Exercise often feels like a thing of legend in the Land of Mom. It lives on the back burner, along with that backpacking trip through Europe and that little red Corvette you’ve dreamed of since you were a teenager. But it doesn’t have to live there.
In the midst of the chaos of Mom World, there are so many simple ways you can incorporate exercise into your everyday routine. Here are just a few.
#1: Get the Kids Involved
Being a mom often means your life revolves around your kids. So, why not let them join in on the fun? Instead of family Netflix time, have family bike-ride time. Instead of vegging on the couch Saturday mornings, take the kids on a morning hike. Involving the kids in your personal exercise goals is not only time efficient, but it also allows you to spend more quality time with them that you would lose if you were off at the gym.
#2: Run Errands
The time moms do get to themselves tends to be time spent doing things that aren’t necessarily for them: running to get groceries, running through the tasks of the office, and just running around in general. So, why not turn that into actual running?
Running is a great way to get some much-needed time to yourself and your own thoughts. It produces hormones in your brain that make you feel better, give you the energy for better productivity, and enhance your alertness to the world around you – including those kiddos of yours.
If wherever you’re going to get your errands done is close enough, consider walking or running there. If it’s a little far, consider biking. If it’s too far to bike, consider taking some sort of public transportation, getting off a few stops early, and then walking or running to the store from there.
Another way to change up your shopping routine is to use canvas tote bags instead of a grocery cart. As you fill up your bags, you’ll be working your arm muscles and getting your heartrate up a little more than you would otherwise. You’ll also be doing your part to save the planet by not using plastic bags at checkout.
#3: Change Up Your Routine (Slightly)
Slight alterations in your daily routine can expand beyond filling up your tote bags at the grocery store to tone your arm muscles. There are so many little things that could make a big difference to your overall health. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, stretch before bed, and choose a parking spot far away from the store.
You can also get creative with your routine. Make up a game of different exercises to do when something happens in your favorite TV show (e.g., every time someone mentions the main character, you have to do 20 jumping jacks). Dance a little as you make dinner. Do some arm crunches as you lug your full laundry basket to the washing machine.
These little changes will make a huge difference in your health in the long run.
#4: Utilize YouTube
If you want to do something even bigger with your routine, you can incorporate exercise videos from YouTube into your daily routine. The great thing about these is that there’s videos for everyone at every level of fitness with all kinds of time constraints.
Also, don’t feel like you have to spend 30 minutes getting sweaty to feel successful. It’s just as much an accomplishment to do three 10-minute videos scattered throughout the day as it is to do the 30-minute video in one go. As you get more into your favorite exercise videos, you’ll start to learn the routines by heart and can utilize those exercises through your day within your routine (like in tip #3).
#5: Change Your Mindset
The most important change you can make when it comes to incorporating more exercise into our daily lives is a change of mindset. Maybe you feel like you’ve lost touch with the treadmill, or maybe you’ve never even met the elliptical, but that doesn’t mean you haven’t been exercising all these years.
Holding kids instead of dumbbells has been your arm day. Cleaning the house has become your cardio. And your legs thank you for your running to and from the car, day in and day out to get to where you and your family need to be. Overall, I promise you’re doing better than you think you are, as a mom and as a potential exercise guru.
If you’re looking to add some more little somethings to the exercising you do daily, consider involving kids in physical activities you’re also interested in, running or walking to stores, adding a little exercise drill to your daily tasks, and using YouTube exercise videos.
Whether your motivation is to fit into that perfect dress you’ve been eyeing or just to have a little more energy for your kids, there’s always a way to grow in your relationship with exercise.