This article was a guest post by Jennifer Johnson, Perinatal Exercise Specialist and Founder of Fit for Expecting
You’re a mom, so it goes without saying that you’re busy. You probably know that you should be healthy, but if you’re like many moms, chances are you prioritize everyone else’s health before your own. Exercise often gets the boot when moms try to figure out how to balance the demands coming at them from all directions.
Chances are if you’re like most of my clients and friends, you’re probably thinking, “I can’t fit one more thing into my life right now. I most definitely can’t go to the gym or take classes like I used to before I had a family, a career and other responsibilities.”
You DO have time to be healthy and take care of yourself, but the only way this will happen is if YOU want to and are willing to commit to a healthy lifestyle. I can’t do it for you. Your friend can’t do it for you. You have the power and you can do it!
Being active, and in a more general sense, taking care of yourself, makes you a better woman, mom, spouse, partner, daughter, employee and friend.
Healthy doesn’t have a size or a weight or a number of miles run. The female body type that most frequently shows up in advertising as “ideal” is actually only possessed by 5 percent of American women. I know it’s hard not to, but don’t compare yourself. Embrace YOUR body. Be your own unique version of healthy and strong.
Don’t feel less than if you can’t do as many push-ups as the lady next to you in class. Don’t get discouraged if you see a model walking the runway two weeks after delivering a baby. Don’t give up if you’ve tried but you and running just don’t mix.
Are you ready to commit to a healthy lifestyle? If so, ask yourself these questions:
What is my version of healthy and strong and what can I do to get there?
- What types of activities do I enjoy and not enjoy?
- What have I not yet tried but have always wanted to?
- What distractions/challenges do I face that prevent me from getting or staying healthy?
- What can I realistically fit into my schedule, into my life?
Email me your answers and I will be your accountability partner: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now you’re ready to make your plan. Here are some tips to fit in fitness:
- Something is better than nothing. It really is. Incorporate exercises throughout your day: pick up the baby/toddler and start squatting, walk around while on a call at work, take the stairs, do bicep curls with the laundry detergent after you put the clothes in the washer.
- Find a gym with a childcare center or find a class that you can do with your baby/child.
- Schedule active family activities – bike riding, swimming, hiking, kick ball, frisbee.
- Take a walk while waiting for your child to finish ballet class or soccer practice.
- If you’re going out for a walk, wear your baby instead of pushing him/her in the stroller.
- Start and end the day with exercise. All you need is five minutes on both ends. In the morning do energizing exercises like squats, planks, push-ups, jogging in place, or stair climbing if you have stairs in your house. In the evening, try calming yoga poses and stretches to unwind from the day.
- Next time you’re at the grocery store, carry a basket instead of pushing a shopping cart. And yes, you can still get that gallon of milk and laundry detergent.
- Surely the shower/bath will need to be cleaned one of these days. So scrub it. Then when you’re done scrub the bathroom floor. Yep. By hand.
- Watching TV? At every commercial break, get up and start moving. March in place, jog in place, jumping jacks, squats – anything to get your heart rate up.
- Use your workout time wisely. Instead of spending 60 minutes on the elliptical, plan a workout that is more effective and can be done in much less time. Don’t have the time or the knowledge to put a workout together? Enlist the help of an exercise specialist. Fit for Expecting develops effective exercise programs for moms, in whatever time you have available, with whatever equipment is available – http://www.fitforexpecting.com.