Happy Friday! Hope you’ve had a great week and are ready for the weekend ahead! We have plans to hang out with some friends and family this weekend as well as relax. A perfect weekend ahead! What are your plans for the weekend?
Today’s topic is about something near and dear to my heart. I love helping women find time for fitness and health in the chaos of every day lives, but I have a special place in my heart for mamas. I’ve always had a special spot in my heart for moms, but it wasn’t until I became a mama that I realized how tough it is to take care of ourselves. We were busy before we had kids, so the post-kids life is a maze of laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning the house, working, taking care of hubby too, oh yeah, and working out and eating healthy. Say what! How are we supposed to do all that?! It’s so hard to find time to take care of us. And when we actually have the time to take care of ourselves, whether it be with a workout, a good snack, a pedi, or just sitting down and watching our favorite show, we feel selfish because there’s always something else we should be doing. So how do we make our health a priority when we have to keep doing all the ‘life things’ and keep these tiny humans alive who need to eat 17 times a day (seriously, I think we’re in the middle of a growth spurt because Madeleine is eating more than an adult these days…send help…and wine)?!
Here are a few tips that can help you fit fitness into your life while raising tiny humans and doing all the things…
1.) Workout with them
This one is less than ideal but can be so fun if you keep an open mind. I tend to keep my workouts with Madeleine body weight workouts. She’s super interested in weights when I use them but a little too interested. I don’t want her to smash a finger or toe or get in the way during a kettlebell swing, so I stick to bodyweight workouts or DVD workouts. Some moms are great at lifting weights with little ones around, I just choose not to for my own sanity. I usually put Sesame Street on and get her a snack and begin. It’s always interrupted, and takes a little longer, but I usually have fun with it. I really love that she sees mommy work out and take care of herself. And Madeleine usually ends up doing squats or sit-ups with me which is hilarious! Showing our kids how we take care of our bodies is so important and working out with them is setting such a good example!
Here’s a quick bodyweight workout you can do anywhere with any and all kids!
2.) Workout early in the morning
This one is less than enjoyable, but this is how I get the majority of my workouts in. Waking up before the munchkin means I can stay focused without interruption during my workout. It also usually means I can get a better workout because I’m more focused on the muscles I’m working and my specific goals for that workout. It sets up the day for me, as well. I make better food choices throughout the rest of the day, it helps wake me up (seriously, better than coffee), and my body continues to burn calories from the morning workout throughout the day. Yes, it is hard every.single.day. to wake up before Madeleine and go to the basement for my workout. I do not like waking up early, but once I start my warmup and start drinking my BCAAs (which you absolutely should be using if you’re doing early morning, fasted workouts) I settle in and am glad I dragged myself out of bed. However, that doesn’t always happen…I get tired, lazy, sleep through my alarms, etc, which brings me to #3….
3.) Workout at naptime
Now if you still have little ones at home that nap, this is a great time to get in a workout. My old routine used to be to workout during Madeleine’s first nap of the day. That way I could still sleep in a little but get my workout in before the afternoon. Now that she only takes one nap a day, however, if I miss my morning workout, I need to squeeze it in at naptime. I don’t always love this time for a few reasons…I don’t do well mustering up motivation to workout in the afternoon, there’s no guarantee she won’t wake up early and interrupt my workout, I’m usually hungry in the afternoon so I either have to skip a snack and workout or have a snack then wait a little bit before I workout, and motivation in the afternoon is an all time low (yes, I know I repeated that one but it’s a tough one for me so it needs repeating). However, maybe you love an afternoon workout. Maybe you get a burst of energy after lunch and feel the need to move. Use the time that your little one is asleep to get that workout in!
4.) Workout late at night
I used to be able to workout late at night pre-kiddo, but now I’m so tired by 8 or 9 that a post-bedtime workout rarely happens. However, I know many parents who take advantage of this time because everyone is down for the night, or because they have the other parent at home to watch the little ones while they go to the gym. For me, personally, working out late at night makes it harder to fall asleep, so I rarely use this tactic to get in my workout, but I know many moms that love a late night gym sesh!
5.) Make the time
One of the things I hear a lot from clients before we begin a program is ‘I don’t have time to workout’. I’m sorry, but this is the hardest excuse for me to hear. If you’re excuse is ‘I don’t have time’…then you will never have time. You need to MAKE TIME! If working out is important enough to you, then you need to make the time to fit it in. Write down your entire schedule, and I’m sure you’ll find at least 30 min 4-5 days a week where you can squeeze in a quick workout. How much time do you spend sitting on your phone? When do you get up in the morning? Could you get up 30-45 min earlier to squeeze in a workout? Could you go to bed 30-45 min later to get a workout in in the evening? Again, if something is important to you, then you will make time for it. So saying ‘I don’t have time to workout’ tells me it’s not important enough to you to take care of yourself physically. Make the time!
6.) Get a sitter/gym childcare
This is one I have yet to use because of our current phase of life (she’s still little enough to take a nap and I can workout from home), but I’m sure I’ll use it at some point. If working out is important enough to you (see #5), but you don’t have equipment at home and don’t have anyone to watch your kids, find a way. Can you exchange babysitting times with a friend who also has kids? Join a gym and use their child care? You don’t have to join a $200 per month gym to get it. Most YMCAs are fairly affordable and provide 2 hours of childcare a day! Goodness, that might make me join a gym just to have 2 hours of childcare whenever haha!
I hope these points inspire you to look at your schedule and really see where you can fit in your workouts. Remember, if you make it a priority it will happen! If it’s not a priority, you’ll make excuses! Leave your excuses at the door and get moving!
Until next time,