Posted on June 7, 2016 by Meghan Eggleston
I have to laugh…I mean, is there any other type of mom? Though these tips may be useful to anyone, moms face unique challenges and it’s so easy to put ourselves last or just use our families “needs” as an excuse to not take the best care of bodies. But I think we can all admit that being fit and healthy makes us better mothers. So here it goes:
The BEST Exercise for Weight Loss!
Walking… away from the kitchen. Sad, but true. While exercise burns calories, watching our ingested calories is of paramount importance when trying to lose weight. Have you ever paid attention to how much of your kids’ scraps make it into your mouth?
Boost Your Metabolism
With little time to spare, we have to be efficient. Firing up the metabolism gives us more bang for our buck.
The more lean muscle you have, the more fat you burn. Many women lift way to light. Pick a weight that only allows you to do 812 before you fatigue. You will NOT bulk up.
Eat a Healthy Breakfast
Just do it. So many people skip breakfast which is pretty much begging your body to hang on tight to the fat it already has and the calories you will consume later.
You should NEVER feel hungry! Ideally you should eat every 2 to 3 hours. Maybe you set an alarm on your smart phone to remind yourself to eat. Fit people eat throughout the day so that their metabolism stays consistent. People who skip meals have higher levels of cortisol, which causes weight gain, particularly in their abdomen. By eating frequently you can train your body to burn calories all the time. Find out how many calories you should be eating daily and then divide that into small meals and snacks that you’ll stagger throughout the day. For example, if you were trying to stay within 1200 calories/day, it may look like a couple 300-calorie meals, a couple 200-calorie snacks and a couple 100calorie snacks.
Unlike staying at the same pace or intensity during cardio, interval training involves alternating segments of high intensity exercise with periods of rest. This allows you to work more in a shorter period of time and it’s much more comfortable than spending the entire workout at a high intensity. The bonus is that your metabolism stays elevated for longer during the remainder of the day burning more calories while you are at rest!
Preparation is Key
As busy moms we are we are so preoccupied with taking care of other people. It is especially important to have something that is easy to prepare or already prepared for meals. Dicing up a crisp salad or simmering a delicious stew just ain’t happening in the middle of a chaotic day. That might mean making large batches of meals when you do have time to cook or preparing the next day’s meals the night before. Otherwise you are going to make poor choices for the sake of convenience. I ALWAYS double my dinner recipes and freeze or store for later in the week.
Find Your Soulmate Workout
Just like finding your love soulmate is rewarding, discovering your workout soulmate changes your perspective on taking care of yourself. Rather than feeling like a chore, you will begin to look forward to exercising! Hard to imagine? Think about it… do you prefer exercise that is…
- Indoors or outdoors?
- Group or solo?
- Dance or athletic?
- Competitive or noncompetitive?
- High-impact, low-impact or nonimpact?
- With a soundtrack or set to silence?
Brainstorm activities that best fit your preferred criteria selected above. Then “date” these workouts by trying one new activity every week until you’ve given them all a shot. Don’t stress out about this, Even the worst dates teach you something about yourself. And mistakes burn calories, too! You should be able to find at least one new type of exercise that you enjoy. But if not, just expand the search and keep trying.
Home workout videos are great options for moms who don’t have a gym membership. There are great videos on the market.
Schedule Your Workout
Put it on your calendar or in your planner. Make it a non-negotiable. It is an appointment that must be kept and just like any other appointment, you don’t schedule anything else during that time. If you plan to do it first thing in the morning, set your workout clothes out the night before. Put out the equipment or place the DVD in the night before. Place your alarm across the room so you have to get up to turn it off. I have been known to sleep in my workout clothes to make it that much easier to get out of bed!
This is not a comprehensive list. But these are the top things that have helped me to be successful in spite of the challenges of taking care of a home and family with 3 young children. Any tips that have helped you be successful?