No, this isn’t a joke. It’s also not all about just ‘prioritising yourself’ and ‘making the time’. As a mum, you are probably reading this while wiping spilled juice with one hand and holding whichever kid is crying the loudest with the other. Aside from those immediate dramas, there’s always dishes, washing, floors and toys to be cleaned. There’s always errands to be run. There’s always a special event to prepare for. There’s always food to be made – and then re-made because it was supposed to be cut into squares, not rectangles (didn’t you know?). So with that in mind, here are some simple AND practical tips to help you keep fit and healthy.
Look for Opportunities
It has to be said once though – you do need to prioritise yourself sometimes and you do need to make time. Of course, it’s easy to say that, and next to impossible to do it. If it was easy, everyone would have done already, right? So the next best thing is to look out for opportunities that already exist. If you can find even two or three small pockets of time in your day, you can use them to your advantage. Is dinner sizzling away happily? Use that five minutes for some bodyweight movements! Are the kids happily playing together? Slap the amazed look off your face and get moving!
Double Your Effort
Everyone’s had those days where nothing is going to plan. Even your small opportunities have slipped through your fingers like the jelly you spent five minutes trying to clean off the floor. This is where you can hopefully find some activities that lend themselves to be merged with exercise. Stuck next to the cot for two hours rocking your baby to sleep? Swap the rocking for squats or lunges. The movement is still soothing – especially if you focus on keeping it slow and controlled – and you get some minutes on the clock. Everyday tasks like vacuuming, hanging out washing or doing the dishes all lend themselves to adding in exercise, so creativity is key.
Play Time = Workout Time
Get the kids involved! If you schedule in time for craft, or time for playdates, then you have time for this. Kids learn through play and through being active, so make the most of their impressionability and show them how important physical activity is to you! Pick up some workout accessories (somewhere like Fitness Market can help with out with everything from a basic skipping rope through to a quality treadmill) and give the kids jobs to do. Smaller children can be weights, or sit in the pram to watch the activity, and older children can be your coach and count reps or police your technique. Expect them to join in at some point – kids are born to mimic you, after all!
Eat Well, Enough of the Time
Nutrition is the foundation of good health for every single person. While you don’t want to obsess over what you put in your body, being aware of what you’re eating is helpful. If your diet consists of toddler leftovers and tinned spaghetti, your body might not be getting what it needs to be functioning well. And guess what – if you aren’t moving efficiently, tasks are probably taking you longer than they need to. A small adjustment of what you eat can literally give you more time in the day to get things done. An extra ten minutes of down-time in the evenings is pure luxury when you’ve spent the entire day working for the most demanding bosses ever.
Whether you’re a stay-at-home mum or a working mum, having enough time to go to the gym and do an entire workout is often nothing more than a very ambitious goal. By throwing one or two of these ideas into your life, you can help keep your body healthy and your mind happy. Your energy levels may increase as well, letting you devote more to the people that matter most to you. Giving to yourself doesn’t necessarily mean taking from your family!
Do you have any tips to share with other busy mums on how to stay fit? Post them in the comments section!