As someone who has always lived a very active lifestyle, one of the most challenging aspects of becoming a mom was finding time to exercise. In fact, fitting in fitness seemed nearly impossible some days. Between feedings, changing diapers, laundry, cooking, and of course playing with this new precious baby, I found my own needs falling quickly to the bottom of my priority list.
Staying active and fitting in fitness will not only help you stay healthy and strong, but it can be a great mini-retreat to both rejuvenate and energize you for the day’s adventures. The important thing is to listen to your body. Stress is one of the most misunderstood and abused aspects of living a healthy life. Fitting in fitness doesn’t necessarily mean beating yourself up at a gym. It’s about shifting your mindset to living a more active lifestyle.
Here are few easy tips to fit in more exercise in your hectic schedule.
Fitting in Fitness: 5 simple ways
1. Break it up
There is no rule that says you have to exercise thirty minutes in a row to benefit from daily activity. Break up your exercise into three or four 10-15 minute chunks. You can spend ten minutes taking a walk, climbing some stairs, doing some pushups, core work, or stretching. Not only will you be amazed at how a “little but often” approach can really make a difference, but you will also keep your energy level up and fight fatigue by being active throughout the day instead of just once.
2. Maximize what you are already doing
If you stay at home, remember that being a parent is not an idle activity. Most of what you do throughout the day requires you to move. If you can’t find time to get away for a daily workout, bring your workout to your day. Put some music on while doing laundry and dance. Throw in a few lunges while making silly faces at your baby. Play tag with your kids. Move around as much as possible while cleaning the house. Move big and boldly, and smile because you’re doing something good for you!
If you are working away from home there are plenty of ways to make the most of your daily activity. Take the stairs. Walk instead of driving to lunch. Walk around while taking that important phone call. You do not have to be sitting all day long.
3. Bring it to you
Perhaps you used to run a couple of miles each day before you had children. Maybe you used to hit the gym up for some weights and cardio before your job became too stressful. Accepting that your current workout life may not fit your ideal doesn’t mean giving up fitness. Try something new like yoga, pilates, or other fitness routines that you can do at home. There are lots of online tools that you can use during a short office break. Fitting in fitness does not require going out… bring it to you, instead.
4. Find good company
Chances are there are other people near you looking for ways to fit in fitness. Workout at home with your husband. Ask your coworker to join you for a lunch-break walk. If nobody is around, exercise with your children. Being active with others keeps you committed and it a whole lot more fun.
And as I always say: The best exercise is the kind you enjoy doing.
5. Keep it balanced
Remember that a good approach to fitness is one that considers the whole body. Fitting in cardio, strength training, muscle endurance, stretching, and relaxation/meditation are all important to your overall wellbeing. You don’t necessarily need to touch all the bases every day, but make sure you take time to address all of your fitness needs over the course of a week. Variety is the key to keeping fitness both fun and challenging.
Bonus tip: Make it a game!
Working from home and being a mom have made me more sedentary than ever! But I have noticed a huge change when I started tracking my steps with my fitbit. Wanting to reach my target goal each day has been fun and so much easier with this little gadget. Best part? All you have to do is get up and walk. Check it out.
And remember: Listen to your body.
Please don’t forget this important tip. Whether you are an overworked employer or a “tired-to-the-bones” stay at home mom, respecting your body’s needs is critical for your overall health. Don’t over-extend your body by doing anything that doesn’t feel right. Spending endless hours exercising can be disastrous for your body. Don’t become your own drill master. But do remember that living an active lifestyle keeps your muscles toned, your organs energized, and lungs clean, and your mood lifted.
Remember: Fitting in fitness can be done.
Tell me: What do you do to stay active?