As moms, we know the importance of a good sweat session. Sticking with an exercise routine can be a struggle for anyone. But for moms, squeezing in workouts can feel darn near impossible. After all, how are you supposed to find time to work out when we can’t even go to the bathroom undisturbed? So, in order for you to get your mommy sweat on and release all those exercised induced endorphins, here are some ways for you to put your FITNESS first.
1. Up with the Sun (aka before the sun)
I am a huge believer in working out first thing in the morning. My routine to is wake up, drink a glass of water and take my to go coffee cup downstairs with me for a basement workout. I either enjoy a cardio session on the treadmill or my bike trainer or I use my smart TV to play a FREE YouTube fitness video. There are so many choices out there when it comes to great workout videos. And you do not need much time or equipment. I often complete these workouts before the kids even wake up. However, if they do rise and shine before it’s time I have them trained to come find me downstairs.
2. Block It Out
Schedule it as part of your day and make it non-negotiable. If there is a class, you love put in our your calendar (AND your partner’s). I also find that scheduled workouts help me stay accountable to myself. If I plan on going to a spin class after work I must PLAN and pack my workout clothes. It makes it much harder to skip when you have taken the time to mindfully plan it. Also, a wonderful mom hack is to find a spin, yoga, boot camp class at 6:30 p.m. You get to ditch out on dinner duty and bedtime drama. If you need to schedule a babysitter one night a week from 6:30 to 8:00, do it!
3. Workout Clothes
I have mixed feelings about this one. On one hand, I don’t want anyone to waste the little free time they have debating wardrobe choices, however, I do think the right gear helps. If you are running you will need a good sneaker that is ideally fitted for your body and foot by a professional at a running store. Also, not all sports bras are created equal. Some very mom-friendly (aka nursing) sports bras are Title Nine and Moving Comfort.
When I am waking up at 5:00 a.m. I always set out my clothes the night before. In summer when I am home with the girls I put on an athleisure outfit so I can squeeze in a workout whenever I can. If you are always workout ready you can make it happen. Also, I know some friends (including my mom) who swear by sleeping in some of their gear, so you can just wake up and GO!
4. Include Your Kids
It’s hard to find dedicated “alone time” as a parent so why not include your kids in the workout!? I loved taking my girls with me to Stroller Strides because it was a win-win. Workout for mommy and play and social time for them. We met some of our best friends through this fantastic group. A stroller run is also a great option. Now that my kids are older I often take the younger one in a stroller and my older daughter bikes or runs with me. Another great option is turning a playground trip into your own fitness circuit. Do triceps dips off a bench, incline push-ups, step ups, and try to do a pull-up on the monkey bars. You can also set up an obstacle course in your backyard and race your kids. Lastly, fresh air is great for the whole family and a wonderful way to burn some calorie is to go on a hike or a family walk.
5. Build a Support Crew
Juggling the responsibilities of family, work and life can feel overwhelming, but you’re not alone. Like-minded parents are a great support system. It really helps to have others hold you accountable. And there are easy ways to build your “Fitness Village.” Social media now offers us a plethora of ways to start connecting. You can create a private group with your college friends and post your workout to stay motivated. There are a ton of national workout groups just for moms like Moms Run this Town. Even finding one workout buddy is tremendously helpful in getting you to stick to a workout plan. I have been blessed with finding a group of amazing moms that I train with. In all honestly the wake-up alarm at 4:45 a.m. is not as bad when you know someone is waiting for you.
6. Set the Example
In the end, I believe one of the most important aspects of putting your fitness first is the message you are sending your family. You are showing your children the importance of finding that crucial balance we all need and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I have memories of mom leaving the house early in the morning to go on walks. I didn’t understand at the time what she was doing, but I look back now and I am so thankful for the example she set for me. Our children are always watching and by putting OUR FITNESS first what a wonderful message we are sending.