10 Doable Fitness Tips for Busy Moms
May 29th, 2013 posted by Cindy Rowe
You know it’s important to exercise and eat a balanced diet, but when you are pulled in different directions every single day, how can you manage to squeeze in an exercise routine? And now that summer is here, it seems the days get busier! I’m a firm believer that eating healthy and getting daily exercise makes your life more enjoyable. Believe me, I’m busy too. I work full-time and have two kids in sports activities, but I make it a priority. So, how do I manage to get exercise in most days of the week? It’s easier than you think!
Here are a few of my favorite tips:
1. Make a Date with Yourself. Write it on the calendar. Make it an important part of your day. It’s also important to make sure your entire family is on board with your new fitness schedule. For me, I go to the gym on the days my husband is off before I head to work. This means he is in charge of getting the kids ready for school. Can’t do it all at one time? That’s okay–15 minutes here and 15 minutes there, still add up to more than what you were doing before!
2. Find a Friend. The buddy system is key if you know you won’t make yourself accountable to those fitness appointments! Plus, it’s always more fun with a friend.
3. Pre-plan your workouts. I like to look at the calendar on Sunday nights and plan out my week. I do this for my weekly menu as well as my workouts. If you pre-plan, you are less likely to make excuses! If you set fitness challenges for yourself they can be very helpful and motivating.
4. Play with your kids! This is an obvious one, but many of us use the kids playing time to catch up on other motherly duties or finally relaxing on the couch! Why not join them? Think: jumping on the trampoline, taking a walk around the neighborhood, going for bike rides or playing kick ball. You’ll get much more out of it than exercise!
5. Exercise while watching T.V. Instead of sitting during the commercials (or if you are watching your DVR–skipping those commercials), do simple exercises. For one commercial, do a plank; the next, crunches; the next leg lifts, etc. Before you know it, your show is back on and you just burned some calories!
6. Exercise while getting ready. Don’t just brush your teeth–do squats (or wall squats)! Do you curl your hair? Try outer-leg lifts. I also do calve raises while blow drying my hair. It might feel awkward at first, but you’ll get used to it!
7. Find a gym with a daycare. I have a membership at our local YMCA. They offer free daycare to their members during certain hours. For those days where I can’t hit the gym in the morning, I try to go after work and bring the kids.
8. Use your child! If you have a baby, you can use her as resistance. Plus, she’ll get a kick out of watching you!
9. Videos & Magazines. I love videos and YouTube is a great source for free fitness videos. Some of my favorites are Jessica Smith TV, ToneItUp and Jeanette Jenkins. I also have email subscriptions for daily/weekly newsletters from Fitness Magazine, Women’s Health Magazine and Shape Magazine. They send you workouts right to your email box! I print out my favorites and store them in a fitness binder. I use this to help me plan out my weekly workouts.
10. Have fun! When you enjoy what you are doing, you are going to stick with it longer and it won’t feel like exercise. For instance, if you like to dance, try a Zumba class. Lately, I’ve been doing “fun runs”–these are themed 5k’s. Last year I completed the Dirty Girl Mud Run with some college friends and this year we are doing the Color Vibe. I’m pumped to see how colorful we get!
So as you can see, small, simple steps can help you find time in your busy schedule for a little exercise. We all are given 24 hours a day, it’s just a matter of how efficient you are with your time and how you choose to spend it. You must believe that you are worth it.