Tested, tried and true!
Workout habits change when you become a mom. Between food prep, playtime and diaper duty, your schedule is suddenly loaded with parental responsibilities that make the thought of finding time for yourself feel impossible. You’re continuously in a never-ending loop of changing and adapting as your kids grow, which leaves many moms feeling stuck when it comes to fitness.
If this sounds familiar, know you’re not alone and you’re certainly not the first to experience this. The good news is, moms around the world and in our own community have found ways to break the chain and fit exercise into their busy lives. And guess what – by working on your health and fitness, you will naturally be a better person, in a better mood, for your family. Want to know how they do it? Here are seven tried and true workout tips for busy moms:
1. Workout early in the morning before the kids are up
When we have a lot on our plate, we often lose motivation for the things we feel are ‘negotiable’ as our day goes on. Working out usually falls into that category. But, if you get in the habit of exercising first thing in the morning, it will feel like you have one less thing on your to-do list. Plus, the endorphins will give you a boost of energy and help you clear your mind so you can take on the day like a champ! Our clubs offer flexible hours and great class schedules.
2. Connect with other moms
Surrounding yourself with like-minded people who are experiencing similar struggles as you can work wonders for your mental health. Whether they’re your best friends or simply other gym members who go to the same group classes as you, that sense of community will help keep you motivated and accountable to your fitness goals. KettleRow, Tour10, FP50 and CYCLE are local favourites here!
3. Involve your kids
Use your workouts as an opportunity to educate your kids about health (and help burn some of their energy). Depending on their age, you can get them to count your reps, join in for jumping jacks or a plank challenge. Some people even hold their kids as weights!
4. Let us babysit
Bring your kids to the gym! We have a dedicated Play Kids Area in all of our FITNESS PROJECT locations that take care of your kids while you take care of your fitness. You can workout in peace knowing your kids are well supervised, safe and entertained with activities, games and crafts. It’s a win win.
5. Let your kids know it’s your special time
Conversely, if your kids aren’t old enough to join you at the gym, explain to them that your daily workout is your special time and offer up a small reward for their compliance.
6. Keep a special gym bag
Busy moms have a lot of stuff for their kids — toys, diapers, clothing — let alone their own belongings. Things can get disorganized quickly, which leaves you feeling panicked when you’re in a rush to workout and can’t find what you need. Avoid this altogether by having a special gym bag always stocked with your clothes, shoes, snacks, etc. Everytime you come back from your workout, replace your sweaty items with new clothes and zip up the bag. Pro tip: toss in workout clothes you actually like wearing so you’re that more likely to want to go exercise.
7. Layer in yoga
Your workouts don’t always have to be high intensity to be beneficial. For most people, finding some sort of balance between strength training, cardio exercise and stretch or mobility feels best. As a busy mom, things don’t always go as planned so allowing yourself to have some flexibility (no pun intended!) will give you more opportunity to make working out work for you. Yoga is a great way to move your body, release stress and clear your mind simultaneously. Especially on days where you’re not at peak motivation, it might be easier to convince yourself to show up to a yoga class versus an open gym training session.
These tips are not a recipe for success one hundred percent of the time because naturally, as a busy mom, sometimes you have an ‘off’ day or you get a few too many curve balls thrown your way. That’s life.
Luckily, your fitness routines don’t have to be perfect to have lasting benefits for your health. They just have to be achievable most of the time. When you have a bad day, you don’t magically erase the progress you’ve already made or ruin your future fitness possibilities.
Remind yourself you’re in it for the long haul and show up for your workout the next day. Revisit these tips to find inspiration for action and make it happen! Your willingness to keep moving forward will make fitness more of a habit and therefore less of a challenge over time. And don’t forget, you’re doing this not only for yourself, but for your family as well!