If you have young children, you probably spend your days changing diapers, wiping dirty faces and hands, fixing meals that you can only hope they will eat, picking up and cleaning. Only to have to turn around and do it all over again.
If you have older kids, you pack lunches, check up on homework assignments, pick them up after sports practice, make sure their clothes are clean, and manage their schedules. Even I, with my 9 year old, am beginning to feel like I need a larger calendar for everything!
And that’s only a tiny fraction of what you and I do every day.
It’s easy to get caught up in the midst of our busy lives and not think about ourselves. But we can’t afford to do that. If we don’t take care of us, it will eventually catch up to us and affect not only us, but our whole families.
In truth, by looking after ourselves, we are taking care of our family. I’m not talking about ordering take out night after night because we can’t tear ourselves away from Facebook. I’m talking about staying healthy. And one important aspect is to stay active.
Usually, when I hear “exercise,” I think of gyms and work-out sessions with a trainer, etc. Well me? I can’t afford a gym membership and even if I could, I don’t have the time! Plus I wouldn’t know what to do with my little ones. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t exercise and stay in shape. And that’s where these realistic fitness tips for busy moms come in handy.
For some of us, exercising may be about the number on the scale or the size of our clothes, but that’s not what my focus is here. I’m talking about how we feel. I exercise because I feel great when I do. I feel more alive and it puts me in a great mood. I have more energy and I’m more likely to make healthier eating choices.
I am no super fit mom who you all should look up to. But I am your average mom who wants to take care of herself AND her family. So these are a few things that have helped me stay more active:
1) Pay attention to little things like parking father away, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, etc. This activity does add up and help you get some exercise.
2) Take simple walks around the neighborhood with your kids. It doesn’t have to be about speed walking and getting your heart rate up. Those are good things, but if you have small children walking with you (in my case, I push Luke in the stroller but 3 year old Joshua walks), it’s not realistic. Just enjoy the fresh air and the time outside with your kids. Not only are you getting some activity, but you’re teaching your children that it’s important to be active.
3) My last tip is to use an exercise DVD. Here in New Hampshire, the weather often makes it impossible for us to take a daily walk, especially during the upcoming winter season. So I depend on my work-out DVDs (my favorite is my Leslie Sansone Walk at Home DVD) to help me stay consistently active. I’m not talking about one of the strenuous “get fit now” series that are so popular now days, but a simple 20-30 minute walk/jog at home in my living room. That’s what works for me and I find it easy to fit into my busy schedule.
Another advantage to my daily exercise DVD is that it encourages my kids to stay active too, just like our walks. They often join in and I really enjoy the time we spend together exercising.
Do what works for you. Don’t give up because you don’t have two (or even one) hours a day to devote to staying active. These realistic fitness tips for busy moms can and do add up and you will find yourself healthier, both mentally and physically.
Disclaimer: I’ve partnered with Harvard Pilgrim on this sponsored post but the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. You can find more ways to be well at HarvardPilgrim.org/CountUsIn.