It’s January, which means it’s time for that whole “new year, new me” thing, right? Everyone is hopping on the Whole 30 bandwagon and the gyms are more crowded than usual. And while I would love to say my New Year’s resolution is to work out every day, the reality is that’s not going to happen.
I consider myself a mix of a working mom and stay at home mom. I work Saturdays and Sundays, and then I’m home Monday through Friday with the two babes. This makes finding any sort of me time quite the challenge. My husband leaves for work around 5am, and it’s dinner/bath/bed time when he returns. This means heading to the gym before or after his work day isn’t ideal (unless I’m some kind of robot who doesn’t sleep). Plus I’m usually asleep by 930pm…
Fitness has always been a big factor in my lifestyle, and with our current work situation being less ideal for any “me” time, I’ve had to get really creative with finding ways to fit a workout in. Maybe you can relate? If you’re a busy mom, here are some tips for how to find time to workout and achieving fitness goals as a busy mom!
Find something active that you actually enjoy. For me, it’s CrossFit, yoga, and pilates. For you, it might be running, walking, Zumba, or even barre workouts. It may take a bit to find, but once you find a workout you actually like, it will be less of a pain in the ass to actually go DO it. You’ll make sure you find the time (trust me. I am more likely to sit on the couch if I’m planning to go for a run than if I’m going to a CrossFit class).
Set realistic goals. Listen, I get it. I’m a mom, my time is minimal. Going to the gym 5 days a week is not happening. But 2 or 3 days? I can try and make that work. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Start small, maybe even just ONE day, and work up from there with whatever works for your life.
Figure out when you can carve out time to get a workout in. Is it first thing in the morning? Nap time? When dad comes home? It might not be the same time every day (for me, it sure isn’t!), and it might not be the same workout as a result. See the next two for more on that.
Use a gym with childcare. Can you get out of the house for a workout? I used to be against gym childcare (and I really don’t know why?! Probably a stupid opinion of mine before I had kids. I was a real ass back then). Then I became a mom and realized whatever makes life easier is worth it. I’m planning on signing up at our local gym because they have a great childcare center run by moms. I figure Landon can play, and the baby will most likely stay asleep in her car seat. We have some friends with young kids who joined as well, so Landon can have fun playing with them while mom can get in a quick workout. It’s a win/win all around. Check out your local YMCA for workout classes because they have a great childcare center as well, and the membership is income based! The YMCA also has group exercise classes, which makes sticking to #1 even easier!
OR, Find a home workout program that works for you. Is nap time the only time you can fit a workout in? Whether its P90X, Beachbody, Tone It Up, or a Youtube series, find something you can do on YOUR schedule that doesn’t involve you leaving your home. I have many mom friends who’ve done home workouts and look AWESOME. Join a support group for them on Facebook (I know Beachbody coaches have them!) for encouragement and motivation!
Get the kids involved! It became really hard for me to go to CrossFit once I started staying home during the week because I didn’t have a sitter for Landon. I tried bringing him, but it got to be too stressful for me and I wasn’t enjoying the workout. So I stopped going and decided to start running instead (not my favorite, but I made it work!). We developed a routine where every morning we would go to a local playground that had a track, run 1-2 miles with our jogging stroller (Landon would eat a snack and rock out to my workout playlist with me), and then have some fun on the playground. I would do pushups, squats, or lunges right next to him while he played on the playground. I really grew to LOVE this time of day because it was a win/win for both of us. I plan on doing the same this spring and summer, except with a double stroller in tow! 😉
Buy cute workout clothes! This sounds stupid, but I promise it’s motivating!!T Check your local TJMaxx, Marshall’s, or Ross for inexpensive gear. I love Old Navy’s workout attire, as well as Albion Fit and Lululemon. Also, Zella leggings have become my absolute favorite. I make sure my workout gear is bright and colorful because it puts me in a good mood when I wear it and makes me WANT to work out. So simple, but effective, right!?
Hire a sitter or trade off with a friend. I know this isn’t always an option, but if you can afford it then give it a shot! Or maybe you have a family member or friend who can help out with the kids while you get a quick workout in (or swap days with another mom! You watch her kids one day, she watches yours another). I unfortunately don’t have family near me, but I will definitely be taking advantage of my sitter if I can. I’ll also run a few errands while I have her as well (cause Lord knows errands with kids is not fun!).
Now that I’m no longer pregnant, I need to get back into the swing of things with fitness. My goal is to attend CrossFit twice a week (my CrossFit does a punch card system, which is a great option instead of monthly payments) while I have a sitter and then sign up at my local gym that has childcare to get in another day or two. But I’m not putting pressure on myself because otherwise I’ll make myself crazy! If I don’t workout, then I don’t workout, and I refuse to beat myself up about it. But hopefully I develop a routine I can stick to (because for me, exercise is my form of stress management!), and then once the spring and summer hit, I can go back to our outdoor workouts as a family!