eliminate the step of figuring out what you should be wearing. Just throw something on! Exercising is for YOU, and it should not matter to anyone else what you look like.
Make a schedule.
When you have multiple responsibilities, it is important to make a plan. If you are waiting for the perfect time to go out for a run, it will never happen. You need to have a plan that you stick to. Set aside a few times per week that are designated for you to focus on your health. Making this a regular practice will also help your family to understand that this time is yours, and that exercising is an important part of your health.
Include the children.
It can be hard to get any alone time as a parent, especially when you are a stay-at-home mom. Embrace being around your kids by working out with them at home. Grab some of their favorite active games and start playing. This will make exercising fun, and you will burn lots of calories. Not only will you be able to get your heart rate up, but your children will see what a strong woman you are.
Doing exercises in the bathroom or the laundry room might sound silly. However, it is a great opportunity for you to quickly get your heart rate up. You can simply do 20 calf raises, ten squats, and ten burpees — that will only take you a couple of minutes, but could have major benefits over time. Next time you are waiting for dinner to cook or a load of laundry to dry, try a quick set of your favorite calorie-burning exercise.
Juggling all of your responsibilities can be very overwhelming. When you feel like this, you are not alone. Most parents have similar frustrations, and can be a great support system for each other. Find a friend that will go to the gym with you, share healthy recipes with you, or will encourage you in your health goals. There are even Facebook groups for moms that you can join that are wonderful resources. Don’t be afraid to reach out.
Exercise at the playground.
Most children love being at the playground. Although they may be getting lots of exercise and having a great time, moms are typically sitting and watching. Take the opportunity to work out while they are playing. Whether you want to do push-ups or climb on the monkey bars, it’s a great way to get active easily. Your example might even inspire other moms, and it does set a great example for children. (In the warmer months, you can also sneak in exercise at the pool while your kids play in the shallow end!)
Get plenty of rest.
Being a mom is a full-time job, and with all that work and responsibility comes the need for adequate rest. It’s important to keep in mind that certain activities may be keeping you from falling asleep sooner. Give your brain the signal that it’s time to go to bed, by limiting bright lights at night. Yes, that includes putting your phone away! Although it’s tempting, avoid sleep medications, as they can cause “rebound insomnia” when you stop, leaving you worse off than you were in the beginning. Natural sleep is best, and daily exercise could be just the solution. When you work out, your body temperature rises and then slowly falls throughout the day, leaving you feeling super relaxed come bedtime.
Being a mom is a lot of work. In fact, finding any time for yourself can seem impossible. Still, it’s important to take care of your body and make your health a priority, so try a few of these tips. Not only will you be rewarded with several health benefits, you will also have better stamina, mental and physical health — all of which will help you be the best mom you can be. Get moving, Mom!
Julie Morris is a life and career coach. She thrives on helping others live their best lives. When Julie isn’t working with clients, she enjoys writing and is currently working on her first book. She also loves spending time outdoors and getting lost in a good book.