10 Ways to Amp Up Your Fitness Game as a Busy Parent
Happy Wednesday, Kansas City! We are happy to introduce you to our newest Mom Squad Ambassador, Connie! She is a fitness instructor, with several classes around the metro, and has some great tips to tackling your fitness regimen as a busy parent. Give her a big ol’ Kansas City hello and check out her tips below!
Fitness. To a lot of busy moms, that is a dirty word. A word no one has time for. That annoying thing that your annoying Facebook friend is always posting about. That thing that you miss so much from when you used to have time to spend on it. That thing you have always been afraid to try, or that you tried once, but hated. However you feel about fitness and working out, I think we can all agree that it’s an important part of a healthy life. Luckily there are lots of options and tricks and tips to make time for (and gasp—even enjoy!) fitness and working out.
Here are some tips to get you motivated or to help keep you motivated to get in a workout.
#1 There are a million different ways to workout.
You have to find what you enjoy. If you hate what you are doing, eventually, you won’t do it anymore. So if you hate running, don’t run. Maybe you like to dance, check out a Zumba class or dance fitness class. If you’re intimidated by the thought of a gym, there are tons of Zumba routines and workouts on YouTube. Search for a song you like the beat of with the word Zumba behind it (i.e. 24K Magic by Bruno Mars Zumba) and get yourself moving. If you love the water, find a gym with a pool and take an Aqua class. They’re not just for old people! If you don’t want to take a class, you can just swim laps in a lap pool or walk in a more shallow pool to get in your workout. If you are motivated by group settings, find a gym that offers lots of classes and try them all until you find something that you like. If you are more self-motivated, find workouts online and take them with you to the gym. There are tons of apps that have workout routines that you can put yourself through.
#2 You are your own worst critic.
No one knows your story but you. Fitness and exercise take time. Don’t be discouraged if the person next to you is able to run further or faster than you or lift heavier. The only person you are trying to be better than is the person you were yesterday. Everyone you compare yourself to had to start somewhere. Remember that.
#3 Drink water like it’s your job.
It is so important for muscle recovery for you to stay hydrated. If you hate plain water, add some fresh fruit for a bit of flavor. Drink water even when you don’t think you are thirsty. This one thing will help boost your metabolism, aid in muscle recovery and growth, and help flush toxins out of your system.
#4 Find an accountability buddy.
This can be a person you actually workout with, it can be a Facebook group, it can be a journal that you write your workouts down in. It just needs to be someone or something that helps hold you accountable. Become that annoying person on Facebook who posts about their workouts everyday if that helps you. There will be less people annoyed than you think, and you will be surprised how many other people you may help motivate.
#5 It does not have to be a huge time commitment.
When I was dieting and trying to lose weight before my wedding, my husband and I spent 40 minutes a day at the gym, 5 days a week. That’s it. And it made a huge difference for us. Any time you spend moving and breaking a sweat counts. If you wake up late one day and only have 20 minutes, use it. Pick up the intensity a bit since it’s a shorter amount of time, and get that workout in.
#6 Make it a family affair.
Take a walk with your kids, or a family bike ride. Play a game of soccer or catch in the back yard. Find a gym that offers kids classes as well as classes for you. Have a 30 minute dance party in your living room. No one is allowed to stop dancing until the time is up.
#7: Try everything.
(Anyone else singing the Shakira song from Zootopia in their head right now, or is that just me?) I was the queen of cardio for years at the gym. 40 minutes on the elliptical every day and that was it. I never ventured away from that machine. It was my jam, and I wasn’t changing it. But your body needs to be challenged and surprised. It needs change. So try everything. Try lifting some weights. Try using the weight machines at the gym. Get on the stair stepper one morning. Get in the pool. Changing it up will keep you and your body from getting bored.
#8: Stick with it.
There will be times, especially if you are just beginning, where you don’t want to do it anymore. You’re sore, and you’re tired, and you had a long day at work or a rough day with the kids. Stick with it. That workout is going to help so much with the stress of everyday life. The endorphins released will make you calmer, more patient, more able to cope with the stress of the day. Eventually, when you find what you like to do, working out becomes something you look forward to, something that you need in your day.
#9 It does not have to be about the scale.
So many times we make working out about losing weight and not about being healthy and feeling better. Scales can make you crazy. Base your fitness goals around how you feel or how your clothes fit, rather than solely on what the scale says and you will be more successful. Scales are a great tool for weight loss and motivation, but they can also hinder your progress. They are only part of the package. Take before pictures, pay attention to how your clothes fit, and more importantly, how working out makes you feel. Then use the scale to keep track of your progress. I haven’t weighed myself regularly in over a year because it was making me crazy. If it went up I was frustrated and mad, and if it went down I would obsess over what I did and try to duplicate it again. Find the healthy balance and stick to it. I workout 6 days a week because I feel sluggish and tired if I don’t. I get up before my kids do so that I can get it in, even if they don’t feel like going to the gym with me that day. I do not workout so that the scale will get to a certain number. I want to feel healthy and be fit, and that looks different on everyone.
#10 Fitness looks different on everyone.
Body types, genetics, bone structure, etc, all play a part in how we are built and how our bodies look. Not everyone was meant to be a size 2, and that’s okay. Working out and being healthy are a personal journey and one that you have to do for you, regardless of how it looks to other people. So do your thing, and remember that everyone is built differently. Everyone has different lifestyles and different tastes and approaches to fitness. Find what works for you and what makes you feel the best, and stick with it. You’ve got this!
From iFamily to Yours,