There are two universal truths about being a mum:
- There are never enough hours in the day,
- The last person you tend to is yourself.
So how can we keep fitness a priority when there’s always another priority competing for your attention?
Here’s my mum’s guide for staying in shape on the go.
At home exercise
You may not have time for travelling to the gym or have little ones around the house to contend with so consider doing it at home.
This was my savour while my children were young (and still is). I have a room dedicated to being able to move freely and dance, yoga, spin, jump, pump whatever it is that takes my fancy at that moment. Sometimes my kids join me and we play around but ultimately I hope it goes deeper than that and they can see me regularly taking part in some form of exercise and see it being part of everyday life.
Stream free YouTube fitness videos through your devices with whatever form of movement that takes your fancy. I collaborated a few free fitness workouts here
Be mindful when you do eat
Scoffing down breakfast and lunch and not taking the time to eat mindfully can lead to overeating, digestive problems, poor food choices and not honouring your hunger.
Always try to be seated whilst eating and indulge yourself in the senses of eating mindfully. The textures, smell, taste – be in the moment and really give yourself time to tap into what your body is really asking to be nourished with. Remember it takes 20 minutes for the gut/brain connection to happen and register that you’re full so eat slowly and allow for this time.
Grab any opportunity and run with it!
Are you hearing me on this one girlfriend? All you need is 30 mins to duck out the door and fit in some movement. As soon as your husband walks in the door or perhaps you just need to set your alarm 30 mins earlier. Just get it done. Too much thinking is your worst enemy. An opportunity missed is an opportunity gone…
If you’re really looking to commit to an exercise plan then team up with a friend or group to go walking or jogging at regular intervals. That way you’re also enjoying some hard-earned social time while getting some exercise in.
If you can schedule a regular date and have the support of friends, it also ensures you stick to your goals. If your friends aren’t that way inclined there are running and walking groups available in many areas. Friends and family keep us accountable so tap into this useful resource.
Everyone has heard the old mantra that the secret to maintaining weight is 20% exercise and 80% diet. I actually think this is very true.
If you’re looking to reduce your total body fat mass, then the first place you should start is your diet and nutrition. Of course, you might not have time as a busy mum to prepare all your own healthy meals. If this is the case, there are a number of healthy meals subscription services that will provide you with balanced meals for every day of the week in an economical way!
Keep it fun
Maintaining fitness need not be an arduous task. Make some enquiries amongst friends about local dance, pilates, swimming groups for just one session a week.
Consider the movement you really enjoy, be it samba, yoga or pole dancing, and you’ll soon find yourself looking forward to exercising.
Be realistic about how much time you are likely to set aside each week to specifically concentrate on exercise. One of the most likely ways to fall off the fitness rails is by setting expectations too high and then resorting to doing nothing because you didn’t meet your own high expectations (sound familiar).
Remember, doing something is better than doing nothing. The keyword is consistency… If you steadily plug away at keeping fit using your available opportunities, you are more likely to see the benefits over time and will be able to sustain a fitness regime. Being prepared with a plan is the one best tool you can have up your sleeve, try to keep it non-negotiable and let the rest of your family in on the plan. Enthusiasm counts for everything!