19 Oct 5 Exercise Tips for Mums Who Aren’t Getting Enough Exercise
Motherhood is tough.
In fact, it’s one of the toughest roles you will ever have to play in your life and it all becomes very evident you will spend most of your waking (and sleeping) hours with the new addition to your life.
The first thing that gets ignored is usually your own health and well-being, so Exercise Right decided to put together our top tips for time poor mums with help from Carly Ryan, Accredited Exercise Physiologist.
*Please note, these are aimed at mothers of toddlers and not directly post partum. For information on this read How to Exercise Right After Pregnancy – Moving Safely Post Partum.
1. Be Organised
Life as a mum is hectic to say the least so it’s important to take some time to plan your exercise.
Take some time out to go through your schedule and pencil in time slots for your physical exercise.
“By being organised you will be changing your mindset to have a little ‘me’ time,” says Carly.
“Perhaps this could be 10 or 20 minutes when your partner comes home from work, or getting up half an hour before the kids do – any spare time you can find for yourself is invaluable.”
2. Don’t Stress
It’s great being organised, but every now and then things can change (usually when your child decides to change their routine) and that is absolutely fine.
“If you can’t complete your exercise at the time you want or have to skip a day, don’t stress yourself. Exercise is meant to be fun and the last thing you need to do is feel bad about it and then let it build up.”
“Take each day as it comes and congratulate yourself when you have completed your goals for the day. Remember any movement is good thing and as you have probably been running around all day you are actually exercising without knowing!”
3. Make it Short and Sharp
“You shouldn’t feel like you have to complete a huge gym session – choose an activity that you enjoy and do it at a pace that makes you huff and puff. Perhaps it’s a simple as a 3o minute run?”
“There is a lot of evidence that shows if you perform your physical activity at a higher rate you can exercise for less time. High intensity interval training or (HIIT) is a training technique that has you push yourself in an all-out effort followed by a short and sometime active recovery, which is then repeated for multiple intervals.”
“As a busy mum, HIIT could become your new best friend but please remember to consult with your GP or Accredited Exercise Physiologist if you have any health or birth related concerns.
4. Include the Little One
Sometimes it’s hard get the time to yourself, so maybe thing of creative ways to include the little one? The outdoors is a great way to keep them occupied whilst you exercise.
“Take their favourite toys, snacks and a picnic blanket to the park to keep them occupied whilst you can exercise. You can set up a short circuit that includes a range of difference exercises such as sprints, burpees and strength exercises (planks, push ups, lunges, squats etc) that can be completed in a relatively short amount of time.”
If they are going through a clingy stage (you know the one where you feel you have a human limpet?) include mat work exercises at home. Think along the lines of push ups, sit ups, planks, squats, lunges.
Try and include 3 sets of 12 repetitions of each exercise.
And what about active play? Running around playing games with your energizer bunny toddler in the backyard, or dancing up a storm lets you spend quality time together and achieve your health and wellness goals at the same time. It’s also a great way to role model to you child the importance of an active lifestyle and that physical activity can be fun.
5. Phone a friend
Research has shown that you are more likely to stick to an exercise program or routine if you do it with a friend, and we bet you know a few mums who are in the same situation as you!
“By having someone to exercise with, you not only receive the support and encouragement you need to start but you will also help each other stay on track.”
“Are you part of a mums group? Why not suggest the next meet up be a walk in the park or get all the kids playing together while you do some yoga?”
“If it’s just you and a mate, plan days when you can catch up well in advance and lock them in. Challenge each other to come up with new and exciting ways to exercise, maybe try a new class at the gym, visit a trampoline centre or swimming pool or even sign up for a fun run. Together you can do great things!”
6. Use Technology
There are so many fitness trackers on the market at the moment and for good reason! Tracking your movement will help keep you accountable and remind you to move. Another great way to be inspired by technology is making the use of apps that can support you.
One free app that could help is the Nike Running Club, the app provides guided runs to help get you started. The app also contains a Mindful Running Pack that can help you focus on mindfulness while running – boosting your mental health! Download the app here.