As a mom of two little boys, I know how hard it is to fit exercise into your daily routine. Sometimes you need to get a little creative and sneak in quick workouts whenever and however you can. Today I am excited to have Jenny Bradford from Living Consciously as my Fit Mom Feature Guest Blogger! She is a wife, mom of two, and a R-HYI yoga and Lagree certified instructor in the Dallas, Texas area. She is a fellow Sweat Pink Ambassador and is passionate about clean eating and living a conscious life. Today she is sharing some of her tips on fitting in fitness as a mom of little ones.
Fitting In Fitness As A Mom Of Little Ones
There’s nothing like having a new baby (or babies…) to add to the difficulty of staying fit. Whether you are a brand new mom or adding a second, third, or fourth child to the mix, every time another little body joins the family, stealing those moments for yourself gets trickier! I’m not always successful in grabbing the time for myself either, but when I have, these are the techniques I have used!
At home workouts – If you are lucky enough to have children who nap simultaneously, you can often do a video workout. For yoga, my favorites are DoYogaWithMe.com (which is free) and TheYogaCollective.com (paid subscription). There are literally thousands of options in DVD and Blu-Ray, and your local library is a great resource for trying out new types of workouts without the investment. The next time you’re at storytime with your little one, take a little detour to the video section and pick out a few! The at-home video workout is, however, one of the most difficult to accomplish. Not only because it requires all children in the house to be taken care of for a set period of time on a regular basis, but because there are so many distractions in your home that you will want to do instead of working out! It’s so easy to say, “let me just pick up the living room first…”, and then when the first child stirs, you haven’t had the chance to start your video yet!
Gyms/studios with childcare – In my urban area, we are fortunate to have quite a few major gym chains such as LA Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness, and many YMCA branches that provide childcare options. If you do not have one of those chains near you, stop by the larger gyms in your area and inquire – you might be surprised! Several of my friends who use the local YMCA have their kids ask to go to the gym, they enjoy it so much. In addition, some yoga studios or boutique studios offer babysitting. There are two in my area. They can’t call it “childcare” in my state or they are treated as a different business, so they use the term “babysitting”.
Small or boutique studios – At the studio where I teach, we allow our clients to bring children along to sit in the waiting area with their electronic devices and headphones. I have taken my 4 and 5 year old along with me to another instructor’s class with an iPad and two pairs of headphones on a headphone splitter! Our waiting area is actually part of the workout room so they’re never far from mom. There have been times that mom has had to discretely get up and leave the workout momentarily, but I’ve never felt that it was a problem for my other clients.
Early morning workouts – I know this is something that most moms running on very little sleep do not want to hear, but during the hours of 5am and 6am you can usually head out to a class, the gym, or for a quick walk or run before your parenting partner has left home for the day. When you arrive back, he or she may not have fed the children exactly what you would prefer and they may not be dressed the way that you would like, but you got your workout in! Be prepared, however, to have missed your chance to shower for the day.
Trade with a friend – The next time you’re commiserating with another mom about how difficult it is to work out nowadays, take that a step further and offer to watch her child(ren) for an hour a week if she’ll watch yours. That way each of you can get your workout in. Find more than one friend to trade and you can get more than one workout in!
Choose your workouts wisely – No matter what option you choose, now is not the time for lazily strolling on the treadmill or wandering around the block. Your time is limited when you have kids, so make your workouts count. Choose workouts like barre, crossfit, Lagree fitness, bootcamp, or circuit training where you are able to incorporate both strength and cardio in a highly efficient hour. Go for longer sessions when you can, but do each workout like it will be your only one that week. Make it count!