Smutty Fitness: Fitness tips for a busy mom
I recently had my second (and last!) baby and am eager to restart a fitness routine. Prior to having children I ran full and half marathons, cycled, swam, and the only strength training I ever stuck to is barre-style workouts. I haven't worked out consistently since the birth of my son 2 years ago but I'm so ready to get this ship back in shape, as much for the mental benefits as the physical. However, my maternity leave ends soon and my husband travels frequently. I don't know how to fit in exercise, mothering 2 very young children, and a full time job. Any advice for quick but fun workouts for a tired working mom who desperately needs her fitness time? Thanks!
I was chatting about this with my sister-in-law yesterday as she and I were working out together on our family vacation at the cottage. Since I don’t have kids and I can work out whenever I want and for however long I want I asked her how she manages to fit in her exercise with 2 kids and a full time job. She said since my nephew, her second, was born she had stopped making her fitness a priority. And she felt awful: out of shape and weak. It was just recently that she decided to do exactly as you are doing and get herself back into shape but since there was no option of fitting in hour workouts in her day she said she swapped her evening TV time with sweating.
You are lucky that you have discipline on your side and you know what it is like to make sacrifices but you also need to understand that for the next few years, at least until your littlest one is in school, you may not be running your best marathons, if any at all. It is important to understand that your fitness reality is different now, but it doesn’t mean you can’t be the best you can be.
Find a way to carve out 30 minutes of you time into your day, 3-4 times a week, and find a space where you can be kid free. When your husband is not away on business ask him to take them or if that is not an option you may have to wake up before them or workout after they go to sleep.
Create a space in your home that inspires you to workout. It doesn’t have to be very big but it should be bright and free of clutter and hang some inspirational photos or quotes on the wall as well as some of your old race bibs and finishers medals. Purchase a good quality mat, one set of dumbbells (8 pounds should do) and a medicine ball, download a fitness app onto your smart phone (the Nike Training Club App is my favourite) and you are set.
Go into your space ready to work hard. If you are tired that day tell yourself it is just 30 minutes, and if after 10 minutes you are still feeling exhausted then spend the rest of your time stretching, but get into the habit of rewarding yourself with 30 minutes of time where it is about you, your body and your mind. Pick something different to do for each of your workouts. One day pick a barre inspired workout, the next pick a cardio focused workout, the next focus more on strength training and the next is a high intensity interval workout. It really doesn’t matter how you are moving as long as you are sweating.
Being a busy mom of two you are going to have to plan and you are going to have to motivate yourself on the days where you would rather just hit snooze or lie on the couch with a glass of wine after the kids have gone to bed. You may actually find this to be even harder than your old marathon training days.
Attached - Teresa Palmer at the gym yesterday in LA.