No one says it better than Mother Theresa - Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”
A mother’s life is a series of multi-tasking amongst noise and mayhem. Time is a luxury we can’t always afford! So much of a luxury that it has taken me all morning to write this post, battling the distractions of my kids fighting in the living room, two TV’s blaring, and my husband zoned out on the soccer game which is obviously key for his survival.
What’s the number one excuse for not living a healthy lifestyle? Well its not for lack of wanting that flat stomach or to wear a bikini again. It is the main excuse moms universally chant.."I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR ME!"
I find myself saying this to myself daily, I don’t have time to workout on my own. As a working mom and a qualified fitness professional I still need motivating to get my butt in a session for myself.
So why exercise?
For a start, we know that exercising causes a release of endorphins in the body which makes you feel happy and provides you with a sense of achievement, knowing that you have done something for yourself! We also know that 30 minutes of regular exercise or general activity each day can aid with weight loss goals and our overall health – So why do so many mums find it hard to commit?
The excuses we make are plentiful. Time is really just the tip of the iceberg, but often there are other factors. Wrong or right, these factors can be the difference between attending a hot yoga class at the studio that just happens to be literally across the street or going for a walk on the pier with the kids on a Sunday, but instead spending time convincing myself that the addictive Facebook group is mandatory reading!
Cost is also a very real factor that comes into play. Whether it is for the gym membership or attending a $30 pay-as-you-go class and then have also pay extra for babysitting services whilst you workout.
Here are a few suggestions…
Try a Freebie
Most credible gyms know that to get you hooked, you need an attractive incentive, FREE TRIALS. This will allow you to have a taste of what the class or environment will be like for you and also if you gel with the instructor.
Power of Two
Grab another mom and motivate each other to go to class together or simply take long stroller power walks sharing the joys of motherhood whilst you burn some calories. Also, work out with your little one in tow. Bringing them along if possible when they are napping would be an ideal scenario, but if a stroller walk is what is needed, then be active together.
But I’m a Working Mom
So, here is the dilemma. You have limited time to exercise, so there has to be more planning in your goals to work out. I put my training in my phone as an appointment. If you miss this appointment, then you let yourself down. Lots of evening classes that wont eat into your sacred weekend with the family. Although, taking a private run or class on a Sunday will do wonders for the mom/work life balance.
There are a few factors that you should consider as a mom before you start a fitness program.
What stage post pregnancy are you?- Newly postpartum moms still have a plethora of physical, hormonal and psychological changes. Please take time before throwing your self into a high intensity class that could be detrimental to your uterus and your motivation to come back. You should wait 6 weeks for a vaginal birth and 8 weeks post partum for a C-section and get doctors approval before starting any exercise plan.
Do you have DR? Diastasis Recti is very common in pregnancy and without knowing you have the gap in your linear Alba ( the sheath between your Rectus Abdominal muscles), You will cause it to worsen. So its best to know the exercises to avoid and you can modify when being asked to do certain movements. This is a whole other post that I will explore later on.
Take your time- Please don’t run. Unless you was an athlete beforehand and have amazing pelvic floor muscles then running before 16 weeks post partum is extremely damaging to your uterus/pelvis area and your ability not to pee yourself when running after your toddler. Start doing Kegal exercises. These can be done whilst waiting at the doctor, in the line at the groceries, or when you happen to have those precious 3 minutes during nap time.
Know your body- Listen to your body, if you feel that the movement is not right for you then stop and ask for a modified alternative. Don’t feel shepharded into following the instructor as everyone has varying levels and you need to feel comfortable doing your own safe movements to build your own core before you can keep up with supermom at the front.
DIY- The most affordable form of exercise is FREE! Get out and go for a walk if this rotten weather permits. Here is a FREE full body session for you to do at home.
6 rounds x 4 exercises
45 seconds exercise then 15 secs rest
Total time- 24 minutes
Triceps dips on floor
Alternate side lunges
“Baby steps count, as long as you are going forward. You add them all up, and one day you look back and you’ll be surprised at where you might get to.”
If you have any fitness questions or advice you'd like to see from Karlene, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Karlene is a super busy working mom with two high energy boys. A British Ex Pat living in Hoboken with a love for fitness and organizing events. She is an ACE certified personal trainer with a BSc in Sports Science specializing in Pre and Post Natal training.