As a busy mom, sometimes its hard to take time out for yourself. We have so many other obligations and priorities that we sometimes put ourselves last. Other times, the way that we treat ourselves in not the best or healthiest. Our "me time" becomes have a sugary or salty treat in front of the TV after the kids are in bed. But, in order to be our best selves and the best possible mom, we have to put our own health as one of our top priorities.
Exercise can give you a high and give you energy to start your day. It can help you clear your brain and enable you to focus. It can give you the strength and endurance to get through a long day. It keeps you healthy and your heart pumping. It boosts your mood. If nothing else, it helps you shed unwanted lbs. So here are 7 tips to help you ensure that you get your workout in!
1. Have a goal of working out everyday - but don't be hard on yourself. On average, you want to work out around 5 days a week. Some people schedule their rest days. I'm not one of those people. I find that if you schedule your rest day and then something comes up another day that prevents you from working out, you beat yourself up for missing an extra day. I make my goal to work out daily and if something does come up or I'm not feeling well, I count that as my rest day. This enables you to have a lot less guilt.
2. Workout in the morning - I find that the best time to workout is before anyone else gets up. This means I'm up at 6:00 am, have a protein shake and start my workout. I generally don't have scheduling conflicts at this time and things don't generally come up. Therefore, it is a whole lot easier for me to make sure I get my workout in. I also have the living room to myself (aside from the dogs) so I can spread out and make as much noise as I want.
3. Workout at Home - Going to the gym is nice, but it requires a lot of effort and planning. You need someone to watch the kids, you have to pay a membership whether you get to the gym or not, you actually have to take the time to go there and come back on top of your workout time, and you have to wait for equipment or come early to make sure you get your spot for class. At home, these things are not an issue. A 30 minute workout will actually take 30 minutes. Once you have your equipment, there is no additional cost. And, no babysitter is required.
4. Have your equipment easily accessible - Set aside a space in your home where you will workout. This might be your living room or your basement or the garage. Have all of your workout out equipment all together, easily accessible in this room. I workout in my living room, so in one corner I have my weights, my stretch band, my ball, my yoga mat and my fold away elliptical. I also have one location for all of my fitness DVDs. When I want to workout, I just grab the equipment I need for that workout and I'm ready to go.
5. Be selective when purchasing DVDs - Have you ever purchased a DVD and then never used it because you didn't have the time or the right equipment? Do your research up front so that when you get a DVD, you are actually able to use it. My first requirement when buying a DVD is length. I want to be able to get my workout done in about 35 minutes, 40 max. That way I have time to get a quick shower in before waking up T. So, if a DVD doesn't meet the time requirement, I don't get it because I know I will rarely, if ever, use it. Next I look at what equipment is required. Generally, I go with DVDs that either come with the equipment required or makes use of equipment I already have. If you get a kettle bell workout and don't have a kettle bell, well you not going to be able to use it until you get one...
6. Get your kids involved - If you have a teeny guy or gal, do baby wearing workouts where you do exercises while wearing your baby in their carrier. The baby is your weight and you move up in weight as your baby gets bigger. This is actually fun for the baby too and some good quality time together. For bigger guys (depending on how big) you can still use them as your weight. Toddler chest presses and over head presses anyone? How about a plank with a toddler on top? Squats while carrying your little guy! Workout with your hubby and get everyone involved. For even bigger kids, get a couple light weights and encourage them to join in. It's never too early to develop a healthy lifestyle.
7. Set a workout goal - When you have a goal to achieve you are much more motivated to do the work it takes to get there. Decide you want to be able to do 60 squats in a minute, or drop a dress size in 4 weeks, or get through the whole workout DVD without having to hit pause. Wherever you are fitness wise, there is always a new goal you can set. Make your goals specific and achievable. Not easy, but achievable. You want to obtain your goal, not be depressed when your deadline comes and you fall short.
In the end, working out is super important to being the best mom you can be. You have energy to chase and play with your kids. You model a healthy lifestyle. And you will definitely feel accomplished when you finish a good workout. Try to add workouts to your routine little by little and you will definitely notice the difference in all aspects of your life. In fact, with that extra boost of energy you may find you actually save time in your day because you are able to accomplish things faster and more efficiently.
Here's to healthy, happy mommies!!