Being a busy mom has a lot of challenges. Whether you are a stay-at-home mom or a working one, parenting and keeping up with all the chores is hard. When the kids go down for a nap, you would probably rather have a lie down than exercise, right? It's a fact that having to take care of your kids, house and family don't offer you enough time to take care of yourself. But, before convincing yourself that your energy and motivation are gone, think again. As contradictory it might sound, when you find time for regular exercise, it will boost your energy. And believe me, it's addictive. In addition, the feeling of having your power back will result in keeping up with all the family and household obligations easier.
Visualize what motivates you...
First things first, before jumping straight into working out, you need to set your plans and goals. Then, ask yourself these questions and write the answers down to reflect on your decision:
Why is exercise important to me?
Do I want to lose the baby weight or stay fit?
Do I want to be able to keep up with the kids?
How will exercising make me feel?
What is my result going to be?
Answers to these questions will be your mantra for the days you don't feel like doing exercise. Remember, it all starts from your head and the preconceptions you have. So don't focus too much on your current weight and looks. Instead, focus on the feeling you want to have later on. This feeling can be physical, in a way that you want to feel less heavy when chasing your toddler, or the sense of pride when you finally fit into your pre-baby jeans.
It might be helpful to create a vision board if you are more of a visual kind of gal. On the days you don't feel like putting on your gym clothes and trainers, have a look at it and remember what you want to accomplish.
How do I find time for regular exercise as a busy mom?
Bear in mind that this is your new normal now, and when it comes to your free time, it won't ever be like it was in your pre-baby life. The thing is that you can work with what you've got. Life is super messy with the kids, but you can find your way around to exercise for at least a bit. The internet is there to help you with an abundance of ten-minute workouts. Remember, some exercise is better than no exercise, so keep in mind that 10 minutes is sometimes enough. If you want to raise your kids and be fit and with more energy, here's how.
Wake up earlier
Waking up earlier doesn't have to be way earlier than the rest of your family. If your kids are up at 7 am, try waking up at 6 am so you can have coffee and do your daily workout or have a quick run around the block. The best way is to wake up as soon as the sun rises, which will give you the energy boost of a fresh start. You start your day with having already accomplished a significant thing before your kids have woken up.
Fit your exercise into small-time portions
Finding the time to go to the gym when you already have a full schedule can be discouraging. Try making the most of what you have in your hands. For example, if you are going grocery shopping, consider parking away from your destination and go there by jogging or fast walking. If there's an elevator, take the stairs. Sometimes just a small effort makes a big difference.
Combine working out and chores
Do squats while picking up the clothes or toys from the floor, stretch while hanging the curtains or clothes to dry. Listen to your favorite music while dusting or vacuuming, which might make you want to do it faster, dance it, or sweat it out. :)
Workout with your kids
Go bike riding with your kids or race on your way to the car or some more extended destination. Playing with your kids might be the easiest way to find time for regular exercise. The options are countless. You can play soccer, shoot hoops, play tags, have a dance party, create some obstacle course in your backyard or take your kids to a playground and join in.
Multitasking is your best friend
Read a book while on a treadmill or do squats, sit-ups, and push-ups while watching a movie. Take advantage of free moments if you haven't done your daily exercise in the morning.
Another helpful thing is to take advantage of your child's allowed screen time. For example, squeeze in a quick workout while they enjoy watching Cocomelon.
Choose a gym with a childcare service
On the other hand, if you lean more towards going to the gym and getting motivation from the surroundings, some gyms offer childcare. This way, you will do your workouts and have a stress-free experience while your kids have fun doing various activities and meet new friends, which sounds like a win-win combination!
Find support or a workout buddy
Is there a better way to get motivated than to start your journey with a friend? If, on the other hand, it is difficult to find a timing that fits with both of you, you might want to consider sharing your journey on social media. Many fellow parents will understand you, and you can exchange your experiences, be supportive to others and make friends. Local Facebook groups are a great way to meet people from your neighborhood in the same situation as you. It's a great place to get helpful advice and, above all, support.
Don't be too hard on yourself...
You have made your vision board and exercise plan, and you are good to go! Consistency is the key, mainly because the results are not immediately visible. Trust the process. You will feel that energy kick in again, and after a while, you will wonder how you couldn’t find time for regular exercise earlier. Still, it is also essential to accept the fact there will be rough days too. Your kid might be sick, or you might have a bad day. It's okay to miss a workout or two but keep in mind why you have started and stay dedicated to your goal. Take care of yourself, momma.