Fitness Tips For Busy Moms
Hi friends! How’s the week treating ya? I have 1:1 client calls all day today and am excited to meet up with a friend for a morning workout.
For today’s post, I wanted to put together a roundup of tips for my busy mom friends out there. I know that my mama friends have to think about so many things and juggle a variety of tasks throughout the week, and it can be hard for moms to focus on their own self-care and fitness.
In today’s post, I’m sharing some practical tips on how to make fitness a part of life despite busy schedules.
Fitness Tips For Busy Moms
Wake up early… if you can
For my friends out there who can be early birds, this is your time to shine. For all of my friends who are fellow night owls, this one may not work so well. This also may not work if your sleep quality is terrible, or you’re up frequently throughout the night feeding, changing diapers, or comforting from bad dreams. I’m a big believer that sleep ALWAYS wins. If you’re exhausted, take the time to rest and recover. If you try to power though a workout (particularly something high intensity), it’s only going to spike your cortisol, make you feel more stressed, and chances are that you won’t have a great workout, anyway.
If you’re sleeping well throughout the night and enjoy making time for fitness in the am, set your alarm before the kids are awake. It can be pretty amazing to crush your workout early in the morning before the crew is up.
Break up your workouts
Don’t be afraid to split up your workouts into multiple time blocks throughout the day. Before I had kids, I had a mentality that if it wasn’t a full hour workout that left me sweating from my eyeballs, it didn’t count. Little bits of movement throughout the day absolutely add up. You could split your workout into 10-minute blocks: 10 minutes of strength training, 10 minutes of cardio, 10 minutes of core work and stretching for 30 minutes of total exercise time.
I share more ideas on how to do this in this post. It’s also important to note here that overall daily movement is HUGE and it’s a pretty active time of life when you’re chasing a crawling toddler around the house all day.
Something that helped me dramatically in ALL aspects of child raising: drop your expectations. If you have high expectations, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. I went into each walk with the stroller knowing it could either last an hour, or 5 minutes. I was mentally ready for any situation. 😉 Don’t be afraid to switch things up as needed, and to shift and adjust plans depending on what’s going on.
Don’t be afraid to include the kids
I used to think that working out had to be a thing I did solo, away from the crew. I didn’t want the kids to think I was ignoring them. And then the world shut down. I switched to home workouts for over a year, and for a vast majority of that time, the kids were home with me. I quickly learned that they LOVED joining in for streaming yoga, kickboxing, and dance cardio classes. And then when they got bored, they’d go find from toys to play with, a coloring book, or LEGO set.
Now, I’m always happy when the kids see me taking time for a short On Demand or garage strength training workout. They see me taking time for myself to do something that makes me feel good, and I’m glad to set that example.
(The BEST lil hiking buddies)
It’s easy to underestimate the importance of hydration, especially when you’re busy with kiddos. Aim to drink at least half your bodyweight in ounces each day. (For example, if you weight 160 lbs, aim for 80oz of water.) Have a water bottle you love and can with you throughout the day. Adequate hydration can have a positive impact on our skin, hunger levels, digestion, immune function, and metabolism. Bottoms up, buttercup!
Ask for help
It’s SO hard to ask for help, but always worth it. You don’t have to do everything on your own. Ask your partner if they’d mind watching the kid(dos) while you catch a workout class, a long walk, or take a nap. 😉 If you have the resources to hire an occasional babysitter, if can give you an opportunity and space to do things you may not be able to otherwise.
I’m a huge fan of planning ahead, with the expectation that plan B or Plan Q might need to occur. Take some time each week to set a rough schedule, outline priorities, and see what workouts you can plan in advance. (Even if you don’t have a set time, you could put something like “am walk” so you know you’ll go for a walk sometime in the morning.)
Plan any meals you can in advance
It’s always tricky to open the fridge and see a ton of ingredients, but no actual meals. Take some time to plan out meals each week, even if it’s just some breakfast staples (hard-boiled eggs, yogurt, oatmeal, etc), lunch staples (salads, soups) and dinners. If you need help with your meal planning game, I have a free download here with my method, plus a weekly planner and bonus recipes.
Meal prep over the weekend
Take some time over the weekend to set yourself up for success. I love to chop some veggies each week (big sheet pans of roasted veggies to add to scrambles, wraps, and salads), proteins (eggs, chicken breasts, turkey meatballs, etc) and batch-cook grains, like brown rice or baked oatmeal. Figure out which staples you love to have on hand, and take an hour or so to prep some faves for the week ahead.
Opt for convenience options as needed
Anything you can do to make your life easier: dooooooo it. If you can’t find time to batch cook chicken, buy the chicken that’s already cooked and sliced. No time to hard-boil eggs? Buy the ones already boiled and peeled. Don’t want to chop a bunch of veggies? Go for pre-chopped. See which staples you’d love to have but don’t have time to make, and treat yourself to the already-prepped versions.
Create a routine that makes you feel excited
It’s SO much easier to stay motivated and consistent when you have a routine you truly enjoy. You should look forward to your workouts and eats — if you don’t, it will be so much harder to stick with it for the long haul. If you’re feeling blah about your routine and want to try something new, join us for Fit Team! LOTS of group accountability and the workouts are fire.
Have grace and remember that it’s a short amount of time
Remember that it’s ok for your relationship with fitness and your priorities to change after having kids.
I feel like the gym used to be a huge part of my life – I was training and teaching constantly – and now, it’s something I’m IN, OUT and DONE. I take a very limited amount of in-person clients and only currently teach two classes per week. I don’t want to miss out on adventures with the kids, so I’ve learned to make my personal fitness routine very short and effective.
Your fitness mojo will ebb and flow over time, and that’s ok!
If your goal is to lose weight or lose body fat after babies, remember that slow and steady always wins. Give yourself time and focus on slow and sustainable habits. If you’re postpartum, focus on healing your body; it’s been through a huge athletic event.
If you’re in a part of life where you’re like “This is not a huge priority for me right now,” give yourself grace. Instead, aim for movement throughout the day (walks, stretching) and nutrition that energizes you. Nap when you can, enjoy the snuggles, and know that it goes super quickly. Liv is 10 and I can’t even believe it.
So tell me, friends: any fitness tips you can share for busy moms? You always have such great ideas.
How has your relationship with fitness changed since having kids?
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