It goes without saying that being a mother with young children or even one young child can be a workout but oftentimes it involves being completely drained and exhausted by the end of your day. However, it is possible to handle both motherhood and staying physically fit in a positive sense. All it takes is a little know-how and dedication. Don’t feel like you have to slow down just because you’ve got young children.
It’s understandable that after having children, your lifestyle changes and you may end up letting go of certain habits that are good for you, namely fitness. But once a child or children are added to the lifestyle equation, that often eliminates your window of time and shifts your priorities, making it difficult to squeeze in time at the gym or doing a quick workout in your home. Instead of neglecting physical activity in your life, simply find other ways to get fit and incorporate it into your new lifestyle and schedule.
The best way to figure out how to squeeze in some healthy physical activity is to go by your child’s schedule. Naptime is a great opportunity to workout. You can easily fit in 20-30 minutes of exercise around the house, either through exercise equipment you own or by putting on a workout DVD. By the time your child wakes up, you’ll be good to go. Exercise is totally possible, even when your child is awake. In fact, including the kids is a great way for you to get physically active as well as spending quality time together. For example, take your kids to the park as usual but instead of sitting idly by watching them, jog around the area (making sure you can still keep an eye on your kids) or play along with them.
Who says only kids are allowed to hang on the monkey bars? Or you can take your kids for a brisk walk around the neighborhood. Better yet, have your child ride his/her bike, while you jog or walk briskly alongside them. Even mothers with young babies and toddlers can get physically active by putting your child in a stroller and briskly walking or lightly jogging while pushing your child. All of these activities equate to exercise.
On rainy days when outdoor activities are a no-go, turn on the radio or put on your favorite dance music and rock out with your child. Dancing is a fun way to give your whole body a workout. Mothers with babies can include their little ones in their exercise routine by using them as part of the exercise. For example, instead of doing regular crunches while your baby is cooped up in the crib or playpen, place your baby on your stomach or thighs and do your crunches that way. The added weight will be a challenge in resistance for your body. Or you can lift your baby up and down in the air as a fun form of arm lifts.