A Busy Mom’s Guide to Fitting in Fitness: {Spring In My Step Guest Post}

sharing glimpses of His love & sprinkles of His grace
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A Busy Mom’s Guide to Fitting in Fitness: {Spring In My Step Guest Post}

By Barbie   /     Apr 09, 2012  /     Uncategorized  /     

Introducing…

Melanie is a full-time wife and mommy of two lively little boys. She writes at Only a Breath as a real-life exploration of living faith. Her heart’s desire is to encourage others and to share with them the joy of Christ and the hope of His unfailing love.

 

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mother and son practice pilates for pregnancy - _MG_2985.JPG

As a busy mom, I know how challenging it can be to find time to exercise. With housework, helping with homework, dishes, cooking, laundry, work deadlines, packing lunches, and all that comes with being a mom (whew!) — exercise can get pushed to the back burner and instead of enjoying it, it can often feel like just one more cumbersome item on the “to do” list.

… and I don’t know about you, but adding anything else cumbersome to my “to do” list makes me want to scream and cry in the fetal position.

But the great news is that it doesn’t have to be this way! Finding time for fitness as a busy mom may be challenging, but it is definitely not impossible!

Here are some tips to fit in fitness … and maybe even enjoy it!

1. Start Small

Confession time – (you won’t tell, right?) – I tend to be an “all or nothing” kind of gal. If I decide to exercise, I expect myself to work out 7 days a week, a solid hour at a time, eat no sugar, drink a million ounces of water a day, sign up for that marathon…. well, you get the idea. After only a few days of keeping this pace (or “torturing myself”, whatever way you would prefer to look at it), I give up and decide that I am just not the “exercise type”. Then, I sit on the couch and eat Oreos…

However, I have found that if I start out slowly, I actually stay with exercise much better! For example, I challenge each of us (myself included!) to find only 8 minutes to exercise today. Why only 8 minutes? Well, 5 is so short we might skip it… and 10 sounds a little too long for the first day, so let’s try 8 minutes (and chances are, once we get started, we’ll hit 10 minutes!). Each day, try adding 1-2 minutes, and you will soon notice your increase in energy and stamina!

2. Ask Your Kids to Join You

My kids LOVE to exercise with me! They are so cute and come running over when I start an exercise DVD. They enjoy jumping around with me, and even use old paper towel rolls as their “hand weights”! My three-year old is very affectionate, and when he knows Mommy is going to do push-ups, he will run over and lie under me in the floor on his back. When I lower myself in a push-up, I will give him a little kiss each time. I used to hate to do push-ups — now I love them!

… and they sleep much better after exercising with Mommy! (Just another added bonus!)

3. ….or, Join Your Kids!

Have you ever tried to keep up with your kids on the playground? If so, you will testify to the fact that “playing” is a whole ‘lotta exercise! Try joining your kids when they are playing, and get a great workout while enjoying time with them! Kicking a soccer ball, biking, playing basketball, swimming, and even “freeze tag” are great way to exercise while having fun with your kids!

… and all that playing will earn you the “Cool Mom” award from your kids!

4. Mix it Up!

There are SO many different ways to exercise! If you find yourself becoming bored, switch it up! Try cardio one day, pilates the next, zumba the next, etc. I enjoy fitness DVD’s so a little trick I use to keep from becoming bored it to number my DVD’s and randomly draw a number when I am ready to exercise (kids love to help with this too!). After drawing a number, I find the DVD matching it, and exercise with it!

5. Find What Works for You

Find the workout style that works best for you! Many people enjoy going to the gym, but for me, I just miss the time away from my kids. So, exercising at home is a good solution for me. I have friends who enjoy running alone because it gives them time to think and pray with no distractions. I love that! Isn’t it wonderful that we are so uniquely made? If your exercise routine is not working for you, please don’t assume it’s YOU that is the problem, sweet friend. Perhaps you just need to try a new routine!

What are your tips for fitting in fitness? I would love to hear them! Did you find any of these tips useful — if so, which ones are you going to try?

About Barbie

I am wife and mom to four beautiful children. I have been marked by the love of a relentless God who never stops pursuing me. My desire is to encourage you on your own journey, giving you glimpses of His love and sprinkles of His grace along the way.

6 Comments

  1. Dawn Paoletta Says: April 10, 2012 6:00 am

    These are all great suggestions! Nice job , Melanie! 

    Reply this comment
  2. Heather Adams Says: April 10, 2012 6:23 am

    These are great suggestions and I like your funny, relatable tone! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply this comment
  3. Jennifer Dawn McLucas Says: April 10, 2012 10:07 am

    Great ideas Melanie! I’ve often used tips 2 and 3. Over the last few months I’ve finally found what works for me- inviting God into my workout. I’ve always enjoyed starting my day with God, usually through a short devotional. Now I get up early, turn on my praise music really loud, and invite Him to come work out with me. You know, He always shows up! I’ve discovered there’s something really incredible about adding movement to my worship. My favorite mornings are those when I really can’t decide if I’m fully worshiping or fully exercising. ;)

    Reply this comment
  4. Cheryl E. Says: April 10, 2012 12:36 pm

    Some ways I have fit exercise into my day is when I drop my daughter off at dance lessons or voice lessons, I bring along my tennis shoes and walk for the half-hour she is in class. Then walk back and pick her up. Also, for the past 2 summers I have “unplugged”, leaving the Ipod at home and cell phone and just taking a quiet walk by myself–I call them my “God walks”. It’s just me and God walking and communing!

    Reply this comment
  5. Kerri Smith Says: April 10, 2012 5:45 pm

    thanks for sharing these tips. exercising with the kids is such a great thing because they also are getting the benefits and it’s great bonding time. 

    Reply this comment
  6. Sarah Says: April 11, 2012 1:28 pm

    Hi Melanie – Practically speaking, when do you do your workouts? I am really struggling to find the time – baby is still waking up to eat 2-3 times a night (7 months old, breastfeeding and pumping). I drag myself out of bed just in time to get us out the door in the morning, we’re home around 6pm, by the time we unpack, have some awake time with baby and get him down, it’s 7:45 or 8 (or later!) before we’re eating dinner…then dishes (which I usually only manage to convince myself to do because bottles and pump parts are mandatory), then crash on the couch to try to keep my eyes open to spend some time with hubby and/or relax and breathe for a minute before bed…what am I missing?

    Reply this comment

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