Welcome to being a new parent during a pandemic. Firstly, I hope you’re doing well mama and keeping your head up high because you did an incredible thing…birthed a human. Some women did it alone without a support person with them and some women had little to no support afterwards. I am there with you. I had my first child August of 2020 during the height of Covid-19. 6 months later and I’m ready to feel strong again. Personally, I’ve been so focused on a new routine, managing time between work and baby, trying to be as present as possible in both and man, it’s hard. When can we carve out time to ourselves, to focus on our own health and fitness because that is important too. Well, I’m here to help you set things in place to be the best YOU!
Schedule Your Workout Time
Fitness for moms can be hard to come by. Especially when your children are babies! To carve out some time for your own health and fitness goals, take a look at your schedule. Review each task you have laid out and remove the non-essential items. It’s OK to say no to at least a few things each day. I know it can be hard to say no to things, but if you really want to make your health a priority, “no” should be your greatest asset. You may feel guilty at first but trust me, you will feel so much better after your sweat session is over. If you find it hard to get away from the kids, workout with them. You have your very own 10-20lb weight! It can really be fun and you’ll be setting a great example for them.
Break Up Your Fitness Routine
Typically, 30 minutes of exercise a day is enough to improve your fitness. If the thought of 30 minutes straight makes you twitch with anxiety, consider breaking up that 30 minutes into two chunks of 15 minutes or even 3 chunks of 10 minutes. While you may truly sigh at the thought of having to work out 3 times a day, breaking it down into 10-minute chunks makes your workouts seem much more possible. Think you can’t get much done in 10 or 15 minutes? Think again, mama! High-intensity interval training (or HIIT) allows you to finish short burst workouts in no time at all. And the best part is they improve your strength, strengthen your cardiovascular system and burn more calories in 15 minutes than an hour of jogging. Besides, if you do it right you might not even have to do 2-3 rounds of HIIT training, you could get away with one solid round of 15 minutes and still feel comfortable in your body without having to commit too much time to it.
Bonus! Sometimes, taking an hour fitness class like True40 is a great option too. Sometimes, having that uninterrupted time as a new mom is essential for not only your physical health, but your mental health too.
Track Your Progress
If there is one way to truly notice your progress and stay motivated, it’s by tracking your day-to-day meals and exercise. I know, I know, it sounds like work and when you’re busy you don’t have time for more work; but there are handy free apps available for your smartphone (or tablet) that will allow you log all the food you eat, portion sizes, daily exercise and keep you on track with the specific goals you set for yourself. My personal fave is My Fitness Pal. Not only does it help to keep a running tally of everything you enter into it, but it has a humongous database of food choice – including restaurants and obscure brands – so you can adequately see how many calories you are ingesting versus how many you are burning. And just like you were tracking those weekly bump pictures, I know I did, start a weekly log of your physical change. It will be minor at first but you will see the progress of all your hard work!
Accessorize Your Fitness
Most moms know that sometimes you are just too flat out busy to even consider fitting in a workout that day. I understand, it happens to the best of us. Luckily, there are ways to work around that! Think about how many times you walk around your house, up and down the stairs, to your car in the parking lot, to the mailbox or to the corner store. That’s a lot of steps! Now, imagine you were to do all of that with some ankle weights on. The number of calories, not to mention muscle toning, you would be shredding would be awesome. If ankle weights don’t really go with your cute shoes, consider arm weights or wrist weights. Each option helps to tone your body and burn some serious calories – all while going about your daily business. The bala bangles are my favorite and not to mention, SO PRETTY! Don’t have the money for these bangles, don’t sweat it, baby-wearing if your little one allows is a great way to add some resistance to your everyday errands. https://sollybaby.com Alternatively, if wearing weights doesn’t really appeal to you consider investing in a running
stroller, a sturdy baby backpack to use on hikes or even a quality baby seat that fits on the back of a bicycle. Not only will you be losing weight and toning your overall body but you will be spending time with your kids and getting outside and in the fresh air. It’s a win-win really!
Hack Your Diet
Last but certainly not least is the issue of diet. I know, I groan just thinking about dieting too but there are sneaky ways to clean up what you eat without having to sacrifice on taste. Don’t know where to start? Why not try sprinkling Chia seeds into your yogurt, onto your ice cream, in your sandwiches, pastas, salads or bake them into muffins! Not only will you be infusing your body with clean protein but the fiber content will help keep you fuller for longer. Another suggestion would be to remove 1 out of every 2 yolks if you are making eggs, switch to rice flour instead of wheat or use stevia instead of sugar. Each of these quick hacks will not only cut down on the calories but they will help your body function at a more optimal level and ultimately lose weight easier. Just be sure to wash it all down with some water and fresh squeezed lemon to detoxify your system and get everything moving inside. No matter how busy of a mom you are, there are options to tweak your day-to-day life and make you feel better about yourself and strengthen your overall health within your schedule. I hope these help mama! You’re doing amazing!