With the new year in full swing, I’m sure you’ve heard the ads “sign up now for just a penny!” Pretty soon the message will change to “get bikini ready in 30 days!” Although these slogans do their best to motivate you to get moving, they aren’t always effective in helping you meet your goals.
As a fitness enthusiast myself, and someone who has worked in the industry for a good many years, one of the biggest reasons I hear from folks who are NOT physically active is “TIME.” And for many people this is true … but it doesn’t have to be. You can easily find ways to incorporate exercise into your life without it taking away from your motherhood duties and family life.
I have to admit, before becoming a mother myself I always felt my credibility was lost when I tried to consult with moms on “how” to make time. Now that I’ve joined the ranks of motherhood, I definitely understand it’s not easy, but can assure you it’s totally possible to start living a healthier lifestyle and stop making excuses.
Here are half a dozen ways you can get moving in your existing 24 hours based on recommendations from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) – the gold standard for all physical activity and exercise recommendations.
1. Involve Your Kids
Whether you are a SAHM or FTWM, set aside a time during the day to commit to doing something active with your kids. For me, weekend mornings are spent with my son running outside – he loves to jump the gun when I say “on your marks, get set, go!” While on maternity leave he would enjoy his bouncy seat watching his mommy doing an insanity workout. Staring at him was a constant reminder of why staying healthy is so important.
Once he could hold his head up he loved to be my curl, tricep press and chest press bar. I would sit him on my lap with my knees bent and do sit-ups and he would just laugh. In the middle of the night when he wouldn’t sleep, walking lunges calmed him. His new move is the downward dog pose! Kids mimic their parents and if they see you active, they will enjoy being active. You don’t have to have a cute fitness outfit to do any of these activities, you just have to get moving!
2. Join a Women’s Fitness Group
I joined a women’s group (FiA) in April that meets at 5:05 a.m. for a 45 minute peer led workout. I’m finished and home before anyone else in my house is up. It makes for a rough morning and to be honest, as a pregnant mama who doesn’t particularly like the cold, my attendance has been spotty since January. But who is better suited to understand and encourage you than other women? Did I mention it’s FREE!?!
3. Sign Up for Fitness Events
Because Columbia has such great weather year round, participating in outdoor races on the weekends is a great option! Enjoy the mild temperatures, grab a friend or unwind with your favorite downloaded tunes as you take in the sites of our city. And the best part is, you don’t have to be an elite athlete to walk a mile or run a 5k – you just have to have a desire to get moving! And lots of races benefit great causes – a win-win! Many include kids events as well, so you can involve the whole family. Check out some local events at Strictly Running or take a trip based on an event listed on Running in the USA. You are up Saturday morning anyway!!
4. Tap Into Your Inner Child
Ever wonder how our kids have so much energy? Find your inner child and play hopscotch, design a relay race, hula hoop, jump rope, have wheel barrow races, play tag, crab walk, etc. You’d be amazed how impressed your kids will be that mommy can do these things.
5. Start Simple With Exercises You Know
Pick ten of the following exercises and commit to doing them 1 minute each, three times day for three weeks. That’s 10 minutes a day and a total of 30 minutes a week – and no equipment is required. Pick from these: jog in place, high knees, push-ups, tricep push-ups, plank, jumping jacks, squats, wall sit, walking lunges, football shuffle, tuck jumps, calf raises, sit-ups, mountain climbers, skip, oblique twists, tricep dips, sprints, decline push-ups or jump rope.
6. Maintain Accountability
Come on mamas, we are either physically active or physically inactive. With over 80,000 women interacting with the Columbia SC Moms Blog on a weekly basis, find someone to inspire or be inspired with. Connect with someone in your area and keep each other accountable and motivated. We are all in this together!!