We all know that health comes one choice at a time, but being a mum often means putting your little nestlings before your own personal needs, fitness included. However, as parents we’re also their role models, and they start learning and mimicking our behaviour from a very early age, allowing us to help them make smarter choices when they grow up – but it all starts with our own decisions.
Sometimes there will be roadblocks the size of an avalanche that will prevent you from doing your workout, while at other times, you’ll just decide you need to spend that hour on something else, whether it’s making lunch or finally taking a shower. Here are a few simple tips on how you can manage these setbacks better and start introducing more self-care through exercise into your life as the busy mum that you are!
Early bird moves
Sleep is a very fragile concept for most mums, especially those that have a young tot that still tends to wake up several times each night, so rising early is sort of an occupational hazard. This can also be a perfect opportunity to get in “an exercise quickie”, if you will, and you can always use a fitness tracker such as Fitbit to monitor your progress.
It’s enough to wake up ten minutes earlier than you normally would, put on an exercise video to follow along, or do your Sun Salutations along with some bodyweight squats, lunges, jumping jacks, push-ups, planks and the like. Do this several times a week, or even every day for ten minutes, and your body will flourish!
Include your kids
Curious, eager to try new things and follow you around, your little ones can become your best training partners you could wish for! Think: weighted sit-ups, or a smooch waiting for you every time you complete a rep, and a little friendly competition is always excellent motivation.
This is your chance to teach your daughter to jump rope, hula hoop and play volleyball whenever you have the time. Not only will you burn off those extra pounds and get lean, but you’ll create memories and spend some quality time with your kids as well.
Put on some tunes
Nothing beats a family dance-off with your favourite music, and you can get your hubby to join the party, too. You can also use various YouTube videos and DVDs with instructions that can help you bust some new moves, and improve the quality of your workout once a regular aerobic dance becomes too easy.
Just 15 minutes of dancing can burn up to 100 calories, which means you might get a chance to work off that extra scoop of ice-cream. Make this a weekly tradition, and you can even multitask – put on some music while doing the chores, get your kids to pitch in, and make your home sparkle while toning your core.
Instead of viewing your fitness goals as something that should exclusively belong in your “me-time” precious moments, you can find options that include your whole family in the fun and improve your quality of life.
Bike rides, football sessions, swimming, hiking and exploring your nearby natural wonders are all brilliant ways to incorporate physical activity into your life without disrupting your schedule. You can even join a gym as a family, and your kids can use Ryderwear gear to keep them safe while they are learning the moves with you. It’s fun, healthy, and it will help them build healthy habits from their first steps into fitness!
Divide and conquer
For most mums, it’s almost impossible to get a full hour all to yourself, and while you’re finding a way to clone yourself in order to finish up all the work, your self-esteem plummets, and you are completely drained. However, why not split your one hour of exercise into 4 chunks of 15-minute activities?
Mornings can be reserved for mild stretching and a few sets of compound exercises that will get your body moving and your joints fresh, such as squats and push-ups. Then you can shoot some hoops or jump rope with your kids after breakfast, jog in the park while walking the pooch in the afternoon, and wrap up your day with a few sets before you hit the shower. Keep in mind – not every day needs to be so intense, and you can always split it any way you can manage your day more efficiently.
Article by Luke Douglas, Editor of Ripped.me.