I used to be able to work out whenever I wanted to. My biggest challenge was pulling myself away from reality TV (Do the Real World/Road Rules Challenges still exist on MTV??) That was B.C. – before children! Now, with one who is almost three and another who is 10 months old, I have to be creative about when and how I workout.
Here are 5 workout ideas for busy moms:
1. Workout videos
I love workout videos. I always have. When I was a little girl, I would pop in my mom’s VHS tape if Sweatin’ to the Oldies and work out alongside Richard Simmons and his middle-aged groupies.
Then, in high school, I would feel like a boss punching and kicking to my Tae-Bo dvds.
Now, I love love love feeling like a superstar with Shaun T and the Insanity workouts.
I love the convenience of being able to work out in my house whenever I want. And with two little ones, that flexibility is key!
I know there are a lot of people who don’t like workout videos, but I’d push you to give them a shot! They are getting better, with fewer headbands and cheesy music (unless you, like me, are a sucker for neon clothes and synthesizers).
There are a lot of videos on YouTube that fit into whatever time frame you have to work out and whatever you want to do – pure cardio, dance or Zumba classes, yoga, weightlifting, etc.
2. Jogging with a stroller
I will admit, jogging with a jogger (jogging stroller) takes some getting used to and I don’t love it, but if you are dying to get out in the pavement (or trails) and get some miles in with your baby or toddler, this is a great way to do it.
Don’t think you are going to break land speed records and find a pretty flat route in the beginning. Also, be sure your baby or toddler has something to entertain herself with, because the last thing you need is to finally start to get in the groove and then baby wants out and you have to cut it short.
But if you have realistic expectations for your run and snacks, toys, or a very sleepy baby, you can get in a good run and have fun with your child at the same time. Double win!
3. Weightlifting with household items
I used to HATE weightlifting. I like to sweat and be out of breath when I work out, so I always thought that weightlifting was boring. Of course, I was tired afterward, but it just wasn’t the same as an awesome sweat session.
I’m coming around on this one. I love feeling stronger. I’m no body builder and I can’t lift my car or anything, but not getting so tired when my toddler insists that I carry him around the house after getting home from work is a huge plus.
You don’t need expensive equipment for this one, either. I often fill different sized water bottles with water (make sure the cap is tightly closed. I’ve totally dumped water on myself at 6AM while trying to feel like a tough mama weightlifter!) and use them to lift weights. I also do a lot of body weight exercises.
16 ounces water bottles are one pound each and are good for beginners
1 liter water bottles weigh a little over two pounds
Gallon jugs (yay, a use for those milk jugs!) weigh a little more than 8 pounds
You don’t need to limit yourself to water bottles, feel free to use other household items, just be careful and make sure they are easy to grip.
4. Mommy and me fitness classes
I have to admit that I haven’t taken any of these classes, but not because I don’t want to. Living in rural Guatemala, I don’t have access to these classes, but I have several friends who have taken or are teachers in mommy and me classes.
Two great options are Fit4mom and Baby Bootcamp. These classes are great opportunities to get out of the house, work out with your child, and meet other moms. So many moms say that the camaraderie they feel in the classes is the best part. What mom doesn’t need other mom friends to help her through a tough workout or a tough baby phase?
5. Dance parties
I know, this sounds silly. But go with me here. I know I fall into the trap of thinking that if I’m not running or sweating profusely, I’m not really working out. But that’s a big, fat lie! Grabbing your toddler by the hands and getting down to some Disney tunes, oldies, whatever gets you moving is a great way to have fun with your child and burn some calories.
As a busy mom, it isn’t always easy to get a workout in, but with a bit of creativity and patience, we can make it work. What workout ideas for busy moms do you have?
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