Let’s face it, if you’re a mom, your life is busy. Your days are full whether you stay at home, work from home, own a business, or have a regular job in addition to your parenting responsibilities. While you might think working out is off the table with your complicated schedule, caring for yourself is one of the best things you can do for your family. If you’re struggling to find time to exercise, try these five tips to sneak physical activity into your day
Put it on Your Schedule
Finding time for exercise really means making time by blocking it off on your calendar. Whether you use a paper calendar or rely on a smartphone app, take a look at your week and block off at least 30 minutes to work out, even if you run up and down the steps at home or walk around the block for half-an-hour. Make a commitment to yourself just like you do for meetings at work and school activities for your kids.
While you have your calendar open, look for ways that you can incorporate exercise into other activities. If you commute to work or need to run errands, consider riding your bike to get where you need to go. If you’re sitting through your child’s soccer practice, run laps around the field until pick-up time.
Don’t Forget to Stretch
Does stretching your muscles count as exercise? Absolutely! Self magazine offers two videos with stretching workouts that take just a few minutes but provide major flexibility and tension-release benefits. One can be done in your bed first thing in the morning and the other is designed to complete at your desk.
Give Your Body the Right Fuel
Many moms swear by waking up early or staying up late to exercise, but if you don’t eat a nutritious diet, you won’t have the energy to do so. Whether you rely on a specific plan such as the keto diet or you stick to counting calories and getting plenty of veggies and whole grains, your body will thank you with improved mood and stamina.
Incorporate the Family
If you struggle with spending time away from your kids to exercise, why not make physical activity a family affair? If you have an infant or toddler, you can use a jogging stroller during your run or strap them in a baby carrier and head out for a hike. Older kids will be thrilled if you chase them around the playground or kick the soccer ball for an hour after school. Spending time together getting fit is a win-win for moms and kids of all ages.
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity exercise, keep in mind that you can get the benefits in chunks of as few as 10 minutes. If you can find 10 times to get active for 15 minutes during the week, you’ll be on the road to becoming a fitter, happier, healthier mom.