So you have two or three children and they seem overwhelming at times…you can still get your workout in! While I am not an elite athlete, I have been able to continue to stay fit and race on occasion and be a mom. I will not lie to you and say it is easy or that I have a perfect system, but it is possible!
- Get it done first thing! If you get a shower and get dressed for the day, you are far less likely to come back, get sweaty and re-shower and dress.
- Find something you can enjoy. You will be far more likely to do it if you like it! Join a tennis or soccer league, try yoga or Zumba. If you think you don’t like working out, you won’t. Create a positive mentality about being healthy and commit to doing it. Doing something you enjoy will get you much closer to success.
- Get a treadmill or a baby jogger or join your local YMCA. I have all three. I know that may seem excessive, but they were investments that keep me sane and healthy. I can get on the treadmill anytime day or night or go to the YMCA before the kids are up (as long as hubby is home) or take the kids to the child care at the YMCA in the morning. With a treadmill at home, you never have and excuse for not getting some kind of exercise. When the weather is nice, I load the kids into the jogger and head out on the road. If daddy is a runner also, baby jogger runs are a great equalizer! He slows down and you can keep up. It makes for some fun family time. My kids like to cheer from behind me as I run and say “GO, mommy, GO!” as daddy pushes them along.
- Put the kids to work! Do squats while holding your child in front of you. Do the baby press – lying on the ground press the child up like a barbell, but beware you may get spit up in the face. Do pushups with your baby under you – be sure to give baby a kiss each time you lower down. They will think it is a great game. If your kids are a little older, reverse it and have your toddler lay on your back as you do pushups for more weight. Keep it up and you will get stronger as they get bigger.
- Join a mommy walking group or attend a group fitness class regularly. You will make friends and start to feel a need to show up, so that they don’t ask you next week where you were.
- Finally, make it kid friendly so you have less guilt and fewer excuses. We have my husband’s old college TV setup in front of the treadmill in the basement so that I can watch something if the kids are not around. If they are around, I can keep an eye on them and keep them occupied while I run. If I know I am going to have to run while the kids are up and home, I try to “save” their TV time for while I am working out. Build it up as something special they get to do. Before my kids watched TV I had Baby Einstein videos and a pack and play next to the treadmill, it wasn’t always perfect but I shed that baby weight in no time.
Suzanne is a fitness fanatic and mom of two young boys with one girl on the way (via adoption).