The following is a post from Joy at Coffee with Joy:
We’ve all heard it a hundred (if not a thousand) times before – we must take care of ourselves if we are to have enough energy to take care of everyone else. We all understand that intellectually. Any one of us could explain with confidence the reason flight safety instructions always say “put your oxygen mask on first, and then help those around you”. As much as we know why that is, a lot of moms struggle with this concept when it comes to their own health and fitness. For some, working out is seen as more of a luxury than a necessity and so it can quickly fall to the bottom of the to do list.
For myself – twelve years ago as a young, newly married, working mother exercising truly became a necessity for me. I honestly believe that maintaining my pre-baby fitness routine helped me handle the challenges that came along with such a big transition in my life. I would often joke that running miles upon miles was the only thing that kept me sane!
Here are a few of my tried and true strategies to keep exercising at the top of your to do list:
Make it a priority. We make time for the things we deem important. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that working out come before everything all the time. But, if exercise is on the bottom of your priority list, the chances of it happening on a regular basis is pretty slim.
Plan/schedule your exercise time. Just as meal times run smoother when we actually take the time to plan ahead, so will your fitness routine when you plan for what days you’ll go for a run or hit the gym.
Coordinate with your spouse. Since your workout routine is likely going to impact your spouse (and his will impact you), it is a good idea to discuss and agree upon who is going to work out when. That way, each of you can be prepared to hold down the home front solo while the other is taking time to tend to their health and wellbeing.
Get the most out of your exercise time. For most of us, once we become a mom, the days of two-hour workouts become a thing of the past. Some times thirty minutes is all we can fit in to our busy schedules. The key is to make those thirty minutes count. Keep the intensity up to burn the maximum amount of calories and get the most cardiovascular benefit.
Don’t be hard on yourself. When life gets in the way and you have to take a small break from getting your workouts in, don’t beat yourself up about it…just get in there as soon as you can. Getting down on yourself can start a vicious cycle where you start feeling bad and lose the motivation to workout altogether. Before you know it, months have gone by and the more you dwell on the fact that you haven’t exercised the less you feel motivated to get back into your routine.
Remember, you are stronger than you think – so get on out there!