Today I’m collaborating with Alison from Something Cute Happened and Annie from Simply Annie to bring you three blog posts all about making fitness work in busy mom life. Be sure to check them out to get a super boost to your fitness motivation today. You’ll walk away equipped to tackle every excuse that tries to fling itself on you!
You may be wondering why I’m writing about fitness today. What does that have to do with fighting the frumpy monster, right?
Here’s the thing… I believe that women are best equipped to fight frumpy when they value and care for their general appearance. In huge part, this includes personal health and fitness!
But how do you find time as moms to work out? There are seriously so many other more important things pressing in on our time! Keeping our children alive, fed, clothed are definitely more important than pumping iron. But. Yes, but. You do your mom life with the most resilience when you yourself feel strong and healthy. And fitting back into those favorite jeans is a side perk!
I know a regular work out routine is key to fitness. But I also constantly struggle with making that fitness routine happen. Some weeks there’s no routine at all!
Here are the 8 rules and tricks I use to create a fitness plan that actually sticks. When I stop using one or more of these, my workouts suffer.
To shape a fitness routine that sticks:
Don’t set unrealistic goals. Aim for 1-2 times per week to start out. You don’t have to workout for an hour. 20-40 minutes on a consistent basis is better than an hour twice a month.
Schedule your workouts. Your workout date/times don’t need to be set in stone. Because the reality is, moms need the flexibility to choose Plan B or C, or D! But having a rough idea of when you’ll be working out makes it 100% more likely to happen. Use a symbol like a dumbbell or star to quickly scribble the week’s workouts into the family calendar. (Use the printable at the end of this post to figure out your best times to work out.) Here are two crucial points to a schedule that actually pans out:
Plan workouts around showers. This one’s for you moms that hate having to wash your hair more than two or three times a week. Plan your hair-washing around workouts. It provides an extra motivation to get your workout done today when you know you won’t want to wash your hair again tomorrow. It also eliminates the roadblock of “I just washed my hair, I can’t get sweaty today!”
Plan workouts with your kids in mind. The fact is a workout won’t happen if you’re stumped with what to do with your kids (or what your kids will do without you) while you work out. If you have an infant or toddler, think about an indoor workout during naptime or an outdoor workout with them in the stroller (or in a carrier). If you have toddlers or pre-schoolers they might enjoy playing around you or joining in while you do a video workout. If you really love the gym, look into a gym that offers free childcare. Or swap childcare days with your friend so you both stay accountable to go to the gym!
Have a solid indoor workout option. For those that live in rainy areas like myself or perhaps very hot climates, having a couple of options for indoor workouts is a MUST. Don’t depend on good weather to get your booty moving! If it’s cold and cloudy or steaming outside—or you just feel like staying indoors—you can still get the sweat running by following a video, or using a treadmill, elliptical or stationary bike.
Make it free or inexpensive. In my opinion, working your body out should not cost you. If it does, you may drop the routine when you decide you can’t afford a gym membership or video subscription anymore. In fact, depending on the gym definitely makes working out that much harder for a mom with dependents at home. Running in your neighborhood, using an exercise machine at home, or playing a video on your TV or iPad are all free and sustainable. YouTube offers plenty of free workout routines and so does your local library!
Learn something while you workout. Bored to death by stationary workouts? Feel like running around outside is a waste of precious time? Use the podcasts app on your phone and subscribe to a few that interest you. You can also listen to an audio book or watch a few helpful how-to video on your iPad while you work out.
Feel pretty when you work out. This might seem like a flippant step to a successful fitness routine. But seriously, if you hate the way you look or feel in your workout clothes you’re leaving an extra mental block to getting motivated. Here are three tips for feeling pretty when you work out:
Wear clothes that are fitted. Not necessarily tight. Fitted.
Treat yourself to fun athletic wear. 1-2 sets of cute workout clothes is all you need. I get by with one! (And treating yourself doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg! You can still keep to your monthly clothing budget. Shop clearance online and in-stores!)
Wear a supportive bra. Buy an extra sturdy one or wear two. I link pictures of my favorite ones below. This will keep you feeling secure, and protects your breast tissue from getting stretched. (There’s enough stretching going on with nursing!)
Tailor workouts to your body. You’ll stay motivated when you see results. Don’t do your friend’s workout or that random routine on Pinterest. Think about your individual body’s “problem areas.” Write out 2-3 workout routines that work on those areas and use them on repeat. (At least one of these workouts should be indoors.) You WILL see results if you stick to them and really work up a sweat each time.
Find a workout buddy! Whether that’s your friend, neighbor or spouse, having a workout buddy is like built-in accountability. You might schedule just one workout per month with them, but having that commitment on the calendar will insure you make it happen! And you’ll be refreshed socially by the experience too.
Using these tricks, you can kill excuses before they strike.
“But I’m already dressed for the day”: Using action point #2, if you’re in need of a shower it may be a good day to work out. Put your athletic clothes on right out of bed and throw your hair in a braid or ponytail.
“But I have more important things to do”: Schedule your workouts (#2) and learn something while you work out ($5). It’s not a waste of time.
“But it’s wet and cold outside” or “it’s boiling hot out there!”: Plan 2-3 workouts tailored to your body (#7) with at least one being an indoor option (#3). Work out inside when the weather stinks.
“But I love my cellulite”: Said no one ever!
Free PDF Printable:
Personalized Fitness Plan & Work Out Calendar
If you’re ready to take action and create a fitness routine that sticks because it’s tailored to work for you, download this PDF printable and get your plan written down girl! You’ll also have forever have exclusive access to the rest of my growing library of free printables.
If you’re already a subscriber, you can download it here. Password is at the bottom of the latest newsletter you received.
FAVORITE EXTRA-SUPPORT BRAS
These are no-nonsense options that really work. The Victoria Secret “Bombshell” and “Ultimate” are the best I’ve ever come across. You can often find them on clearance on their website ($19.99-$24.99) or wait until a semi-annual sale (January and July) and shuffle through their bins for one at $19.99.