How Moms Do: Fitness

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How can a mom add an exercise plan into her days? How can you make fitness routine? Here are a few ways moms address the need for physical fitness.

How Moms Do Fitness | Life as MOM
I’ve talked about fitness extensively. Or what feels like “extensively” to a normally sedentary person like myself. I was one of those people who during my 20’s and 30’s didn’t really “need” to work out. I had a naturally high metabolism and an affinity for salads over desserts.

However, I never had good strength, good posture, or stamina.

All this has come back to bite me in my 40s. My hip and back have issues. My posture is not what it should be. My metabolism has slowed down, but my tastes for lots of yummy food has not.

I feel like a mess many days because I didn’t develop good habits when I was younger.

About this time of year in 2013, I started going to the local Y to workout: mainly some weight machines and the treadmill. Last summer I started yoga. I learned one thing: I might not lose weight, but my body feels better when I exercise regularly.

The other days, my muscles and joints feel like I’m 70 years old.

So, while I can tell you all the benefits of exercise for weight loss, heart health, and stress relief, my biggest argument is this: your body will revolt on you if you don’t stretch and keep it limber.

As the 70-year old woman at the workout center tells me, “Use it or lose it.”

This can be hard if you’re waking several times a night with babies and toddlers, chasing around all day, and not naturally inclined to exercise.

Get some exercise!

Don’t be like me! It has been so hard to teach my body and my brain something different. If there were two things I could go back and change about 20-year old me, 30-year old me it would be these:

1. Don’t do the debt thing.

2. Start exercising and stretching.

I’ve learned that it is really important to keep moving — and to model better habits to our kids so that they enjoy their bodies and good health more.

My current fitness plan is yoga twice a week and the pool twice a week. I am recovering from a back injury, so I’m trying to take it easy, but definitely want to ramp up my exercise routine in the next few weeks. (My back injury totally dashed my hopes of running in Luke’s 5K, but I’ll be walking it with the kids.)

Want to know how other moms are making it happen, despite busy lives?

Here’s how moms do it:

Linsey Knerl - 125

From Linsey:

Fitness is hard when you’re already busy, or if you live far away from a gym, like us. My days are hard, so fitting in extra hard work doesn’t always seem to make sense. I try to do one very vigorous activity in our yard, garden, or farm to help push us along in our goals AND stay fit.

If it’s rainy outside, however, I love the Daily Burn memberships that stream from my Roku onto my TV, and they have lots of options for those just starting a workout plan or recovering from surgery (like all those c-sections!)

– Linsey Knerl is a Nebraska Mom of 6, a freelance writer, and the passion behind 1099Mom.com, (the FAQ for work-at-home moms.)

Amy McGuire -125

From Amy:

I chase my children frequently, and pop in the 30 Day Shred for about 5 days in a row about every 3 months. I am an exercise fail right now! I do try to head out on a walk when I can, but really, I need to make fitness more of a priority.

– Amy is a mom of six, embracing the extraordinary in every day and sharing the crazy at Amy’s Finer Things.

deanna

From Deanna:

I exercise to feel good, not to lose weight. My husband works long hours, and I do not have a gym membership or a home gym. This means that I walk. A lot. I load up the kids in the triple wagon and we go walk circles at the mall before the stores open (especially in the winter when outside walking is not an option).

Now that it is warmer out, I also go for a run during naptime on the weekends when Daddy is home. And family bike rides are a favorite! I think as young moms we need to take the pressure off of exercising to look a certain way and acknowledge that some movement will help us feel better and therefore do our jobs better.

– Parenting three kids five and under keeps Deanna quite busy, but there’s always enough time left at the end of the day to write all about the insanity in her award-winning blog Everything and Nothing from Essex.

amy-gross-125

From Amy:

This one is so so hard. I try to exercise in the A.M. before anyone else gets up. When I do, it is fantastic!

Also, when my son took swim lessons at the YMCA, I used to put the baby in childcare and then swim laps during his lesson. That was a PERFECT set up!

— Amy is mom to three, founding blogger at Mom’s Toolbox where she blogs about travel, lifestyle issues and reading the Bible and helps people find wines they enjoy as the Co-Founder and CEO of tech startup VineSleuth, Inc./ Wine4.Me.

Brenke - 125

From Rachel:

I work out 3-5 times a week – depending on my family and work schedule. My biggest recommendation is to try and walk to/from activities with kids. Also always carve out time on your schedule for at least 30-60 minutes of working out. I like to do 25-35 minute videos at home from BeachBody that get me moving and I can do during naptime.

Rachel Brenke is an author, photographer, lawyer and business consultant for photographers and bloggers.

Jo-Lynne Shane - 125

From Jo-Lynne:

In recent years, I have taken up running and I hired a trainer so I could stay in shape. But when my kids were younger, it was really hard to find the energy for exercise. My best advice is, give yourself a break. There is a season for exercise, and it may not be with the kids are young and you’re up at night and chasing toddlers. As they get older, incorporate the kids into your activities so they can see you being active. I think that is important.

– Jo-Lynne Shane is founder and editor of the award-winning lifestyle blog which bears her name (formerly Musings of a Housewife), where she shares her love of style and her passion for healthy living and family travel with a highly engaged female audience.

JessieLeigh - 125

From JessieLeigh:

I’m not a gym kind of girl. I walk. And hike. A lot. I try to get out and do about three miles five or six days a week. It doesn’t always happen, but that’s my ideal.

I’m a mom and my kids are too young to be home alone, so that means I need to get all that done before my husband leaves for work in the morning. Is it always FUN to rise at 5-something and head outside? Nope. But I’ve found it helps keep me fit and happy, so it’s worth the effort.

Please note that I did not do this with any regularity when my babies were waking up during the night. During those seasons? I just took them for a stroll when I could and called it good. Don’t beat yourself up about not having a regular workout when you’re yawning through your days.

– A mother of three, including a 24 week preemie, JessieLeigh is a determined advocate for even the tiniest of babies.

Connie - 125

From Connie:

Since we live in the country on acreage with our 8 children and a myriad of ducks, chickens, and goats, there is plenty of opportunity for me to sweat and flex my muscles. I feel no need to have a gym membership when on any given day I am rounding up goats that have escaped their pen, weed eating our extensive lot, or chasing chickens out of the garden.

Connie is a former public school teacher turned homeschool mom of 8, ages 4-20 who blogs about parenting, large family living, homeschooling, and more, all with a touch of humor.

How do YOU do it?

I’d love for you to share your experiences with us. Mine is the right way for ME, not the right way for every mom. Let us know how baby care worked/works for you!

About Jessica Fisher

I believe you can get great meals on the table -- and still keep that pretty smile on your face.

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Comments

  1. It is hard, isn’t it? I used to be in a much better fitness routine when my twin boys were younger and they were my only children- I would often load them into the double stroller and go out for a run. Then I had 2 more children 20 months apart just before turning 40 and I haven’t gotten back in a good fitness routine. (The youngest is 14 months old now.) When I get up early I can either exercise or knock out some things on my to- do list. Just the other day I took a look at the “no excuse mom” website. Trying to figure out how to carve out fitness time for me – seems like walks are more often at the pace of my almost-3-yr-old than the pace and duration needed for my fitness.

    • I have heard that having twins will keep you going nonstop. 🙂 I have a feeling that you’ll find your groove in the next year. Have you ever checked out the Y? Ours offers a LOT of free child watch. I’ve never used it because I’ve got older kids to watch the littles, but I’m amazed at how much free babysitting they offer.

  2. Vicki says:

    I love to work out. I’m one of those hugely irritating people with boundless energy and a love for all things sporty. If I’m having a bad day with kids/ work/ whatever, I know that running a few miles or pounding punch bags will give me back my sanity. Because I love it, I find I can make the time. However, when you don’t love to exercise, it’s harder to make yourself do it because it’s just one more chore.
    My tip is to find things you enjoy and do them as a family, instilling a healthy and active lifestyle in your family helps not only their fitness, but their sleep patterns, concentration levels and ongoing health. My parents were both very active and encouraged me to do the same, my Dad is over 80 and still cycles over 100 miles a week!

  3. Melissa says:

    I an a Spinning and Aqua fitness instructor so when I teach I get my workout while the kids are in the gym childcare. On days I can’t get to the gym or I’m not teaching I use my second hand treadmill or walk the dog before my husband goes to work. If I can’t get my heart rate up while my kids are sleeping or otherwise occupied I use the tabata timer app on my phone and do a few rounds of tabata with my kids in the living room. My boys love making up their own exercise for each segment of the workout!

  4. Lee says:

    Fitnessblender.com is my all time favorite fitness site. They have hundreds of videos at every ability level. You can purchase a program that is laid out for you, or just mix and match. I’ve done both and love it.
    If that just seems like too much for you get on YouTube and look up Leslie Sansone. There are only 4 moves in her exercise videos and she is very uplifting. Try something new!

  5. Jo Lynne’s advice is spot on! You have to remember it is HARD to stay active with little ones running around! The videos we all see online of the super fit moms working out with the little ones staying put and watching is not realistic for most of us. Cut yourself some slack and do what you can. For me its playing a sport I love with support from my husband and doing a 30 min workout video during naps (when I have the energy…rest is important too!) Any activity is better than nothing and makes for a healthier, happier mama and sets a great example for the kids.

    • It is hard, but now that my body is revolting on me, I regret not developing better habits early. Hindsight is always 20/20 — and lacking in real world experience to pull the thing off. Ha!

  6. At the beginning of the year, I started walking. I was very out of shape, very overweight, and getting over a second trimester miscarriage. I would walk around the block once, a half mile, which took about 14 minutes, and return huffing and puffing. Now I walk two miles most days, working my way up to three before I start training to run a 5K. We’ve also been trying to go for a hike a couple times a month.

    My daughter is seven and often my husband is gone before I’m ready to head out the door for my walk. This just means that she comes with me, which is good for her too, as it’s building habits in her life for good fitness in the future. If we are blessed with more babies, I plan to invest in a good jogging stroller to bring them along with me as well.

    The biggest benefit I’ve found has not been to my booty. Rather it’s been the Vitamin D (which is often lacking here in Oregon) and the energy I gain from walking. Also, I sleep better even when I get less sleep. My seven year old is in a season of waking in the middle of the night most nights of the week right now so I’m up with her often as well, but the walking makes the sleep I do get much more productive.

    • First, I’m so sorry to hear about your miscarriage. 🙁

      Second, AWESOME that you’re going walking with your daughter. My girls need more exercise and I really need to take them out. Thanks for being a good example.

  7. Timmi says:

    First of all I think what you’re eating is the number one thing you should focus on first. That way if you aren’t able to get a workout in you can at least feel good about what you’re putting in your body. Second when you do have time to get in a workout you won’t feel like crap and will hopefully continue your workouts because you didn’t feel like crap. Also if you haven’t worked out in a while and you want to start up again many programs suggest an all or nothing way of doing it to “jumpstart” things. For me this never works I have to take baby steps to create the habit and stick with it. Like changing my diet and taking walks one month, then adding each week after. For me I hate gyms and don’t even have one near by. I use youtube to find workouts for free! Bodyweight workouts are very intense but one of them is usually 10-20 minutes. For most of these you only need a mat, but for some a stability ball and resistance bands is needed. Seriously that’s all I use. I also take a quick 1 mile run before my workouts or else run up and down the stairs to get moving. This all takes me less than an hour. I will do these mostly in the afternoons and evenings but sometimes I wake up early and do them then. I will also if I’m waiting around for something (like water boiling) I will do pushups on the counter or some donkey kicks. I have figured out using bodyweight that I can get some reps in anywhere! Also have a great dance mix on your phone, your computer or an mp3 player and put them on during chores and dance while you do them.

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