The Busy Mom’s Guide to Fitness

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The Busy Mom’s Guide to Fitness

If you’re a mom, you don’t have to tell anyone that you’re busy. It doesn’t matter whether your kids are toddlers or teenagers, or whether you work or stay at home. Usually, the last thing you have time for is taking care of yourself. But good health is essential for making you the best mom you can be. Think you’re too busy for exercise? Try out some of these tips that will help you lose weight, feel energized, and not be any busier than you already are.

  1. Set realistic goals. If you’re like the average mom, you’re probably not going to be able to have a supermodel’s figure or run a marathon at this stage in your life, unless you’ve got a lot of help. Set goals that are motivating but achievable – maybe like losing a pound a week or fitting into a smaller dress size after a month or two. Another good goal might simply be consistency – aim to work out for 30 minutes a day at least four times a week.
  2. Reward yourself for success. If you reach a smaller size, go on a little shopping excursion. If you meet your consistency goals, get a manicure. Little rewards like this will keep you motivated when you feel like giving up.
  3. Multitask. Do some crunches, stretching or jogging when your kids are on the playground or at soccer practice. Do your housework at a faster pace to raise your heart rate. The more you can incorporate exercise into your busy lifestyle, the more successful you’re going to be at keeping it up.
  4. Exercise in small increments. If you can’t fit a 30-minute or longer workout session into your schedule, try several 10-minute workouts instead. Go for a brisk walk with your dog in the morning; do some yoga stretches before lunch; shoot hoops with your kids for a few minutes in the evening.
  5. Exercise with your kids. While some moms like to leave their kids in childcare while they work out at the gym, you don’t have to if it’s not affordable or convenient. Go for walks or jogs with a stroller; take family bike rides; do exercise videos together; play tag or catch when the weather is agreeable. Not only will you be burning calories, but you’ll also be teaching your kids the value of an active lifestyle.
  6. Don’t forget about your calorie intake and the nutrients you consume. Exercise alone won’t help you lose weight, especially if you use it as an excuse to load up on junk food. Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and avoid refined carbohydrates and excess fats as much as you can. You’ll feel much more energized with a balanced diet.
  7. Find one or more workout buddies. Whether it’s your partner, your girlfriends or other family members, exercise is a lot more fun when it includes others. Instead of meeting friends for lunch or coffee, go on brisk walks together. Take exercise classes together. Make fitness goals together and celebrate when you reach them.
  8. Incorporate a variety of fitness techniques. Your body needs cardiovascular exercise to build up your heart and lungs’ strength and endurance. It also needs some resistance training to strengthen your muscles and joints. If you’re recovering from childbirth, try basic Pilates or yoga to help build up the weakened muscles in your core. Experiment with a variety of new techniques whenever you have the opportunity to take classes – you never know what you might like. Variety also prevents you from growing bored with your workouts and losing motivation.

If you’re a busy mom who wants to exercise but can’t find the time, try several of these tips – or try them all! You may be surprised with what you have time to do when your health is a higher priority.

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