It’s not just a saying that “… Being a mom is truly the most important and the most difficult job on earth.” Moms are almost expected to be super-human: maintaining a home, cooking, homework, bathing and caring for little ones, caring for not-so-little ones (depending on how self-sufficient your husband is) and, very likely, going to work. It’s no wonder most of us don’t have time to get back our pre-baby bodies. When do you fit a workout (or even a shower for that matter) into that kind of schedule?
But, here’s a little secret you might not know: if you manage to fit some exercise into your ultra-demanding schedule, it will get easier… not easy, being a mom is never easy, but it will make it easier to accomplish all the things you have to do in a day. One of the many benefits of getting fit is that it boosts your energy level. So here are 10 tips that might help you to fit working out into your schedule and to stick with it:
- Work around your schedule. Don’t reschedule your life to fit in a workout, schedule your workout to fit your life. If you can only workout 15 minutes on a given day, then get in that 15 minutes. Doing something is always going to benefit you more than doing nothing.
- Do a workout that will give you the most benefits in the least amount of time. The workout that will do this for you is resistance training. Simply put, muscle burns fat – even at rest, a person with more muscle will burn more fat than a person with little muscle. This doesn’t mean that you have to look like a body builder. A toned, healthy physique is the key.
- Change it up. Workout boredom is one of the main reasons people quit working out. Get some variety in and don’t repeat the same workout over and over again. Not only will your muscles adapt to it thus decreasing its effectiveness, but you won’t stick to it if the thought of doing it bores you silly.
- Make it fun. Blast some motivational tunes, dance and sing out loud between sets (okay, maybe not if you’re working out at a gym), post some motivational posters in your workout space. Heck, give yourself some positive feedback. When you finish an especially hard set yell “I ROCK!!”
- Workout with a buddy. Even if you can’t work out together, having someone going through the process with you who is experiencing the same victories and difficulties is encouraging and will help you stick to it. If you don’t have anyone willing to do it with you, join an online fitness group – there are many such groups on Facebook.
- Get plenty of sleep. When you’re sleepy, your body tends to crave food – trying to get that energy it needs to get through the day. I know as a mom getting a good night’s sleep is easier said than done, but if you’re looking to lose weight, lack of sleep is one of your biggest enemies.
- Find a motivator. It can really be anything; an event you’d like to attend and look stunning for, a person you want to impress, a pair of jeans you want to fit in. Find something that will drive you to reach your goal. If you can’t think of anything, think of the positive example you’ll be setting for your kids. Strong, healthy mothers are more likely to have strong, healthy kids.
- Play with your kids. Don’t knock the benefits of a good old game of tag. Getting active with your kids will make it easier for you to fit exercise into your day. It’s really killing 2 birds with one stone – you get in a workout, they get playtime with their favorite person – you!
- Find a sugar replacement. And no, I don’t mean substitutes like aspartame (although there are some good natural replacements out there today such as xylitol), I mean reach for carrots and hummus instead of a cookie. Sugar is not only addictive, but can cause a plethora of health issues. It’s not as hard as you would think to significantly reduce your intake and you will feel the benefits (and so will your waistline).
- Don’t listen to the negative voice in your head. Honestly, that little guy will try his darnedest to sabotage you. He’s a liar. You are awesome. You have the hardest, most demanding job in the world and you do it every single day. YOU CAN DO THIS!