Five Ways to Be a Fabulously Fit Mom

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How can you be a fit mom when you have so much on your schedule? Follow these five tips to fitting in fitness during motherhood, and you'll be one in-shape mama!

Fitting in fitness when you're frazzled from raising kids can feel like adding one more thing to an already frenzied schedule. We all know that being physically fit gives us more energy, not less, and we know that when we take care of ourselves we are better equipped to care for our beloved families. The following five tips will help you become the fabulously fit mom you've been envisioning. Of course every mom is different, and every child is different, and every day is different. If just one or two of these tips ring true for you, hold onto them tighter than a baby grabbing hair.

1. Make your baby's routine work for you not against you. Schedule your workouts like you schedule meals and naps. Utilize that lovely time of day when your child is fed, loved-up, dressed, and playing happily. Do your 30 minutes on the treadmill or five minutes of abs during those calm moments. Prepare your children for "Mommy's special time" and reward them with a trip to the park, extra hugs and kisses and a treat when you're done.

2. Find other moms who want to join you in your efforts. Socialize and shed pounds at the same time. New research shows that middle-aged women need as much as an hour of moderate exercise every day to keep the flab away. Why spend that whole hour talking in baby talk, when you can hang with another fit mom in your neighborhood or a local stroller group. It's a two-for-one deal: Your body and your spirit are refreshed when you can walk and talk at the same time.

3. Take advantage of the numerous parent-child activity classes in your area. Your local community center will have fun, healthy activities for kids that require adult participation. Translation: the teacher will tell the kids what to do, but none of them will do it until their parents do it first. "Roll like a puppy! Wiggle like a worm." That stuff burns crazy calories! Look into "Mommy & Me" yoga classes for pre-crawlers and tiny tumblers. Summer swim classes are a good arm workout for mom, too. Consider the cost of a babysitter and a gym membership compared to the cost of classes for both of you together. You'll be a fit mom with a fit kid!

4. Balance your routine. If you are a runner, that's great for your heart, but it isn't enough to maintain bone density. Cardiovascular training such as walking, running, biking, swimming, and aerobics all improve muscular endurance. Building bone density and increasing muscular strength requires lifting weights or resistance training workouts like Pilates. In any given week, if you can fit two or three cardio sessions of 20-30 minutes each and work out with weights at least once or twice on the days in between cardio, you will start to feel and look like a fit mom. Yoga to lower your blood pressure and keep you limber is a good idea, too!

5. Buy a few fitness props for your home. It won't bust your budget to purchase a pair of dumbells, an ab-roller, a yoga mat, a couple of videos, or maybe a used treadmill. Don't put all these items in one place. Spread them around the house where they will catch your eye and get in your way. Brush your teeth with one hand while you do a bicep-curl with the other. Do some abs while you swish after brushing. Do yoga in the livingroom while your kids eat breakfast. Exercise at your computer. Ride the stationary bike while your munchkins watch their morning shows.

So many things can rob us of the motivation to move: the process of finding childcare; trying to exercise without waking your napping infant; stopping three times to nurse or plug in the pacifier; and forget using the jogging stroller in the rain! Fitting fitness into your family life is difficult but definitely doable. If you stick to these tips for fit moms, you will see results!


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Posted on Mar 13, 2010