Does your New Year’s resolution include shedding a few pounds? Maybe your goal is to develop a more active lifestyle, or teach your kids the value of personal fitness. Finding the time to work out as a busy mom can be quite the challenge. However, if you are willing to look for the opportunities to work out, you can maintain a successful exercise regimen.
Here are nine ways to sneak in a workout for the new year:
1. Schedule It While the Kids Are Sleeping
This is a pretty obvious solution, but some of us need to actually write it on our to-do list for the day. For me, this means starting my day before my son is awake. If you are not a morning person, this may mean capitalizing on nap time or working out right after putting the kiddos to bed. Put it on the day’s agenda to keep yourself committed to the task!
2. Recruit Your Husband as Your Number One Cheerleader
His support will keep you moving. Some days, crawling out of bed before the baby is awake is impossible, especially when he’s been up all night. Because of this, my time with my husband is sometimes shortened so I can get in a workout. He is completely supportive of my endeavors, so there is one less excuse when the pace of life picks up for a few days.
3. Find a Workout Buddy or Accountability Partner
Knowing your friend will be calling to check in on you may be just the motivation you need to drag yourself to the basement for one more round of cardio. Better yet, find a friend to exercise with you. The kids can have a play date and you can get some extra adult face time — all while sweating away the pounds!
4. Keep a Record of Your Progress
Doing ten push-ups may not seem like a big deal, but if you started with one push up, ten is a great achievement. Measure and record those successes — they will encourage you to keep going. Keep of log of what YOU want to accomplish, whether your goal is pounds, inches, strength, endurance or speed.
5. Reward Yourself When Goals Are Met
Regardless of the types of goals you set, when you reach them, celebrate! Be careful not to let food be your only reward. Choose different rewards, like an extra 20 minutes soaking in the tub, buying a new pair of pants, or taking a half-day off of work. Do something that will be a worthwhile incentive for you.
6. Install an App to Keep You on Task
My favorite is the 7 Minute Workout app. The workout consists of 7-minute intervals that get you into shape fast. The app functions as a personal trainer of sorts and allows your music to play while the trainer pushes you along the way.
Another great resource is the Couch to 5K program. The routine describes itself as “less of a running regime than a walking and jogging program… getting you running three miles on a regular basis in just two months.” And what a great built-in goal for your efforts: sign up for a 5K two months after you start this routine.
7. Find a 30-minute Workout
There are two things I know about myself and working out: 1) I need someone to yell at me or I will stop. 2) I do not want anyone watching me or I will stop. Using DVDs has become the perfect balance to keep me moving! There are a wide range of 30-minute (or less) options available for the seasoned fitness guru or the novice. Some favorites of mine are:
- Insanity: Fast and Furious (20 minutes a day)
- P90X3 (30 minutes a day)
- Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred (20 minutes a day)
8. Workout While You Do Housework
If there is no extra time for exercise, but the house has to be cleaned up today, here are some ways to sneak in some calorie-burning moves while you get the house set:
- Work out each time you come to the sink to do dishes.
- This tutorial will take you throughout your whole house to get your chores done and tone your muscles.
- Clean up those toys and get in some plank work here (although I am not sure the jumping on mattresses is the best finish to this workout!).
- And when you need a break and have to lie down, here is a 2 minute lying down workout.
Using these ideas as a springboard, I am sure you can find ways to work in a little cardio while you wait for your spaghetti noodles to boil.
9. Sometimes, It’s Better to Take a Nap
Shape magazine has a great article on the importance of sleep and physical fitness. When we consistently get six hours of sleep or less, our coordination can be off, which puts us at risk for bad form and injury. When kiddos are sick or need you during the night or when your meeting ran late and you got to bed far later than you should have, give yourself permission to recuperate with some extra sleep. Some days, a nap is actually better for your overall health. If you have met your exercise goals for the week, enjoy a nice day off.
Whatever your goals are for the new year, there are plenty of ways to get workouts in each week. Happy sweating!