As a mother it is your challenging yet fulfilling duty to teach, protect and nourish your children. However, the world’s most important job can often times leave you so frazzled that the equally crucial task of taking care of yourself seems impossible. The following tips will put time and energy back into your schedule so that becoming the fittest, sexiest version of yourself is no longer just a pipeline dream. You can do it!
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Set up a Home Gym
Don’t underestimate the importance of setting up a designed workout spot in your house. Between the homework-helping, diaper-changing, dinner-making and career-juggling, finding time to get to the gym may not always be a viable option. If you set up a customized workout space in your house (or backyard), you can workout as late or early as you want, or even find time out between tasks and chores.
And while a treadmill and a shiny Bowflex might sound nice, all you really need is a space to call your own, a couple of dumbbells, a jump rope, a workout matt and mp3 player or whatever it is that gets you to move around and start burning calories. You can mix it up by playing fitness DVDs in the living room and taking brisk walks or jogs outside. To cover all of your bases, it’s a good idea to also carry a pair of sneakers and perhaps a jump rope in your car. Now, you don’t have an excuse to not workout anytime.
Encourage your Kids to Workout with You
This can mean turning up the music and having a dance-fest, a lively afternoon in the park playing sports, biking together on the beach or exploring trails. Even a strolling around the mall or doing house chores together can yield healthy bodies and a clean home to boot. By doing this, you get to spend quality time with your children, teach them the value of exercise and get a workout yourself without having to look for a baby-sitter.
The “Food” Issue
You generally know what it good for you and what is not; the hardest part for all of us is actually doing what we know is the best for us–eating more fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and complex carbohydrates while reducing excess sugars, fats and processed, pre-packaged foodstuff to nearly zilch.
First of all, don’t stress. If it seems like too much to give up, remember that with some time and commitment, your food preferences will change. Your body will get used to running efficiently with all the nutritious goodness you’re giving it and will actually (gasp!) start to crave healthy foods.
In the meantime, you can either eat treat yourself once in a while to small portions of “sinful” cravings, or preferably, make healthier versions of them. There are always ways to lower the fat, sugar and calories in many foods with fresh ingredients. Craving nachos? Use baked, whole grain chips, low-fat cheese and low-sodium salsa. How about some apple pie? Try a cinnamon, nutmeg and chopped apple concoction, topped with a bit of sweetener and baked on top of a whole-wheat tortilla. Do your research; the options are endless. And while you’re at it, sneak some of these goodies in those SpongeBob lunch boxes.
Preparation is everything
Finding time to exercise and make healthy meals is an exercise in time-management, like everything else that is important. Pencil in your exercise “appointments”. Prepare your healthy meals and set out your workout clothes beforehand. If you don’t preplan, more than likely your “good intentions” will fall through the cracks.
Fitness is a Mental Endeavor rather than Physical One
Specify the reasons that prompted your desire to change. Write them down in a journal. This will push you through instances of wavering motivation or when you feel like you just plain want to quit. Be patient with yourself and remember fitness is a process and journey; the discipline you apply here will positively affect other aspects of your life. Don’t forget to send yourself love when your mind abounds with negativity; pessimism will hinder any progress.
If you’re not sure of any specific reasons to refer back to, remember that as a mother you are a prime example to your family and that by eating healthily and exercising regularly, you imparting this wisdom onto young, impressionable minds; be proud that your actions are doing double-duty.