**Printable at home chore workout guide PDF at bottom of post.
Moms want to workout more, but often can’t find the time, the energy, the concentration, supplies. Much of our time is spent taking care of others’ and toting along toddlers wherever we go. Especially if you’re a stay at home mom, like myself, there is not many seconds in the day when someone else is not demanding your attention. And where do these fit moms find the energy?
After middle of the night nightmares, breastfeeding, cleaning, changing diapers, homework, being the taxi driver, grocery shopping, cooking….where is the energy for exercising? It’s a daunting task to consider spending some time on yourself. You will have to pull from other energy stores and routines to make this happen for yourself. BUT DO NOT FEAR! YOU ABSOLUTELY HAVE MOM POWER!
I often joke that I’m not “Wonder Woman“, but after having two kids, I fully believe that I AM WONDER WOMAN! And so are you, chances are if you’re reading this, you take care of your kids, health is important to you, and you’re not spending enough time for yourself. YOU ARE A WONDER WOMAN!
Did you read the list of your activities above? And that’s not even a complete list. So, trust me if you can do all of that and more, you are fully capable of figuring out how to start working out consistently. And because you will feel better, you will have the energy. Yes, you may have to cut something not so important off of your to-do list. For me, spending excessive time on structured activities at home and some of those extra cleaning tasks that nobody cares about….guess what? I just don’t do them anymore. I don’t care, my family doesn’t care. We’re still smart and plenty cleaned up enough and loved….and Mom’s a little happier. It really can be a win-win.
But how can I afford it and I don’t have a babysitter? Well, if you are leaving your house, going other places, stopping at Burger King for lunch play, changes are that you can shave a few bucks off these activities to put toward a membership. Now the next task is to find a reasonably priced gym with a daycare. We have chosen to utilize our local YMCA, which offers free daycare during certain hours 6 days/week. So regardless of your schedule and whether or not you work, it is possible to take your kids with you.
Or you may choose to workout at home, you may need to purchase a few small pieces of equipment. There are many DVD programs and YouTube Channels that can help you get your workouts in. YOU CAN DO THIS, YOU HAVE MOM POWER!
About 5 months after my second child, I needed to lose weight again, and I was having a terrible time keeping my toddler focused as a stay at home mom. We have structure in our house and we utilize various community programs, but it wasn’t enough. Since it was fall and the option of walking wasn’t a solution, I signed up at the YMCA. I was nervous to leave my kids in their care, but I soon realized it wasn’t an issue. I soon realized they had a great time going, because they were getting playtime with other kids and making new friends. And they were getting more adjusted to being in someone else’s care. I was getting in my workout and this gave me a period of time during the day where someone wasn’t demanding my attention! So I have not felt selfish at all, my decision to make myself healthier also provided my children with opportunities to grow. Plus, they like having a Mom With Muscle!
If you’re a stay at home mom, I highly recommend going to a gym to workout. When you have to workout at home, I highly recommend you do this at a quiet time (nap time, tablet time) and in a different room from your kids. Decide if you need a workout buddy or prefer to join a group. Many women benefit from the socialization and motivation from being around others’ with similar goals.
Where to start:
- get a plan together first
- consider using strength/weight training methods (not just cardio)
- consider interval or HIIT training, this can be done in the gym, at home or outside
- find a good workout guide for your goal
- make or print a workout plan, you can find some resources on this site
- try to use programs, challenges, videos/YouTube, as part of your cardio, but not as your whole workout program
- adjust programs to your needs & goals
- gear (fitting, clothes & shoes)
- equipment (dumbbells, mat, swiss ball)
- water bottle
- have snacks prepared for your kids and yourself for post-workout
Set the days/times you will workout at the beginning of the week, try to keep this routine. Try not to workout sporadically, 20 mins. here and there throughout the day. Your true workout hours are going to give better results if you can dedicate 45-60 mins. Sporadic workouts that increase the heart rate may cause your energy to decline. The less focused you are, the worse your performance will be. In addition, the workouts may be too random. Stick to the same exercises for compound, major core exercises to get good results. Try to stick with the same workout guide for a period of time.
Try not to plan to do tasks that are highly physically demanding right afterwards, give yourself a little time to recover. This way you can still accomplish your other mom duties and still feel good about it.
For further ideas on a starting plan, check out a previous post Keep It Simple.
Back to that list of activities. You may not always feel great, you may have put on some pounds, you may have body changes from having children, but reality is that
you are already strong.
Not just emotionally strong, but physically strong. Those lean women with toned muscles…they’re not all stronger than you. And nobody is better than you. If you’re actively taking care of kids, you have muscles, you are squatting, bending over, picking up children and objects. It is unlikely that you live a sedentary life. Even the moms that don’t look fit, have muscle. It’s just covered up by weight or lack of focused exercise. Those hot abs in the beach photos, you can have those too. It’s more about diet and cleaning up the pounds that are covering the muscle.
After I lost weight and hit the weight room, a lot of people noticed. My body responded very well to these type of exercise. Plus, I was committed to healthy nutrition. Consistently busting my ass, literally, in the weight room 3 times/week with results was great motivation to stick to a healthy diet. Plus, I learned about protein and changed my carb based diet to a protein diet. So people would make comments like “I don’t know how you do it with small kids”.
My response was I don’t know how moms don’t do it. I was starting to have a terrible time with the weight of my growing kids and the constant bending over that my new job required. Learning strength training has been the best thing for me as a mom. I have learned and practiced how to move my body the right way under heavy loads.
As a mom, this has greatly benefited my daily life duties
- carrying children
- carrying car seats
- lifting children and heavy objects
- constant bending over tasks,
- helping your child on the floor
- tying shoes
- picking up messes on the floor
- putting dishes away or loading a dishwasher
- Moving laundry
- playing with children – sports, running, exercises, etc.
Now I am able to perform many duties with ease, without feeling dizzy, and without pain.
Now I have a positive body image. I do not mind putting on a bathing suit for the beach or water park. I have learned how to quickly throw together a simple outfit, makeup and hairdo and still feel good about my appearance.
Another major advantage for me, even though my kids aren’t healthy eaters, I feel good about my role modeling efforts. My kids know I exercise and are interested in getting muscles. My kids see me eating healthy. I’m not just telling my kids to be healthy, I am modeling how to be healthy.
Since you’re already doing a lot of physically demanding tasks, you can use that to your advantage. You can double up household chores with simple stretching & toning exercises! There are weeks when kids are sick, etc. that I can’t get to the gym as much and have to sub some home workouts. Most weeks I workout 3 days/week, so 4 days I’m not expending as much energy. Often, a couple of these days I will do some light bodyweight exercises while completing my chores. It’s a win-win, because I can burn more calories this way, get my chores completed & my workout done without having to schedule any extra time in the day!
This idea is what inspired me to write a post. Now I don’t actually write out and follow a routine to the script, but I have made out a plan to share with you that demonstrates how I perform these exercises. (Download PDF below) For me, I focus on activities that stimulate my core and lower body and do not take time away from my task at hand. Remember this is not a full workout, so take it easy, perform exercises carefully and correctly. And as always adapt this plan to your own personal workout needs and household chores!
♥ BE HEALTHY ♥
♥ BE STRONG ♥