Everyone knows that being a good parent often means putting your children’s needs before your own. You make decisions about your own life with an eye to how it will affect your kids. You sacrifice your own needs if it means that your children’s lives will be improved.
All the things that you do for your children are great, unless your own physical and emotional wellbeing are compromised. From small things, such as losing sleep to make treats for your son’s baseball team, to large, such as poor job performance because you are checking up on your kids’ activities, placing too much of your time and energy into motherhood can negatively impact your life.
A common area neglected by moms is fitness. Motherhood involves around-the-clock activity, and fitness can feel impossible to fit in. However, the bottom line is, if you aren’t feeling good, you can’t take care of your kids to your best ability. Part of feeling good is establishing and maintaining time for fitness. If you are wondering how to make it work, here are some tips on how to balance motherhood and fitness.
Finding Time To Exercise
A big first step is finding a fitness routine that you enjoy. You may be missing the active running schedule that you had before Baby came along. Maybe you went to Pilates in the park every other day, or did a cycle group class at the gym. If it was something that you enjoyed, you are more likely to stick with it once you start up again.
If you have never been a fan of exercise, working in fitness may mean finding a workout that gives you the best bang for your buck. There are routines that keep your fitness moves to a minimum while still moving you towards your fitness goals. A High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) app lets you decide how much time to spend working out. You can start at five minutes. If you are easily bored with fitness routines, you can try something new and fun, such as a dance class, yoga or a fitness app on your iPad.
With your potential routine in mind, it’s time to write it down. You write down doctor’s appointments, school conferences, family vacations, and anything else you cannot miss. Consider this a sacred commitment and write it on your family calendar. If it is something short, such as a HIIT workout, plan to fit it in around naps and school. If it involves longer stretches of time, you may need to enlist the help of babysitters, your partner, or friends to make it happen. Many gyms offer classes for moms and their children, so be sure to look into it.
Workout With Your Kids
One of the best ways to fit in fitness is by integrating your children into your exercise routine. You can take the kids on a walk or a bike ride, or have them join in your favorite yoga or dance app. Older children may like joining you at the gym in group workouts. When you are a mom to infants, invest in a running stroller. You can incorporate Baby’s weight into your squats, lunges, and even push-ups, as long as he/she is safely secured in a baby carrier.
Part of making fitness a priority is getting the right gear. If you get blisters from lifting weights, investing in good gloves may be the difference between continuing your workouts and quitting. Great clothing can be a motivator for getting active. Compression gear provides comfort and muscle support, and is stylish enough to take you from parent-teacher meetings to the gym.
Finding the right shoes for exercise is also vital since poorly fitted footwear can not only keep you from working out but can also lead to injuries. One accessory that can ensure that your shoes support your workout is to get orthotics recommended by APMA (American Pediatric Medical Association). The top cover of the orthotics is infused with copper fibers, and will support and balance your foot and ankle no matter what you are doing.
Treat Yo Self
Don’t forget that part of your fitness regimen includes congratulating yourself on your successes. Reward your daily goals with a bubble bath, a glass of wine, or a new pair of shoes. Every bit of motivation helps keep you going. Balancing being a great mom and taking care of yourself is possible. You should never feel guilty for taking care of the one who takes care of everyone else. You are improving your own physical and mental wellbeing, and passing on a great message about health to your kids. Make a plan today!