Summers are an amazing time with our kids but for many of us, the exercise routine takes a back seat or gets left on the side of the road. Vacations, crazy eating patterns, and late nights can all throw our routines out the window so finding an exercise routine that works for you as soon as your kids go back to school, is super important.
If there’s one thing many of my girlfriends always complain about, it’s an erratic eating schedule and indulging in one too many ice creams and rosés, which snowballs into an entire heap of not-so-great food choices. Also grateful for that one-piece cover-up because at my age, I’m not always in the mood to wear a tiny bikini in public.
But now that the kids are going back to school and it’s time to create new routines, it’s important that we figure out a way to get back into an exercise routine – for our physical and mental health. I know, it’s easier said than done sometimes, but if you bear with me, I hope to motivate you to get started.
So, let’s seize the opportunity and get ourselves back on track and into our pre-summer routines. Are you ready to take on mom-hood again? Let’s do it!
But first… since writing this post a few years ago, I’ve gotten a lot of follow-up questions about working out after having kids. I decided to devote an entire podcast episode to it! Lisen in on your favorite podcast app, or by clicking play below.
What if you don’t like to exercise?
Exercise is not my favorite thing either, but I know how important it is to my health. Exercise is like a retirement plan; what you contribute today, will pay off in compounded interest over time.
It’s only been in recent years that I’ve woken up early and gone to the gym before the kids woke up. But there are still days that I’ve put on my workout clothes with every intention of exercising, only to find myself greeting the kids after school still wearing my very comfy clothes after having spent all day working from my dining table. “Work-ing” counts as some kind of “work-out” though, doesn’t it?!?!
Ok, so sometimes I don’t like it either, but if I really think about it, the hardest part is getting started.
So how do you get started?
There’s no better day than today! You just get started by lacing up your sneakers and getting outside with the kids, taking the dog for a walk, or planning a playdate at the park! Yes, that’s enough for day 1.
To make exercise your goal, and part of your lifestyle, here are some suggestions that make it easier to become part of your routine:
1. Choose an activity you enjoy.
- Start with something that’s fun, not too difficult or dreadful, so you look forward to doing the activity, which will create a habit.
2. Get it on the calendar.
- After you choose your availability for exercise, even 20-30 minutes, mark the appointment with yourself in your calendar, just like you would with your doctor, a client or customer.
3. Recruit a friend.
- Your buddy will make you accountable to someone else besides yourself and will make the journey more fun.
4. Start slow.
- Always consult your doctor or health professional, if this is your first time exercising, or you have a medical condition. If you’re overweight, or just don’t know where to start, walking may be a better idea than one of those high-intensity workouts.
5. Challenge yourself.
- For example, training for a race will be good motivation to keep you moving, and completing the race, will be your reward.
6. Adjust your expectation.
- There’s no way after having a few kids and with a full work schedule I’m going to look like one of those fit twenty-somethings on Instagram; so why scroll through their feed for hours? Engage with people that are relatable to your situation and connect with them. This will help you adjust your expectations of what to expect on this journey.
7. Make a commitment to yourself.
- Commit. NO ONE is more important in your life than YOU. Yes, you are even more important than your children. Because if you’re not healthy and ‘feeling like yourself’ you won’t be able to take care of them.
- Health issues will pop up unexpectedly – especially when you haven’t been taking care of yourself – so commit to your health because you have only have one life to live.
How do you find time to exercise?
In recent years, I’ve become a morning person by training myself to become one, which allows me to get AM workouts in. But this also means I go to bed early-ish most nights, often when the kids go to bed – and before 10 pm.
Most of us are creatures of habit, so our days begin to look the same. As moms, our schedules follow our kids’ schedule, so consider taking your workout to the ballpark while your son/daughter is at soccer, baseball or football practice. Or taking your toddler for a brisk walk in their stroller after naptime. Incorporating or coordinating your workout into or with their schedule will help keep things in line with your schedule.
How will you feel after exercising?
AH-mazing! The feeling you’ll have after exercising is one of the greatest feelings ever. Your body will have endorphins running through it, more oxygen, and you’ll feel great about yourself (and proud) for doing something for your health.
It’s imperative we take care of ourselves as working or stay at home moms. When we combine exercise with healthy eating and stay committed to this lifestyle, we become better women.
I encourage you to live a healthy lifestyle, so you can have happier, more positive and productive lives. Every single one of us needs more ‘mom time’ each week – it’s a matter of carving it out.
What are some obstacles keeping you from making exercise a part of your lifestyle?