“It’s truly hard when you start and want to work out. We own a fitness business but understand it can be a struggle to find time to run a business, a family and learn to be mums.” says Joan. We’ve all done it. 14-hour days at work followed by a spin class or a Pilates session, but after having children, gone are those days. “You can’t expect to be like it was before. It’s not about doing hour –long workouts anymore, you don’t have to do a lot to get your gains.” Not only does exercise make you feel confident and fit, it also gives you mental clarity, so here are 5 top tips for you mums out there for fitting in a workout when you have kids.
1. Make your goals achievable – “I try and do two workouts throughout the week and one at the weekend. If I do anymore than that, it’s a bonus.” says Joan. Let’s be realistic: Aiming to fit in four to five 45-minute workouts a week is being too optimistic – it’s just not going to happen! Aim for two to three 20-minute workouts a week. “20 minutes is a really good amount of time to focus on and trust me, you’ll get some results and even just clarity of mind.”
2. Make exercising fun – We’ve all had that feeling where exercising feels like a chore (like we don’t have enough chores to do around the house). But exercising should be fun. It doesn’t have to be a monotonous humdrum time in your day that you dread. Make exercising into a game and make working out playful. If your child is a little older get them to join in. Run, jump and mess around. The main thing is you keep moving and you will burn calories.
3. Weight training at home – The first thing I’m sure that goes through your mind is that you need to do cardio. But did you realise that going out and walking is cardio? When you’re out for a walk pushing the buggy, that’s cardio too! Another important thing to get into shape are muscular based exercises, because when you do muscular work and body weight work, it can give you more positive results. And carrying your baby is muscular exercise! Say your baby weighs 10 kilos, do 10 squats with them in your arms and a few weeks later when he weighs more, do another 10. Your baby’s getting heavier and you’re getting stronger! But there is a bit of health and safety to it:
STAGE 1 – until your baby is really able to hold their head you can hold them in a front carrier. But don’t use a front carrier past 6 months otherwise you’ll be putting a lot of pressure onto your lower back.
STAGE 2 – When your baby is between 6 and 12 months you can go hands-free! This is when they’re not crawling or running around just yet.
STAGE 3 – This is the stage when they’re quite hard to control and you get a workout from just running around after them. But if you really want to fit in some workout time, put the iPad on and that will keep them busy for a good 20-minutes at least!
4. Put it in the diary – Sit down with your partner and put some time in the diary where your partner can look after your child and you can get out of the house go for a run, go to a yoga session or whatever you want to do that you know you’ve got the time for. Scheduling this time is key when you’re a busy mum, so you know that on Saturday at 9am for an hour it’s your time to get healthy.
5. Support other mums – Find a workout buddy! It’s really motivating when you have another mum come and join you in a class or on a run. Build each other up and support each other. It’s important to have a good support network and you’ll be more motivated to get your sweat on and less likely to cancel on them.