10 Tips on Balancing Exercise with Motherhood
No more excuses.
From Morgan: When you become a mother, you might think, “How am I going to do it all?” Whether you are juggling a full-time job or running a household, it’s hard to find the time for fitness. Below, I share my top 10 tips for balancing motherhood with exercise.
1. Work out with your kids
Whether it be at home or at the park, involve your kids in your daily exercise routine. Find exercises that allow you to use your kids as weight or let them join you, depending on their age. Not only are you getting in your workout, but you are also setting an excellent example for your kids that exercise is important to stay healthy.
2. Utilize naptime wisely
If your kids are still on a good nap schedule, dedicate the first portion of their naps to yourself. Setting up a home gym can be very affordable and save you driving time and the cost of a gym membership. If naptime is not an option, set your alarm for before the kids wake up so you can start your day with a workout before the chaos begins.
3. Schedule time on your calendar
Plan your week by keeping a calendar of the kids’ schedule, your work schedule and your workout schedule. If you treat your exercise like an appointment you cannot miss, you will be less likely to make excuses.
4. Find accountability friends
Build a strong community of women around you that share your goals. This is key to staying positive and having a go-to friend to turn to when you are struggling to eat healthy or get to the gym. With this practice, it’s also important to remove the negative people in your life that don’t support your goals to stay healthy and exercise.
5. Reward yourself
Set goals and when you reach them, reward yourself. Avoid treating yourself with food and, instead, pamper yourself with a manicure, pedicure, massage or some new workout clothes.
6. Choose burst
Burst training is one of the most effective ways to burn calories in a short amount of time. All you need is 20 minutes and your own bodyweight. It also consists of an equal work-to-rest ratio. For example, a bodyweight exercise for 20 seconds at maximum effort is followed by 20 seconds of active rest. It’s a win-win for a busy schedule!
7. Drop the guilt
Mommy-guilt gets the best of us in many aspects of life, but don’t let exercise be one of them. In order to take care of everyone around you, you need to take care of yourself first. Just 20-45 minutes a day for yourself will help you pour energy into your family and job.
8. Bring your kids to the gym
When looking for a gym membership in your area, find a place with good childcare. With the option to bring your kids to the gym with you, it eliminates the excuse to not go.
9. Ask your spouse for help
As mothers, we try to do everything for everybody. Ask your spouse for 30-45 minutes two or three times per week to help with the kids or make dinner while you get a quick sweat in. It’s also an opportunity for your spouse to have some one-on-one bonding time with the kids while you refill your tank.
10. Focus on progress, not perfection
Juggling motherhood with a healthy, active lifestyle is no easy task. There will be days that the workout or home-cooked meal falls to the wayside. Don’t let those days get you off track or feeling even more guilty. Instead, accept it and start the next day with a better plan to exercise and get closer to your fitness goals.