If you’re a mom, you’re busy. Whether you work full time at an office or stay at home with the kids, you’re constantly on the move, multi-tasking and making sure everything and everyone is taken care of. But where do you fall on the list?
All too often, moms put themselves last—even when it comes to important things, like eating right and exercising. With what seems like so little “free” time in the day, how can you squeeze in time for a workout?It may seem impossible, but there are plenty of ways it can be done. Just because your schedule doesn’t allow for a full hour at the gym doesn’t mean you can’t stay active and do things to condition and tone your body.
Here are some ideas for staying in shape, with or without kids in tow:
1. Take a kid-friendly class
Many community centers, gyms and even libraries offer organized classes for moms with small children. Look for a “Mommy and Me,” yoga-with-baby or stroller-walking class that allows you to bring your kids with you for a workout. If you like it, you can always sign up for more than one class to increase your activity level throughout the week.
2. Bring the gym to you
If you’re the mother of a newborn, have several children or your schedule simply won’t let you get to a gym, consider hiring a trainer to come to your home. He or she will show you how to perform at-home exercises as well as provide guidance on when you should work out to best utilize your time.
3. Use workout videos
While your kids are napping, pop in an exercise DVD and exercise in your living room. If they no longer nap, try setting them up at nearby a table with a simple craft activity, puzzle or game. If they’re old enough, let them join in! It helps to keep some basic equipment on hand, such as a jump rope, hula hoop or a training ball.
4. Exercise outdoors
Walking is great exercise and easy to do when your kids are small. Strap them into a stroller (a jogging stroller is ideal, but any type will do) and pick up the pace for a good cardio workout. If your kids are older, go for a bike ride together—or try something different like inline skating or even skateboarding! Take advantage of trips to the park, too. Join your little ones in climbing, swinging, jumping and sliding.
4. Get the kids involved
Rather than thinking of exercise as something that has to be done, choose fun activities that just happen to get everyone moving! Ask your kids what they’d like to do, and show them you’re willing to try something different. You could go ice skating, rent a row boat or paddle boat or even fly a kite—the possibilities are truly endless.
5. Hit the pool or beach
Kids love to swim! Now that the weather is warming up and the school year is coming to a close, visit the beach or go to a community pool if you don’t have one at home. Instead of lounging while they splash, get in the water and play along. Swim some laps if you can, or do leg lifts while standing against the pool wall.
If you’re headed out, remember to bring water to keep everyone hydrated, plus some healthy snacks to munch on. I like to pack Newman’s Own Hi-Protein Pretzels, cut-up fruit, raisins, nuts and Clif Kid™ ZBars—all of which can be easily tucked into an insulated cooler bag.
Taking care of yourself and setting a good example of healthy living is such as wonderful gift for your children!
NPC National Figure competitor Melissa Transou, a fitness expert, wife and mother, blogs about the unique sports and nutrition needs of women and female athletes exclusively for Vitacost.com. Learn more about Melissa in this recent RXMuscle.com spotlight article, connect with her on Facebook or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.