If I told you that fitness is an activity that can be squeezed into a busy day, would you believe me? When kids are roaming around the house and you have to think about their meals, supervise their sleep pattern, make sure they play with the right toys, and try to create an educational environment, fitness and working out are definitely not on your mind.
Of course, hopefully, we don’t have to do all of this alone. Still, even with the help of the most-devoted partner, being a mum will occupy much of your time. So how on earth do some women manage to balance family, a successful career, and look amazing while doing all this?
They can’t pause time and they are not more special than you! But they do understand that it’s possible to combine various activities to save time and energy. For instance, fitness is an activity that can be squeezed into a busy day; let’s see how.
It’s important to be there for your kids but you can also factor your needs into the equation. So don’t feel bad if you squeeze some mummy time in while you’re playing.
For instance, you could do a bit of cardio by playing with a ball in the garden, or do some brisk walks while you’re getting the baby out in a stroller. Nowadays, there are specially designed strollers that allow you to go for a jog whilst walking your baby!
Squats can also be included in a playtime routine and even some weight lifting. It all boils down to being creative and thinking a bit outside of the box. The tools are probably all around you, you just need to be willing to use them.
Now obviously I wouldn’t be so callous as to suggest doing this when you have a newborn to care for – every minute of sleep is precious, isn’t it? But when you have established a routine and perhaps when the baby is sleeping through the night, you might be able to get up a little earlier to do some simple stretches or yoga asanas.
It is possible to burn quite a few calories if you throw yourself into your housework Mrs Hinch style. For example, an hour of mopping can burn around 153 calories, whilst vacuuming can burn around 120 calories for 30 minutes.
You could do some lunges or squats whilst waiting for the kettle to boil or put some music on and dance around the house – probably best to put your headphones on if you’re trying to settle a baby though, unless gentle classical music is your thing!
If you miss the gym but there’s no way to carve the time in your schedule, what about a home gym? Now, before you roll your eyes and mutter about#3 the extra cost, here’s the thing: nowadays, you can hire the equipment you want, for as long as you need it.
For instance, you can get a treadmill, an exercise bike or rowing machine from Hire Fitness in the UK to help you get back in shape. The idea is to have the equipment in close proximity; so when the kids are asleep or there is someone there to supervise them, you can do a 15/20 minute workout.
If budget is an issue, there is plenty of good value exercise equipment to be found on Amazon. You can even use tins of beans or water bottles as weights. If your pelvic floor will take it, there is always a skipping rope or a mini rebounder from somewhere like Argos.
Sometimes it gets lonely when you do your workouts alone, and your motivation can easily drop or disappear altogether. To avoid this, you should consider joining a live-streamed fitness class. The trend is not exactly new, but it is gaining in popularity and more people seem to prefer this type of working out at home. It makes you a part of something and gives you greater flexibility.
Remember, being a mum means you have young people watching you closely and learning from you. And they don’t learn from what you preach – they learn from what you do.
So, be a good example and teach your kids about being healthy and active from a young age. Talk to them about the importance of movement and healthy foods, but try to find an approach that speaks to their level.
However, if you do get the kids involved (and there are so many cute examples to follow online), you will no longer be working out alone! It’s a win-win situation. For example, if you have a trampoline in the garden, there are plenty of simple exercises for beginners.
In order to get results and keep things ticking in all the wonderful chaos that may be a part of your life, it’s important to know why you want to get fit in the first place. If you’re only focusing on the losing weight aspect, the motivation won’t be enough.
Think about how exercise makes you feel; about your health, and the health of your entire family, and think about the energy that a good workout brings. Once you realize that, because working out is a part of your life, you can feel better and perform better day to day, it will be difficult to stop!
Just remember that there is no hurry to lose the baby weight. Enjoying your time with your children is more important than dropping a dress size. Don’t be fooled by celebs who are back in size 8 jeans within 6 weeks. They have dieticians, personal trainers and, in some cases rumour has it, a handy tummy tuck with their C-section.
At the end of the day, it is possible to balance a busy mum life and also have a fulfilling life as a beautiful, strong woman. You just need to figure out your motivation and develop a positive and determined mindset. Fitness is an activity that can be squeezed into a busy day.
Midlife mum from Cardiff. Wine Imbiber. Likes glitter, fluff and olives. Approaching tweendom with Caitlin (11) and Ieuan (10). The husband is hiding in the loft.
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