As a new mom, there’s a good chance you’ve already realized that parenthood is one long balancing act; whether you’re trying to find time to keep on top of chores, are heading back to work, or hoping to savor a moment to yourself, being mommy and being you can take some juggling. One thing that often tends to go flying out the window first is fitness. Regardless of what the media tells us all about celebrity post-baby bodies and the importance of getting back in shape, it can be difficult to follow any kind of a routine when you’re battling against sleepless nights, rushed lunches, and play dates. Who has time to worry about washboard abs when they’re making packed lunches for toddlers and wiping bottoms, after all?
The good news is that there is middle ground; perhaps you won’t be able to return to your pre-baby regime immediately, but know that there are ways to indulge your passion for fitness and be a mom.
Top tips for balancing parenthood and fitness
One of the biggest struggles that new parents discover is a lack of time. When is there time to keep fit, and where does that extra energy come from? Firstly, imagine all of the calories you’re burning while you’re dashing around after the children; there’s the start of your new regime right there. The key is to make time for fitness whenever, and wherever, you can. It’s easier than you think.
Taking care of your body
One thing that you’ve probably noticed since becoming a parent is that you’re on your feet so much more than you used to be. No sooner is one task complete than you’re hurrying to another corner of the house, or to the store; it’s essential that you take care of yourself, particularly if you’re also hoping to increase your fitness regime. Insoles, such as Tommie Copper orthotic inserts, will provide support for your feet and legs regardless of how active you become during the day, cushioning and absorbing impact effectively. Orthotic inserts will help to reduce the wear and tear on your feet, so when you do find that spare time to exercise you won’t have to worry about them hurting.
Before and after childcare duties
Your fitness regime may not be your top priority any more, but that doesn’t mean it has to fall by the wayside. Could you get up a little earlier to accommodate a jog before breakfast, or wait until your children are asleep to head out for a swim, a run, or an evening class? Once your children have embarked upon their school day, set about creating a tasty meal in the slow cooker, and then think about the many ways that you can keep fit and healthy – with dinner making itself, you could enjoy that bike ride. While it is difficult to drum up enough energy to be active that early, or late, in the day, the parenting-fitness balance needs compromise. Where can you make yours?
Combining childcare and a fitness regime
One of the best ways to balance parenthood and fitness is to involve your whole family in your endeavors, creating a new generation of exercise fanatics. There are some fantastic jogging strollers on the market these days, so consider taking your little one with you when you head out for a run – this will make a daily jog around the park even easier, particularly if it coincides with naptime. If you enjoy swimming, head to the pool with your children in tow, and introduce them to the delights of keeping fit in the water. A healthy outlook, and a keenness to keep fit, starts in childhood; how can you involve your children in your routine? Of course, the simple answer is to walk your children to school instead of driving, or to cycle as many smaller journeys as possible. With baby steps, your fitness regime will create itself.
The ten-minute fitness regime
If the idea of losing precious moments in bed is too daunting right now, there is always another way to keep fit: introducing the ten-minute workout. Using a variety of household objects, including chairs, stairs, and walls, or a desk if you’re at work, it’s relatively easy to indulge your gym bunny – you just need a little motivation to get started. There are some great ten-minute workouts available online, each including simple moves such as chair dips and squats, crunches, modified push-ups, and step-ups. The great thing about these workouts is that they’re so easy to fit into your day, whether you keep fit while the children are napping, enjoy a quick burst of energy when they’re involved in a game, or leap about prior to everybody else waking up. Enjoy that time to yourself!
The most important thing to remember is that you can’t control everything; perhaps you’ll start the day with the best intentions in the world, but then parenthood happens. Baby vomit, leaking nappies, and tantrums will become as much a part of your routine as leaving for work, but roll with it; learning to embrace those days, and the chaos that being a mommy will inevitably bring, is often the key to success. If you miss a day from your fitness regime, big deal! Children stay little for so short a time, so be sure to enjoy those early days. Perhaps you’ll develop a new routine that complements the joys and heartaches of motherhood. Just know that we’re with you during every step of that journey.