Being a mom is a full time job all on its own. Toss in the fact that you also have a career and getting extra exercise almost seems impossible. It’s natural to put your fitness goals on the back burner, when you have your kids education, meals and just wanting to spend quality time with them as the alternative to sweating it out at the gym. We moms are used to putting the needs of our kids before ours, and fitness is no exception if you are a working mom too. But mamas- news flash! Your kids need a healthy mom- one who has energy and feels good about herself. And one who is a good example of a healthy lifestyle. You only need 20 minutes a day to get in a workout, and it’s not has hard as you think.
1. Use Your Lunchtime
If you can’t stomach the idea of cutting into family time when you’re off work, then start using your lunchtime at work to squeeze in a workout. Go walking, practice yoga, hit the gym if you have time, or close your office door to get some desk exercises in. You don’t have to workout to the point of profuse sweating, but any activity that gets your heart rate up is good. We found a great list of desk exercises here, so there’s no excuses! It’s also a great way to create a better work/life balance. You’re using your lunch break for you- and not getting suckered into working through lunch.
2. Do A Playground Workout
Finding extra time in your schedule to hit up the gym or go on a run alone just may not be in the cards for you. If you’re planning a trip to the playground with the kids, your problem is solved! You can get in tons of cardio and strength training using the playground equipment, while still spending time with the kiddos. Check out the infographic above for some simple, yet effective workouts!
This awesome illustrated guide was brought to us by the people at Fix.com and written by a working mom!
3. Exercise As A Family
Stop trying to make your workout a separate activity, and squeeze a few cardio sessions in as a family affair. I know it’s tempting to use your weekend as a time to do errands and just relax, but it’s also the perfect time for some physical activities that you don’t have to schedule in during the work week. Set up outing for family bike rides, hikes, swimming and trips to the large regional zoo that require ample walking. Sometimes my family and I have weekend adventures at Disneyland, and we put in 4-5 miles of walking! Don’t be ashamed to count that as a workout, because it is! Especially if the alternative is sitting at your desk at work all day, where 1000 steps is a milestone.
4. Switch To In-Home Workouts
The internet is rife with amazing fitness channels and subscriptions that are perfect for the working mom. Additionally, there are some great DVDs you can purchase that will keep you motivated and on-track for a regular fitness routine. The key is finding a workout that you enjoy, and a decent time to accomplish it. Maybe you work from home, and it’s during nap time. If your job is in an office, perhaps the best time is before the kids are up or after they’ve gone to bed. The best part about in-home workouts is they cut out the travel time of going to the gym- a huge barrier for many people. There’s no excuse when all you have to do is strap on a sports bra and just press play!
5. Sign Up For Baby & Me Classes
We’ve already established that working out with your family is a great source of exercise, but having very little children can still be a hindrance. A great alternative is to find baby and me classes that allow you to get in a good cardio session, while also hanging out with your favorite baby. Classes like stroller strides, baby and me yoga, and swimming are awesome choices for knocking out some phsyical fitness and mommy and me time.
6. Make Fitness A Priority
In all honesty, if you don’t make your health and fitness a priority, none of these suggestions will help you. If you don’t find the internal motivation to get fit, you will not make the effort to squeeze in workouts because it’s just plain easier not to do it at all. Whether it’s to lose weight, have more energy, fit better into your pencil skirts or live long enough to see all your kids milestones, you have to find a way to make fitness important to you. Once you make it a priority, schedule it out like you do all your other engagements. Studies have shown that people are much more likely to accomplish goals when they write them down- so get planning! All it takes is 20 minutes, and your life is pretty worth it.