Guest Post Written by Samara Kamenecka
If there were 34 hours in one day instead of 24, we busy moms would still have trouble finding time for ourselves. Automatically, we take care of our families first and rarely do we have any me time left over. Truth is, for the most part, we’re OK with this arrangement. But let’s face it, we wouldn’t say no to a daily siesta or the chance to exercise our sore and tired bodies?
This is because we know the benefits of exercise; we agree that it’s essential for a healthy, happy lifestyle. But how do we fit a workout into an already packed day?
The good news is that there’s no need to totally tweak your schedule or cancel established plans. Instead, you can add exercise that meshes with your current routine. To start, check out these 9 exercise hacks for busy moms!
- Early Morning Sweat
Don’t let the day get away from you! When you wake up, slip on your workout gear even before you make your coffee. Pick an exercise routine that you can complete in 30 minutes or before the rest of the family gets out of bed (for example, use a treadmill, free weights, stationary bike, or run around the block). Reward yourself with a shower and a refreshing feeling of accomplishment!
Hot Tip: Lay out your exercise clothes the night before so you don’t waste time wondering what to wear (or wear your pajamas—we won’t judge!).
- A Gym with Benefits
If you’re hooked on working out at a gym, look for one that offers childcare. You’ll stop feeling guilty about exercise when the kids beg you to go so they can come and play too.
- Start a Smoothie Habit
When you’re rushing around dropping off and picking up the kids, it’s easy to forget to stay fueled with healthy snacks. We suggest getting into a smoothie habit! Not only can you pack a smoothie with essential nutrients that actually tastes good, you can grab and go! Take your smoothie with you while you run your daily errands.
Hot Tip: Prepare in advance! Put the smoothie ingredients in a plastic bag and freeze overnight. When you’re ready, just add liquid, ice and blend!
- A Gym With a (Re)Purpose
If you don’t have the money or inclination to join a gym, what you have at home can be repurposed for fitness (tables, chairs, stools, or stairs)! A quick search online will reveal loads of ways to exercise using household props. For example, learn how to workout in your chair, how to use your coffee table to tone your back and chest, and how to work your leg muscles on the stairs.
- Stair Master
Speaking of stairs, it really does make a difference when you bypass elevators and opt for stairs instead. Think about it: in the time it takes to wait for an elevator to arrive and reach your floor, you could complete a quick cardio routine.
- Park with a Plan
When we’re looking for a parking spot, it makes sense to search for one that’s the closest to your destination. Next time, we challenge you to park further away, on purpose! Taking a few extra minutes to walk is good for your heart, your body, and your mind. Allow yourself the bonus time to clear your head and enjoy the present moment.
Hot Tip: Keep an umbrella in your car; don’t be deterred by foul weather!
- Step Up
Did you know that folks who wear a pedometer are more likely to be active? Research shows that if you keep track of how many steps you take in one day or the number of miles you’ve logged in one week, you’ll feel motivated to continue a vigorous routine. In fact, chances are high that you’ll establish new goals and increase your activity in no time!
- Try Something New
Sometimes all it takes is a new pair of sneakers or the coziest sweatshirt you can find. While there’s no need to go overboard when buying athletic gear, a new item now and then can jumpstart your exercise regime.
Hot Tip: Think beyond clothing. Why not treat yourself to a foam roller to soothe your aching muscles or a shiny set of weights to add to your home gym?
- Set an Example
You want to be a good role model for your kids, right? Well, talk to them about your fitness plans and ask them to join your routines. If they’re not game, encourage them to cheer you on. Our experience has proven that when you share your intentions with others, you’re more likely to follow through and reach your goals.
Hot Tip: Post a weekly goal on the refrigerator and ask your family members to do the same. At the end of the week share high-fives for getting closer to your ultimate goals.
A Creative Schedule
We’ve often thought that a new baby should come with an instruction manual, a fairy godmother and an endless supply of stamina and patience. Unfortunately, that has yet to happen. But even if you received a bundle of the very best gifts a first-time mom could ask for, nothing would be as appreciated as a block of me-time. That’s why, until newborns come equipped with paid vacations, it’s up to us to find creative ways to keep our minds and bodies as healthy as they can be.
Samara Kamenecka is a VA specializing in SEO and writing, living in Madrid. When she’s not chained to her desk working, she likes to explore the city with her boyfriend, their two kids and their dog. You can find her blogging over at www.tinyfry.com.