Hello moms and mums! This article is especially for you (and me). I get an overwhelming amount of emails and messages from overworked and frustrated mothers who badly want to get back on their fitness track (or who want to finally get started) but are struggling to even know where to begin. Well, grab a mimosa and have a seat. Let’s talk about this.
It’s so easy to get lost in the lists we follow day to day: To Do, groceries, kids’ extra curricular, social obligations, etc. It’s even easier to use these as an excuse to assuage our guilt in not hitting the gym or even thinking about our fitness. But I’m here to tell you that it’s no longer a valid excuse because there actually IS a way to be busy but still take care of ourselves.
Get Your Grub On
Moms, do NOT skip breakfast. Ever. You probably harp on your kids about this all the time (my son is sick of me constantly telling him this every single morning), so if you’re not doing it yourself, it’s probably the best time to practice what you preach. Lead by example! If your’e running on fumes, you’re going to be in a foul mood and more inclined to make poor health and fitness-related decisions for the rest of the day. You will need to have energy and keep that tummy full so you don’t mindlessly snack on things you’ll regret (or not but should) later.
Pack healthy snacks and a smart lunch. This will save you money (we know we’re all about that, aren’t we? *wink*) and will be better for you calorie-wise because you get to call the shots on what goes in your mouth. Make good dinner choices (something healthy and light) and avoid eating too late in the evening.
Move It, Move It
Stay active! Find at least 20 minutes to do a calorie-burning, high-energy exercise, say, jogging, brisk walking, or cycling. If 20 minutes is a luxury you don’t have, then opt for 10-minute bursts of energy throughout your day. There are many little exercises you can do from your office desk too: squats, toe/calf raise, tricep dips, leg lifts, tricep/bicep curls (you can even use your handbag as weights), and knee-ups. I personally love doing a quick 20 pushups followed by star jumps (jumping jacks), and knee-ups. It’s enough to get my blood pumping and my energy level rises significantly.
Make A Plan, Stick to It
Don’t throw your caution to the wind when it comes to your workout. You can’t just wing it and rely on small pockets of time you might be able to squeeze some exercise in. It’ll be more effective and helpful if you mark out a time and day on the weekend where you can do a straight 15-20 minute workout involving cardio and weight training. Fight for this day and make sure you don’t skip it so that your small exercises during the week don’t get sidetracked by weekend indulgence.
Get your family involved! Exercising as a family is a great way to keep you committed while motivating everyone else to stay in shape. It sets a great example for the kids to live a healthy and active lifestyle no matter how busy life can get. You can hit the park and throw a frisbee or football around. Play with hula hoops! Go swimming and throw a contest to see who can swim the most laps or retrieve the most number of pennies tossed in the pool. Whatever it is your family will find fun, if it gets you moving and working up a sweat, then it’s a great tradition to keep. It’s also very helpful to sit your family down and discuss where you all stand on health and fitness so that you can make goals together and help each other reach it. Maybe let one family member pick a certain game or set of exercises for the weekend, and take turns with each weekend.
I hope you find this somewhat helpful and not the least bit daunting. Many times, we feel so worn out from all the demands made on us by way of our role as mothers (and wives) that we tend to forego our own health and fitness. But when we take care of ourselves first and are able to ensure our health, then we can perform optimally and are better equipped to care for our families.
Got any fitness-related questions? Would you like to share your fitness journey with us? Feel free to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org