As a personal trainer, hands-down the most common reason I hear mom’s say they can’t do home workouts is because they have kids.
I will admit, there are truly times in life where making time for yourself as a mom probably just isn’t going to be on the primary to-do list. No matter how many times we tell each other to work on self-care, sometimes the only form of self-care is being ableto sleep AND eat regularly. But there’s hope!
Let’s get the circumstantial items out of the way first:
If you are mom of an infant your sleep deprivation and body recovery may be intense right now and the last thing you should be focused on is quickly forcing yourself into a new exercise program. I know you may be anxious to get into shape right away because you saw somewhere, someone else’s body snapped right back BUT listen to your body. When you get those cue’s for rest and nutrition, follow them. But that’s another topic for another day. As always, post-pregnancy be sure to get the “all-clear” from your doctor before beginning an exercise program.
Secondly, if you are a mom with a child needing round the clock care then some of the below tips make still work for you, but once again for you sleep and healthy nutrition can change your world!
As a trainer of 10 years, I believe, some level of these tips can be suited for most moms.
- Schedule your kids into your workouts. You can alternate days. Somedays do something they will like but that you can do with them. Other times do something more meant for you, like a power walk or jog while stroller pushing the babies and having older ones tag along on scooters, bikes, roller skates…you get the idea. Many of our household kid favorites come from YouTube and Amazon GoNoodle or one of our favorites Cosmic Kids Yoga
- If your kids will be tagging along, do not make your work-time your zen time. I often see frustration happen for moms when a child is all over the place during the workout but its typically just a mind-set being that the mom is really frustrated because the time was supposed to be a chance for HER. Try switching the approach to family activity time which can take off the stress of it having go perfectly. Save the “solo time” for times when you can actually be alone.
- Life with kids is unpredictable, so give yourself more leeway when it comes to your workout schedule. If you absolutely prefer to workout alone then instead of having a strict schedule maybe have possible times of the day and on days that allow for it. Example, sometimes moms of younger kids get discouraged from working out early mornings because it seems like on the days that you wake up to workout the kids also wake up early or get sick the night before and you are up all night. So instead try a plan where there’s typically 2 times per day that you are usually free. If you happen to be free one week Monday-Sunday then you just earned 7 days of workouts but if on the next week you are only free 3 of those days you’ll still have completed 3 days of workouts
- Key is to be flexible with your kids, your work, your spouse, your life. If you haven’t learned yet that being a mom, especially to multiple children, is about flexibility then let me give you a prophetic word…be flexible and give yourself grace.
- When working out with your kids, try workouts that are 30min or less for young children but you can increase that time if playing a family game of soccer or basketball or even Dance Central on the Kinect
- Remember that part of physical activity is to enhance our mood and alleviate stress, its the same for kids. You may think they are wild’n but its possible that they are also just enjoying the “high”
For my clients and for myself I have found these tips to apply to various people in various stages of life. If you are struggling with finding time to workout but you want to, I hope something above resonates with you. Whether you use these tips or not, remembering to be flexible and not forcing something that is outside of your current reality will move you forward towards your goal.