This has got to be one of the most frequently asked questions by busy mums the world over. When you have a full-time job and you have to take care of children you probably don’t feel like exercising often. It’s easy to find a reason why you just can’t fit in some time for exercise and place it firmly at the bottom of your list. The thing is it is important to exercise, not only for your physical fitness but also for your mental health and wellbeing. Exercise strengthens your bones and muscles, improves your flexibility and mobility (so important for avoiding injuries in later life) clears your mind and sweats life’s stress right out of you! Exercising doesn’t need to drain you of personal energy, it should boost it and this is exactly what working mums need. Maintaining an exercise routine is probably the single best thing you can do for your mental health, your physical health and your productivity at work. A healthy mum is a much happier mum. If you take the time to exercise you’ll likely feel better and so will everyone else around you.
So where can I start…
Funnily enough the best way to start is incorporating exercise into your daily life without even meaning to, known as ‘incidental’ exercise. This is always great to track if you have a Fitbit or even just the health app on your phone. By aiming to hit 10,000 steps a day you will be amazed at what you are capable of. Taking the stairs over the lift, walking to work instead of getting the tube, walking to get the kids to and from school, a lunchtime walk are all options that can significantly increase this number.
The next steps…
- Break it up. 20 minutes of fast, sweaty and effective workouts are super effective for getting your body moving daily, giving you enough energy but not leaving you exhausted.
- Schedule it in. For our #BackToFit programmes we are aiming to hit 4 x 20 minute classes a week. This will be so much easier to do if you schedule these workouts in at the beginning of the week. From here, treat your workout as though it is a work meeting or appointment so you know you won’t bail.
- Be prepared. Know what class you are doing and when. Luckily we have got the programme sorted for you with no equipment required, all you need to do is find some space J
- Know that it can boost your mood. After putting the little ones to bed you often feel drained and exhausted and there is usually a mountain of jobs to be done in the house. Instead of going straight to organising for the next day try fit your workout in here and you will often find that you get your jobs done quicker after a short workout.
- Meet a friend. Whether it’s on your lunch break or after the school drop off why not swap the morning coffee catch up with a quick workout blast. Exercising together can not only keep you motivated but you get the additional benefits of connecting with your friends along the way!
- Use what you have whether it’s the sofa, a kitchen work surface while the dinner is cooking and the kids are doing their homework, a field during after school club or even a park bench on the morning dog walk. There is always somewhere and SOME time to fit in 20 minutes of exercise.
- Don’t beat yourself up. Let’s face it, sometimes life just happens. If you or your child are poorly, or you simply had a rough day at the office, it’s all right to miss one day of exercise. Remember it’s all about taking care of yourself.
Getting fit often gets put to the bottom of the list of priorities we have as extremely busy mums, but we know it really shouldn’t.
Do you want to be the best role model you can be to your children? This involves regularly exercising, not only will it benefit you, making you feel happier, less stressed, confident, in control. It will reduce your risks of cardiovascular and other diseases, so you are around longer for your children. If they see you happy and exercising, then they will want to follow which will provide them with physical and mental benefits for the best start in life.