If getting in shape is on your to-do list, but you are having trouble getting started – remember that you are not alone. For a busy mom, jump-starting an exercise program can be daunting no matter how motivated you are. Finding time can be the greatest challenge. How do you squeeze exercise in around birthday parties, work demands, and doctor appointments? Physical fitness is good for any mom.
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No-One Wants To Get Up At 4 To Go To The Gym
Before you begin exercising or eating better, get clear grip on why you would like to get fit. Are you exercising to feel good about yourself again? Are you doing it so you are strong enough to hike with your husband? Or do you simply want to lower your BMI back to your old weight? Once you know your “why”, remember it when things get tough. It’s your motivation motto. Stick with it and you’ll see great things happen.
Additionally, don’t forget that everyone is different. Some people love spin class. On the other hand, you may like the work-out-on-your-own type of exercise. I personally prefer low impact workouts. The greatest thing about fitness these days is that there truly seems to be something for everyone. You can run, walk or swim or lift. Find something that gets you excited.
Now, while a 4:30 AM workout will leave you with plenty of time during the day, let’s be honest it’s probably not practical for all but the most dedicated gym-bunnies. So I will suggest getting away from the gym mentality and look for ways to incorporate working out into your daily lifestyle. Don’t worry about your outfit and exercise clothing. Don’t waste your free time debating exercise wardrobe choices.
Since you are probably short on time, prioritize high-intensity training. Busy people often forgot the gym because they believe they need to spend hours working out to see the results. However, the truth is, you can get an effective workout in as little as 20-30 minutes per day. At the end of the busy day, spending more time with your husband and children is always the biggest priority. If you are going to choose to run or do an exercise, you better make sure you are pushing yourself the entire time. That’s why HIIT maximizes your time during the exercise. Don’t just take my word, here is Hollywood hunk Jason Statham- “Your body’s like dynamite. You can tap it with a pencil all day, but you’ll never make it explode. You hit it once with a hammer, BANG!”
Sprint sets are perfect. I usually run one set of sprints followed by a long rest period. That means that I sprint 20 seconds, rest 10 and repeat the process for 4 minutes. This can easily be done while watching your children play in the park. Sprint sets could be done running or on a bike or really any other activity that can be done quickly. Swimming for sprints is not recommended, though as it doesn’t have the benefits of weight bearing exercise.
Exercises You Can Do At Home
1. Pull ups – You can do pull-ups on a door frame, while your kid is on the swing set or on a tree branch. You can easily start with assisted pull-ups if needed using a band or chair.
2. Squats and lunges – Doing squats or lunges is probably the best way to strengthen the abdominal, legs and butt muscles. Squats are paramount to any exercise routine, and to staying active in general. If you have small children, you are going to be squatting down multiple times a day. Try working this into a daily exercise schedule. Sit your child on the floor with their toys and perform several sets of squats, each time you go down tickle the baby or peek-a-boo. This exercise when repeated for several full sets a day will strengthen your lower body and core. It helps keep you bum and tum tight. Remember to use correct form.
3. Planks – Maybe the best all-over exercise a busy mom can do. Rest on forearms and toes. Then, hold as long as possible. Repeat this several times. Again, while your child is playing on the ground set yourself up in a plank. You stay at eye level with your baby and strengthen your back and abs.
4. Push-ups – You can start with wall push-ups or “girl” push-ups and work your way up. Turn your planks into push-ups and score 2 exercises in one.
Create a Routine
Your body is a series of pairs of muscles, and your daily routine needs to work those pairs. You do this by matching each pull movement with a push movement. There are several types of movements we can do. Here is a short set of examples you can include.
1. Horizontal Push – Push ups or baby bench press. Hold your child with outstretched arms as you lay on your back, press them up and down to work your arms and chest.
2. Horizontal Pull – Table/chair row. Lay on your back under a table, grip the edge and pull your chest to the table. Kind of similar to a pull-up, but the regular pull up is a vertical pull. Alternatively, you can “baby row” bend at the waist over your baby. lift the baby up to you and then back down. Basically the opposite of the baby bench press, as you are working the opposite pair of muscles.
3. Vertical Push, Vertical Pull – as mentioned the vertical pull is the pull-up or assisted pull-up. The push version can be done by holding the baby at chest level and lifting them straight up over your head.
These are all common games to play with a young child and you will feel the benefit of exercising with your child very quickly. Once you are strong enough to do this easily you can switch to dumbbells or kettlebells to increase resistance.
If you don’t have time for the exercise, you can get your exercise by playing with your kids. Walking and running with your kids is a workout in itself. It’s fun as well. Whether the bribe is a snack or something else, your little ones are more willing to participate with almost no complaining when there’s something in it for them. No shame in that.
Don’t Forget The Diet
Removing grains from your regular diet and consuming the right kinds of proteins and fats will allow your body to improve strength, performance and burn fat more quickly.
Finally, don’t beat yourself up. You have to learn to accept the free time you have and make the most of it. Never compare yourself to other moms. Do your best for you.