Getting yourself to work out was hard enough before children entered your life, but after that, it becomes practically impossible. And while it’s completely true that full-time moms face a big challenge in carving out some time for themselves, it is still essential for them to do so, otherwise they risk losing themselves in the routine of rushing and caring only for others. Exercise keeps your spirits up, it keeps you in a good mood and helps you with stress relief, and these are just a few positive side effects.
Taking care of your health is the most important perk of exercising, and then come your appearance and setting a good example for your little ones from their early age. We know it’s difficult and that sometimes you’re simply too tired to go for a run or to the gym, but the truth is that getting in shape for the swimming suit season won’t happen on its own and you have to work for it. There are ways to incorporate working out into your busy schedule and we’ll discuss several ways to do so, even if your whole day is planned out or if you’re simply a bit lazy when there’s an opening and you want to do nothing but breathe in peace.
Wake Up with the Sun
When you’re constantly multitasking to manage your work, your kids and your home the best way you can, the day usually isn’t long enough. That is why getting up very early can be a game changer for you, and we mean early, we mean like 5 a.m. early. This probably sounds horrific to you, especially if you go to bed late, but waking up with the sun actually benefits you tremendously once you get accustomed to it.
If you think that sunrise is still too early and no workout is worth it, then try waking up an hour before you’re used to. Having a full hour for yourself at the very beginning of your day completely sets the tone for everything else, and working out in the morning is great for your body. Being up and about before your household is awake gives you an opportunity to go for a run or do some cardio in your living room without being afraid you’ll trip on toys.
Jot It Down Into Your Calendar
Even if you’re a pro at multitasking, you still need to run a calendar to keep in check all important appointments, work meetings, birthdays, recitals and deadlines. One great way to respect the commitment to your exercise is to put them down into the calendar too. This way, you’re letting yourself know that planning time to work out is just as important as getting to that business lunch, so there are less chances that you will skip it. It doesn’t always have to be an hour at the gym or 5+ miles of jogging, sometimes just walking instead of driving can do a lot for a girl, so don’t be afraid to get creative.
Diet Is Not a Solution
This is a big one, because many busy moms actually opt out for going on a diet instead of being more active and doing exercise. Here’s the deal with diets – you need a lot of focus and willpower to make them work, and that will hardly be possible when you’ve got so much on your mind constantly. You might forget to eat, but when the hunger does strike, chances are you will reach for whatever is within your grasp. That is why eating smart is very important.
Since you’re probably cooking for the whole family, why not opt out for a healthy home cooked meal packed with veggies and good carbs, instead of ordering take out? Even if you have no choice but to order food, go for healthy food deliveries that can bring you meals you won’t feel guilty about. Your everyday diet should have a balance to it – some protein to keep those muscles pumped and in a good shape, some healthy carbs to give you the energy and fiber for optimal digestion. Steer clear from unhealthy snacks, junk food and any form of processed food, drink less sodas and coffee and more tea and water to stay hydrated, embrace the greens on your plate and mix them with lean meats, cottage cheese and nuts and take a piece of fruit instead of a few bites of chocolate. Getting in shape doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go through this crazy torture-like regime where you’re starving, nervous and constantly on the edge. Your diet should be about balance and making that happen will keep you healthy and allow you to teach your family how to eat well too.
Don’t Shy Away From Your Little Ones
When you’re in the house during the day and want to work out, chances that you will manage to do it uninterrupted are slim to one. So instead of getting annoyed and stopping your exercise completely to deal with whatever situation that’s come up, why not encourage your kids to join you? Of course, this is not possible while they’re still babies, but in this case you can squeeze in a workout during their nap time. If you’ve got toddlers or older children, why not ask them to tag along in your exercise? You were a child once and you know how good it felt to be constantly on the move and seeing it as play. Present your exercise like play to your children and make it one they can enjoy too. If you’re doing yoga, they will have a ton of fun copying poses from you, not to mention that they’ll feel incredibly important for doing “grownup things”. You can actually learn quite a lot from children seeing any form of exercise as fun – why not follow in their example and make exercise your “play time” instead of a chore you need to get over with.
Find Partners in Crime
Whether it is getting in shape for summer, losing that pregnancy weight or simply wanting to tone your body, it’s important to know that you’re not alone in your struggles. Parenthood is hard work and if you look around, you will for sure find moms that are dealing with the same issues and goals like you. Find partners in crime that will hold you accountable for every day you miss out on a work out and you can do the same for them. Go for runs together, sign up for a spinning class, take salsa lessons, whatever you believe will work, do it. You’ll be surprised at how many people are in the need of someone pushing them to do what’s best for them and you’ll probably need a nudge every now and then too. Everything is better when you’ve got company and making room for exercise in your crowded life will be much more achievable when you’re not alone in it.
This guide deals with more than just getting you in shape for summer, it deals with getting you in shape for life, despite all the obstacles you might come across on the way. Following all these tips will definitely bring you closer to having a beach body you’re comfortable with, but it will also set you for success in your long term fitness goals. – Vanessa Davis
Vanessa Davis is a 32-year-old fitness enthusiast, mother of two and content writer at www.diet.st, She’s originally from Long Island, New York, and when she isn’t cooking up some new health and fitness article, she enjoys doing yoga and figuring out new, delicious organic recipes for herself and her kids.