Being a stay-at-home mom is one of the toughest jobs on the planet. If you don’t believe us, spend an entire day with a couple of teenagers, toddlers, or babies. Then you’ll realize just how challenging being a stay-at-home mom truly is.
Stay-at-home moms have to always be on, watching every move that their little ones make. They have to care for their children – bathing, clothing, and feeding them, as well as educate their children – teaching them how to communicate, to have good manners (saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’), and how to take care of themselves. Stay-at-home moms also have to come up with creative ways to entertain their children since their kids usually have pretty short attention spans and want to do new activities (or just run around) every few minutes.
Simply put, being a stay-at-home mom is not easy. It requires a ton of energy, and at the end of the day, there isn’t usually a whole lot of energy leftover for busy stay-at-home moms. Research has also shown that there are several pros and cons of being a stay-at-home mom.
The pros – which include: increase in child’s school performance, child has less stress and aggravation, and social approval of stay-at-home choice – mostly tend to focus on the child. Meanwhile, the cons – mothers often desire to go back to work, mothers have higher levels of sadness and anger, and social isolation for mothers, spending time mostly with kids – deal directly with the stay-at-home mom.
By creating a healthy fitness routine, stay-at-home moms will be able to enhance their physical and mental health, while also keeping their energy levels up. That’s why it’s so important for stay-at-home moms to figure out creative ways to get workouts in throughout the day.
How Stay-At-Home Moms Can Exercise Regularly
If you’re a stay-at-home mom, you already know that “Me Time” is extremely rare. So, if you’re thinking, how am I going to find time for exercise? Here are seven ways that stay-at-home moms can fit in exercise sessions regularly throughout the day.
1. Create A Routine For You And Your Children
As any fit mom knows, the key to creating a fit lifestyle revolves around your daily habits. So, make a structured schedule for yourself, as well as for your kids.
To create your stay-at-home mom schedule, start by writing out all of the essential things that you must get done each day of the week. This may include making breakfast for you and your kids, school drop off (if you kids are in school), lunch, naptime for your little ones (and maybe even you!), fitting in a ten to fifteen minute workout, school pickup, dinner, planning and preparing for the following day, and then bedtime. When creating this list, it’s important to consider what the best wake-up times are for you, when you have to drop off and pick up your kids at school, and when you want to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner with your family.
Next, write down any other tasks or chores that you need to get done during the week. For example, some tasks may be going grocery shopping so you can meal prep for the week, doing the laundry, and cleaning your home. Also, make sure that you schedule “Me Time” for yourself. Otherwise, it’s not going to happen!
After you create your schedule, post it on your refrigerator (or anywhere else that you’ll be able to see it throughout the day). This way, you’ll have a reminder of what you need to do each day of the week and won’t have to spend valuable mental energy thinking of it on the spot when you have a million other things going on at the same time.
And remember, a solid morning routine is the difference between you flowing through the day with ease and grace versus feeling like you’re chasing the day and can’t catch up.
That said, try to leave some room in your schedule for flexibility. On any given day, it’s possible that your plans and schedule may change due to circumstances completely out of your control. This is perfectly normal and completely fine. Go with the flow, and when you’re able to, try to eventually get back on track with the schedule that you created.
2. Exercise With Your Kids
This one obviously depends on the age of your kids. If you have school-age children who love to do jumping jacks and butt kicks during gym class, you can do these same activities with your kids on the weekends either in your house or at the local park. You can also go for walks or bike rides as a family.
If you have teens who don’t really want to be seen exercising with mom, turn chores into a workout then. If it snows, go shovel the driveway together. And maybe even start a snowball fight so that you and your kids are running around and trying to hit (and avoid) snowballs coming your way. Who says mom can’t be fun too, right?
3. Add More Physical Activity To Your Day
If it’s extremely difficult to make time in your day for fitness classes or workouts, then add more physical activity to your day yourself. You can walk up and down the stairs with the laundry basket or do exercises like lunges or squats while you’re cooking dinner.
4. Always Be Prepared For Your Exercise Sessions
As a busy mom, when you have ten minutes for exercise, you can’t be spending five of those minutes looking for your workout clothes or resistance bands.
One way that you can make sure that you’re always ready to exercise is to wear your workout clothes all day long. By putting your workout clothes on as soon as you get up, it will get you in the mood to exercise and also serve as a reminder to get some kind of exercise in throughout the day.
In addition to laying out your workout clothes the night before, and starting your day with them on, you should also try to have anything else that you need for your workout ready to go. It’s extremely important to know the exercises that you’re going to be doing ahead of time, and you should also have your workout space cleaned, cleared and ready for use.
5. Ask For Help!
While we’re aware that everyone may not have this option, if you have family or friends that you trust who live close by, or have trustworthy neighbors, ask them to come over for twenty minutes a few times each week so that you can get an exercise session in without having to worry about watching your kids.
Sure, it may be tough for some of us to ask others for help, but we need to remember that in order for us to take care of everyone else, we first need to take care of ourselves. And more often than not, our friends and family members will be happy to pick up some slack for us. So, make sure to speak up and ask for help when you need it!
6. Prioritize Your Physical Health And Well-Being
Still think that you don’t have enough time to exercise? Then you have to make time some way, somehow. That’s because the health benefits of regular exercise are too important for you to miss out on.
Regular physical activity can relieve stress, anxiety, depression, and anger, boost your energy levels so that you can get more done, help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly, improve your self-image and self-confidence, and promote a positive attitude and outlook.
Being more active can also help you lower your blood pressure, boost your levels of good cholesterol, improve your blood flow, prevent bone loss that can lead to osteoporosis, and keep your weight under control.
7. Don’t Judge Yourself Too Harshly
If you just gave birth, please don’t judge yourself and your body too harshly. While celebrities seem to always be showing off their slim postpartum bodies just months after giving birth, it’s unrealistic to compare yourself to celebrities who have personal trainers and personal chefs.
So, chances are that it will take you some time to get close to your prepregnancy shape and size. That said, if you’re looking for some post-pregnancy tips, consider doing moderate cardio and exercises that build up the muscles of your torso during your postpartum workouts, perform Kegel exercises to strengthen your weakened pelvic floor muscles, and continue taking your prenatal vitamins because your body still needs the nutrients.
Best Workouts For Stay-At-Home Moms
As a busy mom, any physical activity is better than not moving your body at all. That’s why the best workouts for stay-at-home moms are exercises that you can do with the limited amount of time that you have. Therefore, short bouts of exercise, such as high-intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions, can be very effective for busy stay-at-home moms.
If you have 30 minutes, this weightless workout can help you get in shape and lose weight. However, if you don’t have that much time, you can do bodyweight exercises, such as push-ups, lunges, and planks, for a minute each followed by a quick run up and down your staircase.
It’s also extremely important for stay-at-home moms to have some peace and quiet each day – even if it’s only for a short period of time. Yoga and tai chi are two types of physical exercise that you can do that will heal both your body and your mind.
Yoga, which can range from gentle to challenging, involves physical poses, controlled breathing, and periods of meditation. Research has shown that yoga can help reduce the stress response, reduce depression and anxiety, and increase energy and feelings of well-being. Yoga may also decrease physiological arousal, lower your heart rate and blood pressure, and improve respiration.
Originating in ancient China, Tai Chi combines meditation and rhythmic moving in a slow series of body movements and poses. The purpose of Tai Chi is to cultivate the life energy within you to flow smoothly and powerfully throughout your body.
Studies have shown that Tai Chi may improve muscular strength, flexibility, and fitness, as well as strengthen your immune system, relieve pain, and also improve your quality of life.
Weight Loss Tips For Stay-At-Home Moms
If the main reason that you’re working out is to lose weight, five weight loss tips for busy moms are:
- Schedule all of your workouts (and exercise on a regular basis).
- Eat healthy small meals (instead of junk food) when you get hungry throughout the day.
- Meal prep so that you can control the ingredients going into your food, as well as your portion sizes. Meal prepping will also help you make sure that the calories that you’re consuming are coming from mostly nutrient-dense whole foods.
- Try to only drink water (instead of sugary beverages) throughout the day since many studies show that drinking water may benefit weight loss and weight maintenance.
- Get your whole family involved in your active, healthy lifestyle.