When I was pregnant I thought to myself, oh as soon as I get the okay from my doctor at my 6 week check, I will be back to working out. LOL. Even though I was pretty fit throughout my pregnancy, and very fit before I got pregnant, it took me months to get back to working out. And honestly, looking back I probably wouldn't change anything. I spent my time with my daughter and husband, and in my down time I took care of other things or I slept. Oh I also started this business haha.
disclaimer: remember to listen to your body. If you need sleep, then sleep. If you feel up to moving then get moving! Exercise is meant to make your body feel good.
Eventually I started to crave working out again. I missed the alone time. I missed the endorphin high. I missed taking care of my body and feeling confident in my skin. I remembered how much I NEEDED those endorphins to feel good (see this post for my postpartum anxiety story). Working out seriously helps my anxiety.
I know that being a mom is tough and everyone is juggling a million things at once. But when you think about it, your family kind of depends on you to run, right? That means you need to be functioning right for everything else to run smoothly! Do you ever have those days where you are just lagging and everything seems to fall through the cracks. You don't feel your best, and everything else is suffering? When you are feeling 100% you can give 100%. You deserve to take care of yourself so you can better take care of everything else.
You know your health is important right? Without your health, none of that other stuff will get done. You owe it to yourself to spend a little while each day doing something for YOU!
10 tips to help a busy mom fit in exercise
- Three 10 minute bursts can be as effective as a longer workout. Don’t be afraid to fit in small workouts when and where you can- even a quick workout in your baby's room while they play, in the backyard, or at the park- get creative and do what you do best- multitask ;)
Walking counts! Walking is one of the best exercises you can do- it’s a double win if you are walking your dog or pushing a stroller (or both). Head to the park and the whole family will be happy
When the babies are sleeping…. Getting up before the kids wake up, using nap time, or bedtime to exercise. (But if you are over tired/ exhausted then SLEEP mama.) Keep in mind that spending a few minutes exercising actually increases your energy levels. Don't believe me? Try it!
Slow progress beats an all or nothing mindset. Start slow. This week do one workout, next week do 2 workouts, add in a little walking...healthy lifestyle change is all about slow changes. Going all out cardio bunny- crossfitter- gym queen will just burn you out! Think of it this way...if your child was learning a new skill or habit, you would never expect them to have it right on the first try let alone be perfect. Give yourself the same grace. You are learning how to balance this crazy #momlife!
Accountability...friends, workout classes, or a coach are great ways to keep you motivated and doing what you promised you would. It's way easier to flake on yourself than your friends! (p.s. I just started offering 90 minute and 4 week coaching sessions, in addition to my standard 12 week package. Let me know if I can help you!)
A fitness tracker. I love my fitbit! It helped me stay active during the cold winter (read about that here). Compete with others or do challenges yourself. Set a goal and work toward it each day. I never would have imagined how much my fitbit would motivate me to MOVE.
Use your baby as part of the workout! Put the baby in a seat in front of you and let them watch. Sing to them, do jumping jacks, squat jumps, etc. to entertain them, give them a smooch during push ups and burpees, etc. If your little one is older, get them involved. Use the attached body workout and let your child choose the number of reps, use a dice to mean different exercises, etc. Just get them involved and it will be easier for everyone ;) If you're little one can't stand to be put down, put them in a wrap or front back and go for a walk or hike or use the added weight to make your squats and lunges a little tougher!
Fit4Mom- I recently joined stroller strides to get in a fun workout and meet other moms. They have more intense programs too (body back, etc.) I highly recommend it- check to see if this program is available in your area!
Body weight workouts at home. Check out this post for a few ideas for home workout equipment. If you don't have time to hit the gym, you can still get a good workout at home!
Two words. Gym Childcare. If you need some alone time- go do a workout then go stretch and enjoy some blissful silence for a few minutes (until someone comes to fetch you to change a poopy diaper...lol).
And of course, changing habits is easier said than done, but I firmly believe we can all spare 20 minutes here or there for a quick burst of endorphins. You deserve to feel good in your skin, mama.