Finding time to exercise as a busy mom

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Exercise is one of the first things I sacrifice when I’m in the thick of parenting. I have two sons under the age of three, so finding the time to exercise and leave the house for my favorite exercise class can not only be impractical, it can be No way.

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If I’m training at home, I climb in like a piece of playground equipment or get tapped regularly for snack requests. Maternal mental health advocate Libby Ward (@diaryofanhonestmom) humorously captured these facts in a recent TikTok video, adding to the exhaustion of the decision of having to choose to exercise and the prospect of finally peeing on yourself. an act Move.

Related: How to start a yoga practice

I expected to get creative when playing make-believe games. I did Not Anticipating that some of the most creative work I’ll do as a mom is figuring out how to weave exercise into my busy day.

I teach yoga and write for health and fitness publications, but that doesn’t make things any easier in my own home. If anything, it put more stress on me, as my workouts became something else on my to-do list. But how can I practice yoga when I can’t even go to the bathroom on my own?

It’s not uncommon for us moms to pin our needs down when we have kids. We’re starting to see exercise as superfluous and feel bad about the time it takes away from our families. But physical activity isn’t a luxury – it’s health essential.

A 2018 article speculating on the benefits of regular exercise stated that there are more than 100,000 studies showing positive associations between health and exercise, which is Lovely Conclusive evidence. Perhaps if we start viewing exercise as important as eating or drinking water, we can feel guilty about it.

So where do we find that elusive “extra” time? Because oftentimes the challenge isn’t motivation or prioritization. it’s a literally Find a moment in your day when your kids don’t need you, and that’s a lot Start For busy moms.

An essential part of finding more time is adjusting our expectations. Just as our lives will look completely different after having kids, we need to expect our exercise routines to look different, too, ie where You are working out. Leaving the house to go to a yoga studio can be difficult, but finding a quiet place in the house can also be challenging. I’ve learned to work in a sea of ​​LEGOs with “Bluey” buzzing in the background.

It also helps adjust our expectations about the amount of time we need to move our bodies. Fortunately, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Physical Activity Guidelines, released in 2021, American adults really only need 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity. This equates to 20 minutes a day of movement such as brisk walking, cycling or swimming.

For those of us who prefer intense aerobic workouts—like strength yoga, running, or circuit training—the weekly recommendation is just 75 minutes per week. This amounts to about 11 minutes a day. I don’t know about you, but this seems manageable over an hour.

And don’t forget parenting and family management also bodily functions. You may have already achieved these goals just by living your life!

Of course, if you’re like me and enjoy the feeling of intentionally getting your heart rate up and sweating (and not just from chasing your kid around the park when you’re trying to get them to leave), we can Weave the work out into the present day. Here are some tips for making time for exercise.

Related: Yoga can help reduce anxiety when trying to conceive

5 ways to find time to exercise

1. Inclusion of your children

Do yoga while playing with your baby on the floor. If you live in a walkable area, walk everywhere you can get to. Pro tip: Toddlers and young children are slow and distractible, but if they’re on a scooter or bike, you can sometimes run.

I love doing what my son and I call the “silly walk,” which is my own version of circuit training. In each block, we do a different movement like lunges or kicks. Weather and topography permitting, consider cycling or taking them to school instead of driving.

2. Have dance parties

Who doesn’t love a dance party?! This is also a fun way to get the whole family involved. Dance whenever and wherever you can. You can break your moves while you’re cooking, while you’re getting everyone ready in the morning, or during your bedtime routine. You can do the dances while sitting in the car or on the couch. You can also choreograph special dances with your kids, which get their brains working along with their bodies.

3. Use everyday moments as an opportunity to practice

Carrying groceries, heavy gardening, and some forms of cleaning can all be considered strength-building activities, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. The official strength-building recommendation for healthy adults is about two days per week.

Try doing a few bicep curls before putting your groceries in your car. Move slowly when brushing to feel your muscles engage. A common physical activity exercise for the shoulders is to run a cloth up and down a mirror. This strengthens the rotator cuffs, the major muscles that hold the shoulder in its socket, and also makes the scapula very clean mirror.

4. He got up before everyone else

I apologize in advance if you’re not a morning person, but that hour or so before everyone else is gone can be better The time of day to focus entirely on you. This also assumes that your children are not early risers. My 8-month-old got up at 5 am while I was writing this, so I get that this isn’t always a feasible solution. Refer to number one if this is the case.

5. Workout before bed

While a 2019 review found that vigorous exercise before bed may disrupt your sleep, this can be a great time for building strength and light stretching. Keep a pair of weights on your nightstand and do a few reps of arm and shoulder strengthening. Or hold a plank for ten breaths. Then you can stretch things out before jumping into bed. I’m also a big fan of stretching out in bed, like doing a little touch-up.

Exercising for busy moms may seem out of reach, but with a little adjusting expectations and a lot of creativity, you can make time for yourself and your health in your daily routine. Thank God, fatherhood is very A bodily job, so even if you’re unable to sneak into your favorite class or get up well before dawn, you’re probably already working out more than you think.

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