As a mom, it is very difficult to get in the habit of keeping up with our fitness goals. You worry so much about taking care of your family that your time gets pushed off and then often missed. You feel a bit overwhelmed, there just isn’t time left in the day.
Well, guess what? You do NOT have to commit hours a day to stay in shape or feel better! I know how easy it is to think – “Oh, I can’t do anything in these few minutes – I’ll wait until tomorrow.” Well then often tomorrow turns into next week or next month or after the holidays – you get the picture.
You need to use the 20 minutes you have!
I am going to give you some ideas to fit that extra activity into the day with your busy mom schedule. After all taking care of yourself IS important! It will make you less stressed, have more energy, stay healthier, and be an example for your children and others around you.
Here you go!
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I’m sure already have or at least have heard of apps or devices that will track your daily steps. Why would you want this? I’m sure you don’t realize how many steps you actually take in a day just doing your daily “mom thing.” As you see what you already do – why not make that goal gradually higher? Park farther from your destination, take the stairs rather than the escalator or elevator, take a few extra laps around the house or store. You may surprise yourself with how easy it may be to fit in a few more steps. It all adds up!
Why not make it easy and fun – PLAY!! This is what the kids love to do and if you asked to do it with them – they would love it even more! This is great for them as well. We often fall into the trap of letting them sit by the TV or with the phone or computer anytime we need to get something done. Get them away from the screen and PLAY!
- Play a game of tag
- Go for a bike ride
- Go for a walk
- Pull the wagon
- Have a race
- Jump rope
- Play a sport – baseball, basketball, soccer, volleyball & more
Of course, the list goes on! Find out what your kids love and join them.
Simple, No Equipment Exercises
Scour Pinterest and you will find many ideas that give you a lineup of simple exercises to do daily. Sometimes I just do things randomly throughout the day. This may even be while you are accomplishing something else. Perhaps you do squats while you are packing lunches or while holding a child (resistance!) or lunges as you are clearing the table, a set if sit-ups or push-ups while on the floor with the kids, or calf raises before making it all the way up the steps.
I always have kids on top of me or joining me – they can try it too! It is pretty funny to see a 2 & 4-year-old try to do a pushup.
Here are examples of things to sneak in throughout the day:
- Jumping Jacks
- Run in Place
How about a workout video? When I say video it does make it sound a bit “old school.” With everything now on demand you can download almost any type of workout wherever you are. Find someone that motivates you & challenges you. I happen to like Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred for example. Yes, it has been around a while, but for me, it has worked. They are workouts that are 20-25 minutes, intense, and full body. You will feel yourself getting stronger! This is what I used to get back on track more than once.
If you need a little extra guidance or motivation this is a good way to keep on track. There are so many great programs that you can get – both free and paid. You don’t have to leave home, you can be flexible, and you don’t have to worry what you look like doing it (the best advantage).
Of course, you do not have to have any kind of special equipment to start getting in shape or to stay active. A few small pieces of equipment will just give you some variety and add some increased resistance to help advance your level of fitness.
I’m not saying you have to go out and buy a treadmill. That is totally up to you. I am talking about things like a couple of free weights, a jump rope, kettlebells, floor mat, or resistance bands. These are all examples of small things that are nice to have for home workouts.
Adding resistance to build muscle is key for women! It helps boost metabolism for a much longer time, gives your body a better shape, is good for bone health and so much more!
Kettlebells are a great example of how you can use a simple piece of home equipment for an easy full body workout – even include some cardio. A quick Google or Pinterest search will give you some ideas for a great kettlebell workout. Follow me on Pinterest and these are ideas I love to save on my fitness board.
Make a Schedule/Routine
I am such a list person, so this helps me. I also think that when you have a few minutes of downtime it is important to have that plan or list ready so you can make proper use of that time.
How often do you realize that you have a few extra minutes, but without an idea of what to do, you end up on your computer or sitting on the couch? Perhaps by the time you think about what to do, your free time has already passed. I’m not saying that some downtime isn’t OK, but often we then just let it go too long once again.
If I was following a video or daily schedule and could see for example that today is leg day, it makes all the difference. This can be very general and of course flexible, but definitely a huge help. You may just have to write things in your schedule if you want to get them done.
Find a Time that Works for You
This will be different for everyone. If you want time on your own – make use of the time before everyone gets up, nap time, school time, after they are in bed, etc. I know this is not easy and likely you have to be a bit flexible. Nap time is always hard around here since they don’t actually always sleep! You do still need your sleep as well.
Stay Fit Together
If your family or friends are doing it – it will be so much easier for you! Be accountable to yourself and to someone else. Let them know your goals – whether it is weight loss, general fitness, weightlifting, consistency – have them help keep you accountable.
Keep your family moving together. Why not include everyone – start good habits now.
Include other moms. Perhaps that means meeting up with others at the gym, park, walking trail, etc.
Get Someone to Watch Your Kids
I know this is not possible for everyone, or perhaps this is not something that you even want to consider – that is OK. Just another consideration.
It may mean you join a gym with a good childcare center or perhaps you have friends that you can swap babysitting time with. If you have kids in school this means using that time.
I am married with 4 kids. While this can be a somewhat of a deterrent and hindrance to working out or staying active, but it also is a motivation! You want to stay healthy and active for you and your family. Your kids will appreciate that and you will be leading by example. The hardest thing is getting started and being consistent, but once you get going you will want to continue as you feel more energized, sleep better, & feel stronger.
- What are your goals?
- Do you have any tricks to keeping fitness in your schedule?
- Any specific workouts or equipment that are your must-haves?
I would love to hear from you!