One of the most difficult aspects of losing weight for many busy moms is finding time to work out. I will offer the disclaimer that my kids are older now and very much night owls. That means that I can easily get up early and work out before they get up.
However, there are many ways for moms with kids of all ages to find time to exercise – and it is essential that we do. Not only does exercise burn calories and help us to lose or maintain our weight, but its overall health and stress-relieving benefits cannot be understated.
A couple of weeks ago, I felt like I might be coming down with a cold. The thought crossed my mind to begin making excuses to skip the next day’s workout, but the truth quickly chased the lie out of my mind – I knew I’d very likely feel much better after a workout than I would if I skipped it.
Over the course of the last few years, I have come to believe that you can flush a cold out of your system with the sweat from a good workout. I can’t prove that, of course, but I firmly believe it.
So, how can a busy mom become a healthy homeschool mom and fit in time for a calorie-burning, health-improving, stress-relieving workout? You can start by losing the following mindsets.
A workout has to be long
First, lose the mindset that a workout has to be long. While 30-45 minutes does seem to be optimal, even 10 or 15 minutes here and there over the course of the day add up and provide benefits. Sites like Daily Burn offer 15 minute workouts for a variety of fitness levels on just about any device – computer, tablet, or smartphone.
There are also lots of workout videos on YouTube and my oldest even recently found a fitness challenge on Pinterest – and has actually stuck with it for awhile. I subscribe to Fitness magazine and they always have a tear-out page with different workouts, most of which don’t take a lot of time or expensive equipment.
A workout can’t include the kids
Next, lose the mindset that you have to workout without the kids. Yes, it’s more challenging when you have younger kids, but it doesn’t have to be impossible.
I can’t tell you how inspired I am every time I see a mom walking or running, pushing a baby stroller, when I’m at the track. I always have to fight the urge to stop and tell her how much I wish I’d done things like that when my kids are little. I probably should stop fighting the urge and tell her.
Consider doing activities with your kids such as:
- Strap the baby in a jogging stroller for your daily run or walk (My niece loves this!)
- Play active games with your kids on your Wii or X-box Connect
- Get fit as a family with family walks, bike rides (even little kids can join in with this bike trailer), or hikes
- Hula hoop or jump rope together (These are great for kids’ coordination and burn killer calories.)
- Have an old-fashioned PE class with jumping jacks, push-ups, planks, sit-ups, and stretches. Those are good for everyone!
A workout can’t be fun
Sometimes we find ourselves thinking that a workout has to feel torturous to be effective. The fact is, the best workouts are typically activities that you truly enjoy…because if you don’t enjoy it, you’re very unlikely to stick with it very long. A great workout can be:
- Rock climing
- Skating – roller, ice, inline
I’m pretty sure it was Leslie Sansone who said, “The best workout is the one you’ll do.” If the workout you’ll do is one that is born of an active past-time that you enjoy, all the better – especially since many of those options can also be family activities. If you can teach your kids at a young age to enjoy being active, they’re more likely to live a healthier, active lifestyle as adults.
What creative ways have you found to work out with your kids – or around their crazy schedules in your busy homeschool day?
My health and fitness update: I had a huge willpower victory this week. A couple brought hot, fresh Krispy Kreme doughnuts, my Kryptonite, to our Life Group and I didn’t eat one – not even a bite – because I had already chosen and eaten my one dessert.
My struggle is still logging food. I don’t know why I’m having such a hard time with that. What about you? How are you doing on your goals?