Embarking on a fitness journey is a tough thing to do, and that’s especially true when you’re a mom trying to carve out time to dedicate to your own well-being. Raising children comes with countless challenges and inherently leaves you with very little time to prioritize your own needs.
As a mom myself, my kids are easily my biggest motivation for staying as fit as I can for as long as I can. I know now that being here for them and acting as an example to them is so important, but even I had doubts about prioritizing my own well-being at first.
Whether you’re a new mom or mom with older kids, check out some of the lessons and tips I’ve picked up as a mom and fitness fanatic.
1. It’s best to take it slow — and take some time to enjoy motherhood first.
It’s not a race, and you have time! So, enjoy your little one(s), because time flies by so quickly.
Once you’ve cleared it with your health care provider (especially if you’ve had a complicated pregnancy), start with what you already know; walking, lunging, and other simple movements. Take moments while you’re at the park with your kids to hang on the bars or run around with them.
After my second pregnancy, I had to start from square one — walking — because I had hip problems and experienced a lot of pain for a long time in the beginning of my post-pregnancy fitness journey. I had to walk to learn how to run again.
Spend a few dollars if possible to hire a post-natal trainer, even if it’s just for a few sessions to give you exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor, and especially if you had a complicated birth. The goal should be to get yourself active gently to create more energy, get the happy endorphins flowing and re-introduce your body to fitness as a mama now.
2. Know that you’ll have to make time to get it done.
Outside of moving with my kids (taking walks with them in the stroller, heading to the park, and so on) I would also do things to get moving while I was in the kitchen with them. It could be some while I reached for things in the cupboards, holding a against the fridge while waiting for something to boil, or other fun movements.
I know that in my case, of course I want my whole family to be healthy, but my kids aren’t going to be eating tofu dinners. When they were younger, I would find sneakier ways to add nutrition to their diets while letting them eat kid foods. When we used to make pasta for spaghetti night, for example, my husband would take all the that we would need and grind it up in a Vitamix before adding it to the sauce. The kids had no idea they were eating mushrooms and spinach and garlic.