If you’re a mom, beginning a fitness regimen can be quite the challenge. Issues like time constraints, childcare and other obligations can make regular exercise sessions seem like unattainable goals. However, tips like the following can help moms plan and begin a fitness routine, no matter her circumstances!
List Your Goals
Before starting a workout routine, think of all you hope to accomplish. Do you want toned abs and arms? Do you want to be able to fit into the clothes you wore prior to becoming a mommy? Whatever your aspirations, make a list and display it someplace you’ll be sure to see it every day. Having this tangible reminder of your fitness goals can serve as an enormous source of inspiration through the difficult times, and will also help you chart your progress!
One great idea is to separate short-term and long-term objectives. For example, losing 40 pounds would be a long-term goal, while losing a dress size is more of a short-term goal. This helps you to achieve small victories on your journey to success without becoming overwhelmed by your desired destination. This boosts motivation and self-esteem, and helps relieve some of the pressure associated with long-term fitness goals.
Formulate a Plan
Once you have a good idea of the fitness goals you’d like to achieve, start brainstorming ideas on incorporating exercise into your lifestyle. For moms, tight, hectic schedules can really throw a wrench in fitness plans, but that doesn’t mean your objectives are unattainable. With a little creativity and determination, even the busiest moms can find ways to squeeze activity into their calendars. Simple tips like the following can be extremely helpful for busy mommies of all kinds!
- ~Include your children in your workouts. Strap the baby into a stroller and get to walking! Or, you can look into child-friendly gyms. These facilities usually offer daycare services, and some even allow parents to bring their children to fitness classes.
- ~Two days a week, set your alarm at least a half hour early. Morning workouts are great for moms. They provide long-lasting energy and set a positive tone for the day. Plus, in the early morning hours, distractions are usually kept to a minimum. Fitness enthusiast David Lader recommends maintaining a routine. “Changing up your workout days every week works for some,” he says, “but a lack of routine can hinder your commitment and progress.”
- ~Remember that all activity counts! Dancing, gardening and even housework can be considered aerobic activity. As long as your heart rate is up, you’re burning calories. Small bursts of activity throughout the day can really add up, so get busy during your breaks. Crunches, free weights, lunges and squats can all be done pretty much anywhere, so there’s really no excuse not to do them!
- ~Keep your workout gear handy at all times. Keep your shoes, exercise mat, free weights and other gear in one, easily accessible place. When free time presents itself, you won’t waste precious minutes getting organized.
No matter your ultimate goals, the first steps to success should probably be small ones. Unless you’re already accustomed to physical activity, overdoing it can lead to discomfort, frustration and even serious injury. Instead of going full force, take your time and listen to your body. If you feel resistance to the point of discomfort, ease up and try something less strenuous. You’ll still reap the benefits, and your body will thank you for not overdoing it!