This post is sponsored advertising content by Sargento Foods.
It’s hard enough to start an exercise routine for anyone, but mix in the stress and exhaustion of motherhood plus everyday tasks and it can feel like there is no time for mom to get a sweat session in. I’ve fallen into the habit of finding excuse after excuse to not exercise more times than I can count, but I finally took some steps to make sure to carve out that precious bit of time to put myself, and my health, first.
Making my health and happiness a priority has done wonders for my overall mood and self-confidence. Those endorphins leave me with a happy buzz and gives me energy and my body is starting to show some amazing results from sticking to a routine.
Below are 11 tips to help any parent that is hoping to make and stick to a exercise routine:
1. Schedule It
Get a planner and write it down! I write in my planner and also put it in our electronic family calendar, when my yoga classes are so that there are no conflicts. This helps to guarantee that I get my workout in and allows my husband to know that he’s on daddy duty during those times. You schedule everything else in your planner, shouldn’t your workout be as important as those playdates? 🙂
2. Do It First
I like getting my workouts in first thing in the morning so that I can’t make any excuses as the day goes on. As my days go on, my motivation usually slowly disappears, so getting out and exercising before anything can hinder my day makes a huge difference. The early workout leaves me feeling ready to tackle the rest of my day too and definitely increases my productivity.
3. Ask For Help
Don’t be afraid to ask others to to lend a helping hand. My husband and I highly depend on each other to take over the reins on watching our kids, so each other can get our workouts in. It’s something that’s important to each of us so we find a way and time to make it work. I have friends who swap babysitting with friends in order to allow each other time to workout kid free without having to pay for a sitter or daycare.
4. Tell Others
Tell others about your plans, goals and desires. Throwing it out there in the universe and letting others know your plans, helps to hold you accountable.
5. Have Kids Join In
This one is major for me! Since we don’t have a lot of help (we rarely have a sitter or family that are able to help daily), our kids join us often for exercise time. Invest in a jogging stroller (can find them used often to save money), grab some bikes, have kids join you on your yoga mat, stream a cardio workout (my kids love dance workouts) or go for a walk with your kids. My son is my biggest cheerleader when running as he continuously yells, “go faster!”. For reluctant kids, incentives (AKA bribes) can be a huge help. Whether that means a treat or a pit stop at the playground during your jog, use them to your advantage.
6. Give Yourself Grace
Life is busy and some days your workout might not happen (or not happen the way you want it to). Be kind to yourself and don’t let resentment bubble over into your family life. It can be frustrating, but life comes in stages and early childhood is one in which I know that I likely won’t have as much time to devote to training and working out.
7. Fitness Tracker
This little gadget is the perfect motivator to getting my butt off the couch. I set a reasonable goal of 10,000 steps a day and when I see I’ve only reached half my daily goal, I feel the urge to go take a walk.
8. Use Your Surroundings
Can’t get to the gym? No problem! You don’t need heavy weights or a treadmill to exercise. Stream a workout video online during naptime, take a walk with the kids, use your own body weight for exercises (and even better, let the kids climb on), or get in a playground workout while the kids play. There are countless ways to get moving from the comfort of home or while out.
9. Splurge for the Childcare Gym
If I had this option, I’d be RUNNING to sign up! Unfortunately, there isn’y one within 30 miles of me. The convenience of this option would be amazing and it would solve so many excuses when it comes to exercising.
10. Fuel Your Body
Keep your body nourished with wholesome and nutrient rich foods. When I don’t eat well, I can totally tell as my energy takes a nosedive and my workouts suffer as well. I strive to keep hydrated with lots of water, healthy meals and protein dense snacks throughout the day. Mixing in fresh fruit (like lemon, lime, strawberries) in ice water for a refreshing drink and to help me drink enough water daily.
For snacks, I stick to good protein options, like Sargento® Cheese Snacks (up to 8 grams of protein per serving and they have 14 different varieties to choose from), hard boiled eggs, and peanut butter. I love the convenience of Sargento® Cheese Snacks as they can be easily taken on the go. I try to pair protein dense snacks with healthy carbohydrate (like fruit) or fiber dense foods (like nuts) to keep me full longer throughout meals. For more smart snack tips to keep you energized you can check out this post.
11. Set A Goal
I think that it’s so important to have an end goal and lots of mini-goals along the way! I stay away from “weight-based” goals (like lose 10 pounds) and stick to more task based (such as run a 5k or workout 3 days a week). Goals keep me accountable and on track. It gives me something specific to work towards and gives me a clearer vision. When I set a goal, I take the time to think of how I will achieve it, write it down, including the steps to do so to set myself up for success.
I won’t lie. It’s hard at times and there are weeks where I take time a mini-break. I think it’s so important to listen to your body and mind and know when you need to take a few days off to recharge and reconnect. I hope that when my children are older and look back that they can remember that their parents made a health a priority. That their parents value health and also honor themselves as someone other than just a parent. Parenting can be all consuming and it can become easy to get wrapped up in “momming”, but taking time for yourself, your health and your goals is so important to being a happy and healthy parent.
I want to inspire my children to treat their body well and instill in them how important and fulfilling a healthy lifestyle can be. Our children look up to us and emulate our actions. What could be better than allowing your children to see what a healthy lifestyle looks like first-hand through parents that make exercise a priority?
I workout for more than just to look good. I workout because I want to treat my body well, keep it in great shape, stay healthy and to feel confident about myself. I want to treat my body as a temple because it’s the only one that I have and I want to be here long enough to experience as much life as possible with my children (and hopefully their children).
What’s your biggest healthy living struggle?