When you’re a mom, one of the biggest challenges is lack of time. When you don’t have time for the things you have to do, often the last thing you’re going to make time for is exercise. But the benefits of even small amounts of exercise can help in every aspect of your life. Sometimes just re-framing your mindset about how and when you can fit in exercise can help you realize it is possible to squeeze it in, and enjoy the benefits it provides.
Exercise is touted for its physical benefits, but the mental benefits it provides are stronger when you’re busy. Exercise relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts your overall mood. Even if you don’t lose weight with exercise, you often feel as if you have just by being active. Small amounts of exercise give you more energy.
So as a busy mom, how do you fit exercise into your life? How do you make it fun and motivating? The key is to change your expectations about what exercise looks like, and break it into small, achievable segments. These tips will help you get started:
- Start at the beginning. If you exercised in the past, don’t expect to immediately go back to what you used to do. Start small and simple and build up if time allows.
- Make your exercise approachable, simple and accessible. It can be done anywhere: at home, outside, or at a gym.
- Use effective, short bursts (at least 10 minutes) of activity.
- Try to include body weight exercises like push-ups, squats, lunges, jogging in place, jump rope or jumping jacks.
- Make a plan for what you will do, where you will do it and when you do it. Schedule your exercise in to your days at least a week in advance. Write down your exercise as appointments, and protect that time. Don’t let emotion interfere with your exercise appointment. Having a plan for exercise helps give structure and maintains momentum.
The following two graphics from the Internet are great examples of workout plans that require no equipment, and can be done in 20 minutes.
Self-care is important when your life is busy, and exercise is one of the best things you can do for self-care. When you feel good, you have more energy for everything in life. There are many tools available to help you succeed with your goals. Apps, videos, and your Take Control health coach can help inspire you and keep you going. Here are a few web sites we love with short workouts: