Finding Time For Fitness As A New Mom
We’ve heard the saying before: “Beyoncé has 24 hours in the day just like you.”
Yet, why does finding time in your day to workout seem so impossible?
When you are out of the fitness routine for a while, it can be hard to pick up right where you left off or find the motivation to start again. You place pressure on yourself: you are not as fit as you once were, you are afraid you’re doing it wrong, not pushing yourself hard enough, or simply cannot muster the motivation.
It is normal to go round and round with these emotions, but the first step is to just start.
Here are a few of my fav tips for starting:
Preparation is everything as a mom, and I mean everything.
We meal prep, we prep our kids for school, we prep for vacations, we prep for having a baby! So why don’t we prep for fitness? The key is to P-R-E-P-A-R-E. This consists of two steps:
1. Choose a workout you love - this is key!
If you love doing a Barre class or yoga, do a Barre class or yoga! This can be in a studio or remote from your living room.
If you love running, or Zumba, do it!
When you love a workout, it makes all the difference. Do not follow the latest trends on what you thinkyou should do. Do what makes you want to get up and move your body!
Fit Tip:There are a lot of great local studios that will offer a free trial class or great “first-timer” deals. As well as local running and walking groups! There are plenty out there, finding one of these groups involves a little research. I would love to connect with you on finding your niche.
2. Set it Out or Pack it Up
As a mom, the best time to get a workout in (for me, personally) is the morning before the kiddos wake up. Instead of rolling out of bed and scrambling to find clothes in the dark (because we know as soon as we hear that first cry our workout is over), lay out your clothes the night before, prepped and ready to go.
Set out everything you might need for your run, yoga session, or strength training. (And momma’s, I mean everything!) Shoes, socks, sports bra, fresh underwear, bottoms, top, hair tie and/or headband, maybe even a snack. Place these items in the bathroom, next to your bed, or by the door. That way when your alarm goes off, it is an easy grab n’ go.
Fit Tip:Remove barriers. If it is ready to go ahead of time, it gives you less time to waffle on not going. You can get up, get dressed, and get going. The key is to start with one foot after the other.
If the morning doesn’t work for you - that’s okay!
Pack a bag the night before and hit the gym on your way home from work, during your lunch break, have ready as soon as you get home or when naptimes are in session.
Whatever time you choose to workout, make sure you are prepped and ready to go!
Just Keep Going
It takes 21 days to form a new habit. Give yourself 21 days!Push yourself. Keep yourself accountable. It is easy to start a goal and find that it is too hard to sustain, especially with kids. You get bored after a week or two, you lose motivation, one thing bumps your schedule and you can’t seem to jump back on the wagon.
Here are some tips to maintaining your fitness goals with a “never know what the day will bring” schedule:
1. Get involved
As moms, we can find it difficult to ask for help. If you really want to get that workout in but just cannot find a moment to yourself during the day, don’t be afraid to reach out for help.
2. Join a gym or studio
There are so many gyms and studios that offer childcare now! You show up to your class with your kids in tow and they get to play in a fun playroom supervised and safe while you are able to focus on you. Bonus: there are multiple class times to choose from.
3. Workout with a group or friend
Join a local walking or running group. Text your momma friends and schedule a run/walk together weekly, followed by a playdate. Win win!
Remember that 10 mins of doing something is better than nothing.
We have all been there: we get in the middle of a run or a workout and your little one decides they are done with you working out for the day. You must turn around and head home or stop your exercise to give them extra hugs. Yes, it is a bummer you couldn’t finish your workout, but the plus side: You started that workout.You got in the mindset to sweat and improve yourself. You might have to do a week of interrupted workouts in order to get a full workout in, but that partial workout is going to be a hundred times better than doing nothing at all.
Lastly, and maybe the most important:
Be gentle with yourself
Post-baby (whether it’s a few months or let us be honest, a few years) we immediately want that pre-baby body back. We are hard on ourselves if the jeans do not fit, we can’t run longer than 10 minutes without wanting to puke, and we want to be in a shape we were years before. The list goes on. Consider this, if your friends were telling you their struggles with getting back into a routine, what would you tell them? You would say, “It is okay. Your body is healing. You just had a baby. You will get it back, and you will be stronger on the other side.” The same kindness you show your friends and family is the same kindness you should share with yourself. Be Kind. You just performed a miracle. Your body is stronger than it ever was. At the end of the day, we are all human. We all struggle. But that makes us all the stronger.
Remember: Beyoncé has the same number of hours in her day as you do, but she also didn’t become who she is overnight.
Written by Gretchen Mills, Moms on the Move coordinator at Gazelle Sports Birmingham. Gretchen is an active mom of two. She is an avid runner finding her passion of collaborating her love of health and movement with raising a family. Gretchen is an advocate of continuing your dedication to your dreams with the kids in tow. Instead of taking a pause to raise a family, Gretchen believes that bringing kids along for the journey and showing them how to handle it all in real time.