Balancing life as a mom is difficult. As a new mom, I wanted to do everything I could for my daughter while maintaining a career, healthy life and a tidy home. But, something had to give. Unfortunately, it can be easy to put your needs on the back burner. But, I noticed that as I neglected my fitness and healthy eating, other aspects of my life were impacted negatively too. I simply was a better mom, wife, person when I took care of me! We shouldn’t feel guilty about that, should we? In fact, we can make it a lifestyle for the entire family.
1. Find Time for Fitness
Make exercise a priority. Decide when and where you’ll workout at the start of the week. Sure, you may have to rearrange a few times, but at the very least, it’s on your calendar. Now that I’m a mom, I can’t spend 45-60 mins or more exercising like I used too. I have to plan it around my daughter’s schedule.
You can always sneak in a body weight workout of push-ups, squats, sit-ups and burpees. If the nap persists, keep working! Bonus time!
Additionally, many gyms provide childcare at no cost (or very little) to their members, so take advantage! You are not a bad mom for letting someone else watch your child.
2. Exercise with Your Family
Not only will you be setting a good example for your little ones, but it can be enjoyable family time.
Choose safe areas and exercises that are safe to do around your kids. Often, my husband and I will take turns watching our daughter while the other does a sprint or completes a set of pull-ups.
Or, make them part of your workout!
Our daughter really wants to be a part of the action, so I try to include her whenever I can.
If your kids are older, bike rides or hiking maybe options as well.
3. Eat Healthy with Your Family
Show your kids what healthy eating is.
Offer whole, unprocessed foods whenever you can. Especially, foods they can feed themselves as it fosters independence and making healthy choices on their own. Some of my favorites are peas, sliced strawberries, bananas, steamed broccoli, and cubed sweet potatoes.
Eating healthy can be easier said than done if your little ones are picky eaters, right? So get creative and sneak spinach or kale into their smoothies.
But, don’t eat healthy FOR them. Finishing your kids’ plates can add extra calories to your diet. Those little bites add up!
4. Make Your Minutes Count
Sometimes, I only have a 20 minute window to workout. But, I can make those 20 minutes really count if I crank up the intensity by using heavy weights or HIIT (high intensity interval training). This method of training uses intervals of high intensity mixed with periods of rest or low intensity. Here are a few examples of workouts that are short, but intense: Push-Pull Kettlebell Workout and Glutes & Guns Workout.
5. Plan and Prepare
It’s true. Failing to plan, is planning to fail…at least in the eating department. If I don’t have healthy snacks and food readily available, I make poor dietary choices.
That’s why keeping a stash of Quest bars in my purse is crucial on the go. If hunger strikes, I want to be prepared. At home, I like to have chopped veggies with hummus and grilled chicken in the refrigerator to set me up for success.
6. Set an Example
I am passionate about fitness, but I don’t want to force that on my daughter unless it’s her choice. However, I do want her to see me living a healthy lifestyle and making fitness a priority.
Hopefully, she sees that staying active and taking care of yourself is important…and fun too!
Jess Allen is a first-time mom, NSCA-CSCS trainer and author of Blonde Ponytail, where dynamic workouts and healthy recipes are shared along with life in between the workouts. Jess resides in Champaign, IL where her husband coaches baseball at the University of Illinois. You can find her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. For workouts, visit her YouTube channel.