Fitting in Fitness

Finding time for fitness can be tough, especially when you're a mom. Here are tips you can use to find time to get in, and stay in, great shape.

January 14, 2013
Fitting in Fitness

As I pondered what to write about for this week’s blog a random encounter in the gym locker room sparked an idea. I had just finished a great leg workout followed by 45 minutes on the stair climber, when I overheard two women in the locker room talking about their bodies after kids. As I stood there blow-drying my hair, one of them said to me, “Just wait until you have kids, you won’t look like that.” I turned the blow dryer off and said, “I do, and I have 5-year-old triplets.” She looked at me and said, “Well, you’re blessed with good genetics.” I kindly smiled, but what I really wanted to say was this is physique was not the result of good genetics; it’s the result of hard work, sweat, dedication, and discipline! I know people who are blessed with good genetics but truth is, genetics don’t trump hard work!

All too often after children we neglect our bodies, we forget to take care of our needs, and our health takes the back seat. I’m here to say, it does not have to be this way! In this case we can have our cake and eat it too; we can be good moms while taking care of our bodies. And often when we take care of our bodies we are better moms for it!

I hear this excuse all the time: I don’t have the energy. Here is what I say to that: for two solid weeks get in a regular cardio session every day (preferably in the morning). It’s amazing what a rise in heart rate will do to your energy levels. I always start my day out with a cardio session, and have to say when I don’t I feel so sluggish. Second, try a good multivitamin. I love MHP Active Sport vitamin. I will agree it’s hard to eat 100% clean 100% of the time, so most moms out there can benefit from a good multivitamin. Last, fuel your body appropriately. Don’t skip breakfast thinking you’ll save yourself the calories—often this habit leads to afternoon binging. Stock your pantry and fridge with healthy snacks and try to eat smaller meals throughout the day (I generally eat 6-7 smaller meals, eating every 2-4 hours). I like to choose high-protein snacks, or snacks rich in fiber that curb afternoon munchies.

Another excuse I hear: I don’t have time. The very people who claim not to have time spend hours a day in front of the television watching their favorite shows. Here’s an idea, look for a used cardio machine that you can buy for in the home. Then park your cardio machine in front of your television and BAM… before you know it an hour has gone by! I recently purchased a cardio machine and have to say it’s the best investment I have made to date. I can hop on it before my kids get up, when they are at school, when they are napping, or after they go to bed. Bottom line: you can make time for anything if you make it a priority!

Last, and an excuse I hear all too often: It’s just not fun. Make it fun ladies! Schedule to meet a friend at the gym for an early morning sweat session, or plan to take a class offered at your local gym to change things up. Enlisting the support of friends and family is always beneficial—not just for you but you’re friends and family too. Another idea to keep things interesting is taking your workout outdoors. When my children were young, I ran behind a triplet stroller to get my workouts in. Now that my children are older and have bikes, I run behind them while they ride. Getting physical does not have to be monotonous; change things up and include your family!

Long story short, instead of making excuses of why you cannot do it… find solutions to how you can make it possible. There is no quick fix, and with any change in routine or diet there is an adjustment period. Getting though this adjustment period is often the hardest part, but I promise once you establish new habits you will start to see the changes in both your physical and mental well-being. Being a good mommy means taking care of yourself and setting a good example for your children!

IFBB Pro Sandi Forsythe
Team MHP Athlete