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As you sit at your desk, your mind can’t help but think about all the things you have to do before the day’s end. For example, you have groceries to buy on your way home from work, then, you have to cook a healthy meal for your family, just don’t forget that your little one no longer eats peas, so avoid them IF you want to prevent a meltdown, and so the list of to-dos continues…
Now, how are you supposed to exercise amidst this beautiful chaos? Here’s the good news.
According to Canada’s Food Guide (2019), adults should get about 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per week, which, when broken down, adds up to 30 minutes of activity 5 days/week.
Here are some suggestions on how to exercise on an already jam-packed schedule:
As moms, we know that things rarely go as smoothly or as effortlessly as we pictured them in our minds. So, if exercising is something you want to fit into your busy day, then try scheduling it before the kids wake up. Not only is the early morning workout a mood booster, but it will also give you a sense of accomplishment and energy to face the day ahead!
If you are lucky enough to live near a grocery store, then why not take your little one(s) on a brisk walk with you to the grocery store? Or, include your kids in your workouts! If they are old enough to join in, then have them participate by helping you choose different, albeit safe, exercise movements at various stations. Alternatively, if they are still too young to join you, set up a comfortable play area for them while you complete your exercises.
Break it up. If you’re finding it hard to block off a decent amount of time to complete all the exercises at once, then split them up. Let’s say you’ve chosen four exercises for the day, but time and circumstances will only allow for two of the four, then do as many reps as you can of the two exercises you’ve chosen before you move on to your other tasks for the day. Later, if the opportunity presents itself again, focus on the remaining activities on your to-do list and complete them.
Ask for assistance.
Sometimes asking for help is the hardest thing to do. Trust me, I know! However, if and when you are ready to make exercise a priority, share your goals with your circle of friends or family and have an open discussion about the fact that you may need to call on them from time to time to watch your child(ren) while you take a little time for yourself.
Gym membership is optional.
There are many exercise options available to you without having to set foot in a gym, and an additional advantage is that they can be done anytime- anywhere. Some examples of bodyweight exercises that you can get on board with include lunges, air squats, dips, dead bugs, wall pushups.
If you find yourself lack the motivation to exercise, call on others to join you. Look for parks to walk with babe (s) either in a stroller or a carrier. When you spend your time with good company, you will find yourself focusing more on the conversation than on the exercise itself!
The Internet is filled with several free exercise challenges to get you motivated. There are also charity runs or bike challenges to raise money for legitimate causes. Whatever it is, and whatever your reasons for joining, be sure to find something that resonates with you because the more invested you are are in the causes, the higher your chances of seeing it through until the end!
Here are some fitness goals you can aim for:
- Walk for 35 minutes non-stop at a brisk pace
- Enter to run a 5k race (with a buddy or join a running group )
- Purchase a fitness watch, or start an exercise journal to keep track of your fitness goals
Celebrate your wins.
When it comes to kids, rarely are two days that are the same. So, squeeze in your exercises whenever you have the time. Also, remember you are doing the best you can with the time you have. Focus on what you were able to accomplish. Celebrate your wins, and enjoy the process!
Appreciate your body.
Your body went through an enormous transformation during pregnancy, so be patient with it! Try to speak to yourself as you would to a friend, with kindness, love, and honesty. And remember, consistency is key. Focus on how exercise makes you feel, as opposed to the numbers on the scale.
You are your child’s biggest role model. Therefore, the changes you make today may have a positive impact on their lifestyle choices later on down the road.
It’s never too late to start! I have heard this time and time again. I am here to say that whether you’re one month postpartum, or twelve years in, if you are reading this, it is not too late to start taking care of your health, your body, your way – I can help because I can relate!
Hey! I’m Brenda.
I, too, had fallen prey to the idea of “getting my body back.” After my twins were born, I signed up for a half marathon training and almost did irreparable damage to my body.
Thankfully, the pressure in my uterus and the pain in my hips were too loud to ignore. So, I stopped training and instead researched other alternatives to rebuilding my strength at a pace that felt right to me. Three certifications later, I now coach, educate, and help other mamas set realistic goals for their bodies by rebuilding, reconnecting, and restoring your core strength from the inside out.
Helping you feel healthy, confident, and beautiful in your body is my mission. I want you to be the best version of yourself – trust the process and the results will come!
Connect with Brenda