Two things I get asked a lot are, “how did you get back into shape after pregnancy, and how do stay in shape?” These are always hard questions for me to answer, because I don’t follow any diet or exercise plan. I never have. I’ve tried, but I don’t have the discipline for it! Ha! I found a long time ago that what works for me is making fitness a part of my daily life, and making it FUN. I love when I get a great workout, and don’t even notice I am working out. When I became a stay at home mom four months after my 1st child was born, this is the same mentality I used to get back into shape and it is how I continue to stay in shape. Here are 7 ways I incorporate fitness into my life as a stay at home mom!
- Get Up and Get Dressed.
In workout clothes. Score. Comfortable and you instantly feel a bit healthier. At this point, you have at least started your day on the right track. That feels good. Obviously, some days you may need to put on “normal clothes” but when you don’t – put on workout clothes. You are now ready to take on the day and to get fit while you do it.
- Actually Play
I believe this is the number one way I stay in shape. I am really good at playing! Ha! What do I mean? When you take your kids to the park; play with them! Run, do the monkey bars (hello workout), climb things, jump around like a frog, literally run in circles. When you are at home; make obstacles courses, put tape on the floor and see how far you can jump, crab walk to clean up toys, be creative. There are SO MANY fun ways to play! Not only will your children love it, you are getting all types of exercise. Play is also proven to be good for your brain! It encourages creativity and keeps us young!
- Fit it in – Anytime – Anywhere
20 squats are 20 squats whenever you can fit them in! I am known to do leg workouts while I am cooking. When I am watching TV, I am often stretching, and when I am playing with the kids I am incorporating conditioning. You can in fact give horse rides and do butt conditioning at the same time. A lot of the time when my kids and I are playing they have no idea I am working out! When we are simply skipping across the yard, my daughter has no idea I am doing running form drills! Ha! Fit in it, every little bit helps!
- Pick Active Activities
Pick active activities to do with your kids. Take them hiking, biking, swimming, etc. Try to choose activities that will be active for them, and for you. Try out all types of different sports, activities, and games. Let your child explore who they are and what they like while being healthy and active.
- Plan it and Cherish it
While I don’t follow a workout plan, I try to get out for a half hour run or walk as often as possible. What I have found works for me, is to go shortly after my husband arrive home from work. At this point (because I followed tip #1) I am dressed, and after letting him settle in he is going to be playing with the kids anyways, since they are excited he just got home. This is the perfect time for me to escape the kids for a while without feeling like I am missing out on time with the family. I go for a run straight out my backdoor 15 minutes one way and 15 minutes back. Its short, manageable, and nothing to dread – I look forward to it as it is my only time away from the kids most days! My advice is find something manageable that you enjoy and then cherish it as an escape! Some days I just walk and cherish the silence and some days I run hard! Whatever I need, it’s my half hour of peace.
- Choose to do the Hard Work
Not always fun, or easy to want to do but sometime choose to do the hard manual labor. I’m talking shoveling, raking, moving heavy objects. Take care of whatever it is that needs to get done around your house that can also be considered a work out. You get stuff done and you get in shape! It’s a win win.
- Join an Online Community
Shortly after becoming mom. I also became “Minnesota Yogini” in the wonderful world of Yoga Instagram. I had no idea what this would become at the time, but It has been fabulous. At first it felt a little funny talking about my “online friends” – but man, do I love them! You really meet great people! I also have made a lot of friends who I now see in person regularly, and who I text with constantly. In addition to that, I even have found work, that I can do from the comfort of my home, because of Instagram! Being a part of a community is fabulous and there are so many to choose from. I have friends who use Instagram for all types of different things; weight watchers, running, etc. Find something (healthy) you are passionate about, and join a community. You get to chat with adults a bit, instead of kids all day, and you will find incredible motivation. I love it!
I hope that these tips give you some motivation and some new ideas for how to stay fit as a stay at home parent. You could really apply these tips to any lifestyle! What other creative ways do you stay in shape? Let me know! I’d love some new ideas!
Much Love & Happy Travels,