Do you ever feel like the idea of working out is a pipe dream? You saw that fitness mom on Insta doing lunges with a toddler on her shoulders, but that’s not real life – is it? Okay, here’s the deal… You don’t have to become superhuman to make time for fitness while raising a family. In fact, it’s probably a lot easier than you think. So, forget the toddler-weighted lunges and follow these 6 tips for finding time to work out while raising a family.
Go for a jog
If your kids are of the age where you can pop them in the stroller, you can take a daily jog. Mornings are best when the sun hasn’t quite reached its peak yet. And don’t worry. You don’t need any special equipment. A BOB running stroller might be nice, but it’s far from necessary for a light jog on even, paved ground. Really, all you need is a pair of decent sneakers and your current stroller.
Avoid taking the ultra-lightweight jogging stroller (although it may be tempting) because your babies might get too much jostling when you hit a crack in the sidewalk. But your standard stroller should work just fine. If your kids are older, let them jog with you or go for a brisk walk.
Change your expectations
Before kids, you may have been able to run circles around your current mom bod. But there’s nothing wrong with that. You can get back to your former fitness level, but now is the time to cut yourself some slack.
The truth is that it IS difficult to find time for exercise when you have young kids, so don’t feel bad if you’re not hitting your fitness goals. Just keep at it. You’ll be much better off by exercising than sitting around the house.
Walk to more places
Depending on where you live, you may be able to walk to the grocery store or coffee shop. So instead of loading the kids in your Mazda CX-5 SUV, load up the strollers and go for a walk. This goes for traveling from store-to-store as well. If you can reasonably walk from one store to another, do it. Don’t drive to another parking spot in the same lot unless you have a very good reason to do so.
Try an exercise video
Everyone has their own preferred method of exercising. So if running or weight lifting aren’t your thing, consider getting a Pilates or yoga video. You can get a DVD or use a streaming service like Daily Burn.
The best time to do your at-home exercise routine is when the kids are napping. But if that doesn’t work out (not all kids are great nappers), just try to get them used to the activity.
They’ll probably be climbing all over you while you’re exercising for the first week. But before long, they’ll get bored and your exercise will simply become part of their routine. Just be sure to have a plan for what they’ll do while you’re exercising. And if they’re interested, you can always have them do poses alongside you. It’s a great way to bond while getting your exercise in.
Let go of perfection
Don’t expect that you’re going to get a set amount or type of exercise every day. You may have a good run, but then there’s a stretch where you struggle to find time. This is completely normal. Just keep trying and avoid beating yourself up for missing a workout.
Simply try again the next day. This is a long game where playing here, and over time, you’ll see the gains. Even if it feels like a lost cause sometimes. Remember that some exercise is better than none.
Ask for help
Do you have someone in your life who can watch the kids while you exercise? Maybe it’s a spouse or partner who can take over for an hour while you go to the gym. Or, maybe you have a relative nearby who wouldn’t mind pitching in. If the kids are in daycare and you’re at work, maybe you can fit in a brisk walk at lunchtime.
And if you have the budget, you may want to consider hiring a babysitter to watch the kids while you work out. If you can afford it, it’s money well spent. When mom is fit and healthy, everyone benefits.
It’s true that it can be difficult to find time to work out while raising a family, but it’s not impossible. So don’t beat yourself up. Just do what you can. Try to find creative ways to workout whenever the opportunities arise. And if you can’t seem to make it work one day, just let it go. Tomorrow is another day filled with workout possibilities.
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