Being a mom is one of the most rewarding experiences in the world, but we all know Moms who used to be focused on physical fitness often feel like they simply don’t have time to concentrate on it anymore, and it falls to the wayside. If you’ve been trying to figure out how you’re going to get back in the game, here are six solutions that make exercise possible again, easily fitting into your busy schedule.
Track Your Steps
A step tracker can be worn on your wrist, and it simply keeps track of how many steps you take each day. You can set personal goals—like 10,000 steps per day—and watch your progress. The real impact here is mental. You feel more driven and motivated when you see the steps climbing as the day goes by, and you can even calculate the calories you’re burning. This often leads to simple life changes to get in some extra steps as you naturally go about your day. You may be more likely to get out the stroller and take your child on an afternoon walk, for instance, or you may take the stairs at the mall instead of using the escalator. These aren’t drastic changes, but they make a big difference when they’re all added up.
Workout in the Morning
Early morning workouts are a sure-fire way for moms to get in some exercise. Of course, getting up before the rest of your household can cut into your sleep schedule, but that’s pretty much the only thing you’ll be sacrificing. The benefits of early morning exercise include improved metabolism, increased energy throughout the day, improved mood, and a better night’s sleep. So if you can haul yourself out of bed before it gets light out, there is much to gain (and many pounds to lose!).
Find a Gym with Child Care
Many gyms offer free child care when you’re on a family membership. It’s not free, per se, but built into the price of the membership. Still, it gives you two hours at the gym to work out as much as you want, knowing your children are being well cared for and having fun. If you’re going to pay for the gym membership anyway, it’s wise to choose a gym that makes it easy for you to go consistently. This also gives you a nice break each day so that you can focus on yourself.
Work Out at the Park
If you don’t want to join a gym, but you still want to work out while watching your kids, why not do it somewhere that they’ll enjoy being? Take the kids to the park and let them run and play, burning off their own energy—which, as you know, can help a lot when they get back home. While you’re watching them, you have time to walk or jog around the park, do sit-ups and push-ups off to the side, do step-ups at a picnic table, or just bring your yoga mat along. The big benefit here is that the kids will be entertained on their own. Though you’re still watching them, they’re not demanding all of your attention every second, so you suddenly have free time to work out.
Use Short DVD Workouts
If you have young children, they probably take daily naps. This may only buy you 30 minutes to an hour every day—not enough time to call a sitter and head for the gym—but you can work out at home with DVD workout programs. Many of these are just 20 to 30 minutes long. When you put the kids down in their bedrooms, head to the basement, hook up a monitor, throw in the DVD, and get your workout done before they wake up. You’re busy, but you can get in shape if you focus on using every spare moment you have.
Train Virtually from Home
If you have a hard time staying motivated on your own, or perhaps you lack the knowledge base to train without instruction, you can use virtual training to bring the workout into your own living room. Thanks to the magic of the internet, there are plenty of personal trainers available who can broadcast workouts into your home. Experienced trainers can guide you through motions using video chat that will maximize your effort, and if you choose something like training virtually with kettlebells, you will only need to keep a few weights in your home to get started.
Do Something You Enjoy
You’ll be highly motivated if you actually enjoy working out. Some people love high intensity training because it doesn’t take as long. Others love dance-based workouts because they’re fun and good for you. Exactly what you choose doesn’t make that much of a difference. You just have to figure out what you enjoy, what keeps you motivated, and you’ll find that it’s easier than ever to make time for it.