HOW TO GET FIT AT HOME AS A BUSY MOM
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Becoming a parent is a whole lotta different feels. It’s amazing, joyous, scary as hell, unpredictable and filled with so much love.
Your life completely changes and suddenly your time is very limited, especially when you have small children whose needs are extreme and immediate.
So, how on Earth do moms find the time to exercise? Sometimes it feels lucky if we get to pee alone for 2 minutes, let alone squeeze in a work out!
I have 3 kids under 5. I’m not telling you this to brag or one up you. It’s just a fact about my life. I’m also fairly active and have been since my first daughter was about 6 months old.
What I’m trying to say is, it’s POSSIBLE to exercise with small kids. Keep reading to find out how!
The biggest thing you need to change in order to be able to successfully exercise with small kids is your mindset.
Sometimes, you will stop and start a workout 10 times and the possibility of not finishing is definitely there. So, stop defining those interrupted workouts as failures. Start defining them as successful, because even if you only finished 50% of your workout, that’s 50% more than nothing!
It’s also important to change your mindset about exercise in general. You don’t ‘have to’ work out. It shouldn’t be a ‘chore.’
Look at it like you ‘get to’ work out because you have a healthy strong body that CAN be physically active! And if it really does feel like a chore, find something that doesn’t. If you hate running, try strength training. Try kickboxing, dancing, rowing or HIIT. Find something that doesn’t feel like a chore!
*It’s important to note that starting something new always feels hard in the beginning. Once you do it a few times (whether that’s jogging with a stroller or Zumba classes) it’ll get easier and more enjoyable. So give whatever it is you’re interested in a good chance before saying you don’t like it!
I’m hoping that you have some lovely friends and family around you that would be willing to help if you asked them. Don’t shy away from that!
Your health is not only important for you, it’s important for your kids too! You want to be able to run around with them and grow old. Hopefully this is something your partner/family/friends can understand.
Make It A Priority
Sometimes it can be too easy to shove physical activity to the bottom of your to-do list. I mean, there’s a million other things to be doing right?
But. That doesn’t mean it SHOULD get shoved to the bottom. Exercising can improve your mood, help you lose weight, sleep better, live longer, be fit and strong and increase your libido. Not to mention your self-confidence.
Shouldn’t exercising be at the top of our list if those are the benefits?
Get Your Kids Involved
By this I mean actually get your kids to try your workout- my kids love to try some of the zany moves I’m doing and get a better appreciation for how hard it is! Or, sometimes we throw on an episode of Cosmic Kids Yoga so that they can do that while I do my workout. Cosmic Kids Yoga is free on Youtube, you can check them out HERE.
This can also mean turning time with them into working out- kick a soccer ball around, have a dance party or try some calisthenics when you’re all at the park.
Workout At Home
One of the best things I discovered about staying in shape was that I didn’t have to go to a gym- I could do workouts in my living room or head out the door for a run.
One of my friends was getting into crazy good shape and when I asked- she told me it was from Beachbody!
When I first heard the term, I have to admit, I wasn’t impressed. Beachbody? It kind of sounded like something the teenagers were into.
But I was intrigued because there was no way I was getting to a gym 3 times a week with three small kids. So, I tried the free 14 day trial.
I was completely blown away. They have something for EVERYONE on there. From strength training, to yoga, to total body workouts using only your body weight. MMA style fight classes, dance classes- you name it. All from the comfort of your home!
There is a ton of stuff you can do for free at home to keep in shape. For myself, I need something extra that I can turn on and be motivated by. If I have to search a free video or try to figure out which area of my body to focus on- it probably won’t happen.
Finishing a round of something on Beachbody gives you a sense of accomplishment because you can track your results and there is no second guessing about what you’re doing that day.
Beachbody doesn’t have to be expensive. I’ve never tried Shakeology and if I need equipment, I buy it from Amazon or somewhere cheaper than their site. You can check out the free trial here.
RELATED: How To Start Running (as a new mom)
Use Distractions For Your Kids
Some ideas are:
- A basket of ‘special’ toys they only get to play with while you’re working out.
- A play pen with special toys.
- Turning on a movie or show.
- Mess free coloring books that don’t require help or the chance of marker walls.
- Educational games on a tablet.
Ditch The Guilt
It’s easy to forego exercising because of the guilt you feel over not spending the time with your kids. We feel guilt from ourselves and from society.
It does NOT have to be spending time with our kids OR exercising- it can and SHOULD be both!
By only spending time with our kids now and not exercising, we are going to be spending time later with health issues that will also keep us from our kids or grandkids.
INVEST in yourself, in your health, in your LIFE. You deserve it!!!! And so do your kids❤
Find And Understand Your “why”
The reasons listed below are some of my “whys”. I find that some days I need a different why to follow through with exercising. See if any resonate with you and then find your own!
Exercise makes you feel like you again
Becoming a mother is the hardest and most intense thing you’ll ever do. It will change you in a profound way. Exercising makes you feel GOOD and you get to reconnect with yourself while you’re doing it. It doesn’t have to be about losing weight and being skinny (although that’s sweet too.)
It’s about discovering your inner mental and outer physical strength that can carry you through some seriously hard times in parenting.
Not only in motherhood or parenting-
sometimes we don’t even realize how ‘bad’ we’re feeling because we’ve reached a new level of normal. Maybe for a while it bothers you that your clothes aren’t fitting great or you just feel sluggish. But after a while, we start to accept it and it doesn’t feel AS bad.
I’m not going to lie, it is hard as hell to get back into (or just into) a fitness routine. If you’ve been inactive for a while (your whole life, like I was??), you’ll be sore and may even wonder if it’s worth it.
IT IS WORTH IT!!!!!!!!
Get through the pain and come out on the glorious other side of feeling strong and healthy.
Create a new normal for yourself!
The Good Feelings Last Long After The Exercise Is Over
This one is kind of ‘well duh,’ I know THAT! We all know that! But it’s so easy to forget what that actually means for you, your body and mental health.
Endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body, sometimes they even leave you feeling euphoric!
After I finish a workout or run or just go for a walk, I usually have way more patience for my children and feel like I can handle a lot more.
It’s also easier to make healthier choices because you just won’t feel like ruining the work you’ve put in.
Your Sex Life Will Improve
This is important to me and it should be for you too! After the birth of my 3rd baby, I really didn’t have much of a sex drive. I blamed it on hormones and having a baby. But my baby is 9 months old at the time of writing this and I started to feel like maybe this wasn’t normal.
After getting back into a regular exercise routine, my sex drive came back with a vengeance!
Part of it was losing a bit of weight and getting rid of the ‘fluffy’ feeling and part of it was just having increased energy and confidence.
*I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being ‘fluffy’ as long as you are truly HAPPY! Then, who cares?!
However, if you are NOT happy-
make a change!
Sex is such an important part of your relationship. It bridges you back together into the world of two adults being in love, not just two parents basically running a business during the day.
(Does anyone else feel like that’s all they’re doing sometimes? Delegating tasks, making food, cleaning or switching kids between the two of you?)
Playing with your kids isn’t hard anymore
I really start to notice not exercising when I have trouble keeping up with my kids at the playground. There’s moments where I feel so sad saying no, I can’t play tag or give you a million underducks on the swings and it’s because I’m already exhausted and we’ve only been here 5 minutes.
I love being able to say YES to all the things, run and play with them and role model a healthy momma who is happy and confident.
(You can, OF COURSE, be happy and confident if you are not in shape. Again, this is based on YOU and how YOU feel!)
There will be less injuries to worry about as you get older!
It’s easier to throw your back out, strain your neck or pull something. I was trying to show my daughter how to do cartwheels at the park and on the 3rd one, I heard an audible pop! It was my hamstring and I limped around for a while after.
Doing everyday things are harder (like carrying your baby or toddler around), carrying groceries into the house, getting in and out of the van to buckle and unbuckle kids.
Once you’re in shape, you kind of start taking the ease of these things for granted but try to stay appreciative!
It sounds crazy but strength training can reduce sports injuries by 68% and proprioception training can reduce all injuries by 45%!
RELATED: Proprioception Exercises
Makes you feel like a badass mutha’
Not gonna lie, this is pretty much my favorite reason for exercising as a mom.
NOTHING CAN TEAR YOU DOWN WHEN YOU KNOW THAT YOU’RE A BEAUTY AND A BEAST.
There is something SO satisfying about relying on yourself and getting strong (mentally and physically). The feeling transfers over into all areas of your life. You start trusting yourself more and not letting the little things get you down.
EXERCISE BRINGS YOU FREEDOM
It brings you the freedom to:
- Say yes to chasing your happy, gleeful kids around the park or backyard.
- Shrug and say no big deal when there’s an out of order sign on the elevator and you need to walk up 4 flights of stairs carrying your 20lb toddler (I mean kind of shrug lol you might still be salty about that one)
- Feel good about yourself, truly good about yourself because you know you’re worth the effort.
- Spend time on YOU, not your kids, YOU and reconnect with yourself.
- Change your mindset to knowing that ANYTHING is possible, if you want it, you can DO it.
I know you’re busy. I know you barely get time to pee without someone needing something or harassing you. Being a mom is some crazy ass shit.
I think it’s important to keep in mind that you should not be FINDING the time to exercise. You need to MAKE the time. Sometimes I am able to do a workout at home with all 3 kids by myself and other times I wait until my husband is home. Other times, it just doesn’t work out. I don’t beat myself up, I try again the next day.
But I DO make this a priority. What’s the point of being spiritually awakened if you feel like shit? What’s the point of being hella in shape if you’re angry or anxious all day?
How To Exercise When You Have Small Kids:
- Change your mindset.
- Enlist help/support.
- Make it a priority.
- Get your kids involved.
- Use play time as exercise time- kicking around a soccer ball, running around at the park, etc.
- Ditch the gym mentality- workout at home.
- Distract your kids.
- Ditch the guilt!
- Find your WHY!
Have you already been exercising since beginning your motherhood journey or are you just starting out? Did this post help you learn how to exercise with small kids? Let me know in the comments so we can connect! Wishing you so much love, wherever you’re at in your journey my friend❤