Motherhood involves a lot of care: care for babies, care for toddlers, care for scheduling--but it not always self-care. Juggling to-do lists, maintaining work-life balance and caring for tiny humans keeps you on your toes but not always on your fitness game. The tips below can help you stay fit and active. Moms have enough pressure in their lives, so take these tips and make them work for your life, schedule, and family.
1. Find a Tribe.
Finding a community that supports you and helps you grow can be key to staying fit. Whether you are a new mom or an experienced mom with multiple toddlers, the support of friends is great for your physical and mental health. Plan on getting active outside with friends and the kids, or work with one another to watch each other’s children while you take time to work out. Getting social means getting active!
2. Join a Gym with Childcare Services.
If finding a tribe seems too daunting or adds stress, try joining a pre-made one: the gym! Many gyms now offer childcare services, which allow you get your workout in while a professional watches your child, often in a cool room with toys. This not only allows you to get your workout in but also provides an opportunity for your child to socialize.
3. Set Goals and Make Moving a Habit.
Setting goals can help guide you on the path to success. Make short-term goals that are accessible and allow you to see results. This will keep you motivated to keep going, and before you know it, you may be exercising without even thinking.
Once you lose the mindset of “having” to workout, and rather work out by staying active in life, your workouts will morph from something on your to-do list to something you are already doing. For example, start walking instead of driving. Make moving a priority, and don’t guilt yourself for missing a workout.
4. Value Your Time.
Time management can be the key to getting a workout in. Be mindful of your schedule, and remember that your time is extremely valuable. Find workouts you can do from your home (many exist on YouTube) that are effective yet only 30 minutes long. Try to fit this time in every day, and remember that the work you put in will add up over time.
5. Send the Kids to One Class and Yourself to Another.
Getting the kids out to try new things is great for their social and mental development. Sign your children up for a fun class, like arts and crafts or gymnastics, and use the time they are away having fun to get your own class in!
6. Create a Space at Home for You, and Only You.
Children can quickly take over the space in a home, so find a room or even a corner that you can dedicate just to yourself. No toys, and no entry without permission. Let that space be your area, where you decompress and find your fitness or wellness routine.
7. Get Outside.
Getting outside is great for everyone, and can be a simple and fun way to get active. Walk the kids to a local park, explore the neighborhood, or head out to a family-friendly attraction like the zoo.
8. Split It into Mini Workouts.
We often think of workouts as occurring all at once, in solid blocks of time. However, small workouts throughout the day can add up to a full workout by evening. While your child is occupied by a toy or television show, stay nearby and slip in a few sun salutations, sit-ups or squats. A few movements scattered throughout the day can add up to big results.
9. Get the Kids Involved.
Exercising does not have to mean getting away from the kids. Love a workout video? Invite the kids to join in! This keeps them occupied while teaching them the value of exercise. You may be able to find “Mommy and me” classes, where you bring your child into the class with you.
A busy family schedule can often throw self-care out the window. Do your best and practice one or more of the tips above to find what works best for you. Always keep self-care on your radar--your time is valuable and you are worth it.