Most moms want to be more physically fit, but they are just not sure where to start.
Most of us know the importance of exercising on a regular basis – we have heard all the statistics on how it reduces the risk of major diseases such as cancer & heart disease. But the fact is, moms are busy, and often there are more pressing issues that take our time, if we allow it.
However, I fully believe that moms can and should prioritize their physical fitness, and this helps us to have more balance and wellness in our lives.
About 2 years ago, I was starting to notice that my jeans weren’t fitting quite right. I had less energy, and I was not finding that I had the same level of endurance for activities that I had previously had. Of course, part of this is getting older, and part of it is related to lack of consistent exercise.
I don’t have a dramatic story like Wendy does. I didn’t have a major crisis or get to a point where I needed to make a huge change. However, I was unsatisfied with how I felt. I wasn’t overweight, but I didn’t like the way my clothes were fitting. Most of all, I knew that I wanted to be able to be active and keep up with my high-energy daughter for years to come. So I decided to start prioritizing my physical fitness, and I did it mostly at home, without a huge investment of time or money.
Like anything else that’s worth achieving in life, there IS sacrifice involved in pursuing wellness. But the sacrifice is minimal in comparison with the rewards of how you will feel!
6 Simple Fitness Tips for Busy Moms:
- Determine your motivation for fitness.
What are your goals? Lose weight, feel better, participate in a race? Establish the reason you want to get fit or stay fit, so that you can be reminded of that when you don’t feel like exercising.
Bonus tip: Write this reason down somewhere that you will see it on a daily basis! Perhaps the bathroom mirror or near your computer – any place that you know you will be looking at regularly.
- Find something that works for you!
There are literally hundreds of different types of exercise out there. You can do running, yoga, pilates, zumba, weight lifting, dance, bicycling, swimming, etc. Find something you ENJOY!
Some people need the accountability of a class where you are attending weekly and others are expecting you to be there. Some people like going to the gym. Some people would rather workout at home, or outdoors. You’ve got to find something that works for you. My experience has included a mixture of working out at home using free online videos, DVDs, running outdoors, gym, zumba class and yoga.
- Mix it up!
If you want to see results, you need to mix up your fitness routine. Your body will become accustomed if you are always doing the same workouts. For example, if you go for a 2 mile walk every day, but never do anything else, you will probably see that you will plateau. So it’s very important to challenge your body in different ways on a regular basis.
I do a different workout every time I exercise. So there is never repetition. But even if you have one thing you really enjoy doing, try to mix it up at least once per week. If you enjoy walking, then take at least one day and do weight training.
- Don’t be afraid of weights.
Weight training has soooo many health benefits, and it is especially important as we get older. You don’t have to go crazy and go to the gym and use all kinds of machines. There are plenty of things you can do with simple tools such as dumbbells or a kettlebell. Building muscle will help you burn more calories in the long run.
Bonus tip: be sure to use caution with weight training. Hiring a personal trainer, or at the very least, having a gym instructor walk you through how the machines work, is highly recommended. Or, if you work out at home, you can access lots of tutorial videos on YouTube for weight lifting – one of my favorite channels is Fitness Blender.
- Make time for it!
Some people don’t work out because they think it has to take a large chunk of their day. However, this is not true! Depending on what you do, you can workout for as short at 12 minutes or as long as an hour. Remember, SOMETHING is better than nothing.
In order for this to work, you have to plan it into your day. Many people find that getting up early in the morning, before the kids are up, and getting the workout in is the most effective method. Others find the afternoon nap time to work, or later in the evening. It doesn’t really matter when you do it – just find what works for you. But you must put on your calendar, make it a priority, and it is much more likely to happen.
- Team up with others.
To have the most fun and the most success, find a workout buddy or accountability partner. Some of us are motivated enough to do this on our own. But most of us need some incentive to keep going when it gets hard, so that’s where a partner can help you. There are many options, including exercising with a friend, attending a weekly class, joining a facebook group to hold you accountable, or hiring a personal trainer. Figure out what you need and do it!
Do you struggle with finding time for fitness as a mom? Share in the comments below.