I don’t know one mother out there who ever has too much time. Trying to simultaneously make dinner, do laundry, help with homework, and clean up dog vomit are frequent occurrences in the lives of moms, similar to breathing or brushing your teeth.
Part of being a parent is constantly feeling the pressure of having too many things to do and not enough time to do them. All too often, mothers put themselves on the bottom of the endless “to-do” list and as a result, their health-both physical and mental- suffers.
As a working mother of three little ones, I know and understand the struggles of balancing work and family life. As counter-intuitive as it may seem, my commitment to fitness has actually helped me achieve and maintain that balance. For years, it has been a tool to help me stay focused and achieve the work and family life that I desire.
For me, fitness has been my outlet and my motivator. When I devote time to my well-being, I feel less stressed, less overwhelmed, and more patient, allowing me to deal with life’s curve balls (because with kids, there are always curve balls).
Being active and healthy has also helped keep me motivated over the years. I want to set a good example for my children and teach them to value and care for their bodies. On the days when I am over stressed and over tired, a quick sweat session gets my blood pumping, clears my mind, and freshens my perspective on things.
I understand that life is complicated and that every adult is spread too thin, but I also know the value of an active lifestyle and want you to know it is easier to achieve than you think. Here are a few tips to get started and keep the fire burning:
1. Make the Rounds: Try a variety of activities until you find something you like and will stick with. With 24-hour gyms, yoga classes, CrossFit gyms, running clubs and a ton of other options, your biggest problem will be finding the time to try everything that you like.
2. Buddy System: Just like Kindergarten, it is best to start out with a buddy. Having a workout partner holds you accountable to someone else and their time so you are less likely to flake out on your workout. On the days when you just don’t feel up to working out, your buddy can be a helpful motivator.
3. Mix-It Up: Incorporate a variety of activities into your lifestyle- keep your muscles guessing to see better results faster.
4. Add Resistance Training: Bands, weights, Barre and Yoga + Weights are all great choices for adding a little resistance into your life. Building muscles through weight lifting/resistance training will not only rev your metabolism and help you maintain a healthy weight (or even lose weight), but will also fight osteoporosis.
5. Commit to Get Fit: Sign-up for classes in advance as a commitment to attending, plan your day around your workout, make a “to-do” list with your fitness time planned out, set goals to achieve whether they are weight loss, increased strength or running your first 10K. All fitness milestones should be celebrated.
*Graphic from the lovely http://blissbluesbrio.com