The Eternal Struggle Between Working Moms & Exercise
If you’re a mother, you know that being a parent can sometimes feels like the world revolves around everyone else’s activities and not your own. Many times, exercise is the last thing on the “to-do” list when a mother is busy being pulled in 1,000 different directions. On top of that, if you are a working mother, you have the responsibilities of taking care of your job, your house, your children and sometimes your spouse. Guess who is last on that list more often than not? That’s right, taking care of you.
It’s extremely important for working moms to fight the urge to put their needs in the back of the line. An unhealthy mom can sometimes mean an unhealthy family. How can you expect to be operating effectively at maximum capacity when your body, mind and soul have been run down by the daily grind?
One thing that I’ve done to make working out a priority is to do it before my children wake up. Yes, that does mean I need to wake up very early in the morning, but it’s worth it. Studies show that working out first thing in the morning can make you feel more energized and it jump starts metabolism. I use this time to concentrate 100% on my body and my goals. I don’t have to worry about getting interrupted, and by the time my kids wake up, I’ve already showered and dressed.
Can’t eek out an early morning workout? Another tip for working mothers is to schedule a few times a week (or more) to get your workout in and stick to it. Mark it on your calendar as you would your hair appt., soccer practice or networking event. Make it a priority to give yourself this attention and do not feel guilty about it. Working out on a regular basis will make you healthier and happier…and we all know that if mom isn’t happy, no one is happy!
Is child care an excuse for not breaking a sweat? If you have a spouse, ask them to entertain the kiddos while you take some mommy time. Don’t consider it a favor, consider it a necessity. Depending on the ages of the children, you might be able to figure out a way to incorporate them into your workout routine. Doing an exercise video at home can quickly become a family activity, go for a family bike ride, play soccer at the park or take a dip in the pool and swim some laps while the kids joyfully play their water games. Any physical activity is better than none.
Lastly, if you feel like you can’t hold yourself accountable enough to stay on track, consider hiring a professional trainer. It makes all the difference when you have someone other than yourself (or your spouse, for that matter!) holding you accountable for your actions. You will find yourself rising to challenges and meeting your goals simply because of our general human nature to please others. Having a trainer who understands your obstacles and helps you overcome them is a worth-while investment. You pay people to take care of your hair, nails and skin. Why not pay someone to help take care of your body by pushing you to do the best workout you possibly can, and on a consistent basis?
Are you a working mother who struggles to find time to workout? I’d love to hear your tips, stories or suggestions. Post a comment and share your thoughts!