Exercise for busy moms

In the spirit of the Olympics, the little athletes inside of us are begging to be unleashed. You have probably noticed yourself re-evaluating your exercise regime and possibly setting new goals. You may also be wondering how on earth you will make it work this time in between running the kids, running errands, getting to work, finishing the laundry, etc. Where do your needs fit in?

Not only is it essential to make time for just you every day, but some of that time needs to be spent keep- ing yourself physically fit. Once you’ve made the decision to do it, the actual time you need will almost magically appear.

I do have some suggestions, though, on how to stay fit and motivated in spite of your hectic and busy lifestyle.

1. Stick to a schedule. Seriously sit down and make out a daily routine. Just seeing it all on paper will highlight the areas where you may not have realized you have extra time. As far as consistency goes, it is important to schedule your workout at the same time every day if possible.

2. You don’t have to go to the gym. Now there are so many options for exercise. From balls, bands, and mats to weight equipment and elliptical trainers, there is no excuse to get the job done whether it’s at home or at the gym.

3. Be accountable. Having a support system is paramount. It really doesn’t matter if it’s your husband or your best friend, as long as there is someone there to sup- port you and keep you motivated and accountable. Do not skip this step! To me, this is the most important part of being consistent with your routine.

4. Let the kids in the loop. I personally have one to two days each week where I involve my kids in my workout routine. From lunges across the yard with my four year old son on my shoulders, to tricep extensions on my 11 month old daughter’s jogging stroller. Not only is it fun for the whole family, it instills a value of taking care of yourself from a young age. My son always looks forward to our exercises together. Remember, whether it’s diet selection or exercise, your children will most likely keep the values you instill as long as it is before the age of 9.

5. Consolidation is key. One hour workouts are a thing of the past. By consolidating your workouts, you can adequately hit all of the major muscle groups plus your heart and lungs in one session.

Here are a few of my favorites: Hill sprints with push-ups and sit-ups at the top of each hill, interval running (jog, sprint, jog) for 15 minutes with power cleans at the end, and the mini triathlon-bike as fast as you can for 10 minutes, swim as fast as you can for 10 minutes, and run as fast as you can for 10 minutes. Efficient and effective.

So for all of the Super Mom’s out there, take a good look at yourself and your life. Being constantly in service to your children, husband, and others is wonderful, but if you leave yourself out of the equation, everyone else will eventually suffer as well. Take time for you.

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