I’m learning that being on the go constantly just comes along with being a parent. JoMarie is still a little babes, I watch my siblings, cousins, niece and nephew who are all involved in activities and their mamas deserve a medal, there are just not enough hours in the day! If you are like me and attempt to juggle your work and home life, you probably struggle to find time just for you. “Me” time?? What is that? This is why our fitness can suffer and in the big picture, causes us to suffer. We all need a good level of fitness just to keep up with our little ones. I’m sure it can feel like a workout just running after those little feet, but that won’t always be enough. What you need is a good plan, and the skills to improvise to make sure you look after yourself just as well as you’re looking after the baby. I have been pretty creative and have improvised often since beginning to workout again after baby. From calf raises while waiting at the copier to resistant band pulls at my desk, you just do what you can 😉
Sneaking away and working out at the gym is great, but for me there is that inevitable Mom guilt. Right now, I do not love taking time away from JoMarie, to go workout. Don’t get me wrong, I do it and it is 100% necessary sometimes, but there are other options as well. Did you know that you can spend quality time with your child as well as exercise? Babies love to be a part of our everyday life. All you need to be mindful of is their safety. Stick to activities that work just one part of your body. There are lots of workouts you can try that focus on just the legs, just the arms, or just your core. I had to skip my shoulder worker the other day so little miss loved me pushing her up into the air and slowly coming back down. She giggled away while I got a killer shoulder workout in. WIN WIN! More on this further down 🙂
Change it up a little so baby can come along too. Use a backpack style carrier or a sling if your baby is still small enough. Walking and hiking can then become a practical activity for you both. You’ll both enjoy the fresh air, and you’ll get an extra workout from your walk by carrying the extra weight of the babes. If you don’t have time to get out and about, try mixing in some cardio at home or at work by walking or running the step. It’s great for the calves, thighs, and ankles!
Lifting your little one rhythmically can also provide some strength training to help tone your arms (insert this weeks shoulder workout). Even just ten reps before you change the diaper or pop the little one in the high chair for feeding, can work wonders. Do you ever dance with your baby? This is one of my favorites! Put on some uptempo music, and rock, sway, turn and wiggle with your little one. Have a look at websites like thestir.cafemom.com for track tips. As they become more steady on their feet, this will help secure their balance too.
Of course, there are lots of times when your little one is napping that you can fit in a few quick exercises. Although sometimes it feels more important to get those dishes done or start that laundry, time to feel great about yourself and get a sweat going is just as important! You can increase your fitness by taking on a little bit of your workout program at a time. Look at websites like topworkoutprograms.com to find individual exercises or entire fifteen-minute routines to fill your time.
Once you are at work, you might feel a little sleepy to your desk. This has been happening to me! I will be going 100 miles a minute in the morning while getting everything ready for the day and when I get to work and sit down, I get a little tired. Try not to sit too much, spending a little of my time at a standing desk has seemed to help. Walk-and-talks with colleagues help keep your body moving, and we all know we should take the stairs. Go out of your building for lunch and walk a couple of blocks to your lunch venue, or go workout over your lunch break!
Becoming a Mom has put an entire new meaning to the word “selflessness” for me but that in no way means that I no longer find it important to stay active. Working out continues to show me how needed it is and how great I feel when I take that time for me. When and where do you find a few minutes to focus on active fitness?