1. Be consistent.
This is nothing new to moms. Consistency is something we provide for our kids as often as we can. Now that said, I’m no fitness expert. I have been struggling with weight loss for over a year now. But it is that struggle that gives me knowledge with what works and what doesn’t work. Consistency is one of the most important, and most difficult, things when it comes to exercising. Inconsistency will result in frustration from lack of progress and ultimately cause most to give up. So, stay consistent; whether its 20 minutes of cardio or 100 push ups, consistency is key.
2. Follow a routine.
Again, something that moms everywhere are used to. We get routines going with our kids and try to stick to them. Set up a routine to workout all of your body, not just part of it. A body needs regular strength training, cardio, and interval training. Strength training just 20 minutes a day twice a week will help tone the body. It’s simple and you don’t need a gym membership to do it. Cardio exercise is crucial to burning calories and working a very important muscle…the heart. Many professional trainers recommend 60 minutes a day, every day of a physical activity that gets the heart pumping, such as walking, running, and dancing. Mix it up. Go for a walk after work or dance with your kids in the morning before sending them off to school. Run like there’s someone chasing you. Or have someone chase you.
3. Set realistic goals.
Perfection is unrealistic. No one can ever be the “perfect” mom and we will never have the “perfect” body. Also, throw out those beauty magazines sitting on your coffee table. Those models are completely unrealistic; they’re airbrushed and don’t look anything like that in reality. Don’t try for a 5K the first time out. Don’t think you’re going to be able to do the jive on the first day. Don’t think you’re going to make it up that mile-long hill either. It’s all about figuring out where you’re at with any activity and then slowly building it up.
4. Use the buddy system.
Get a friend or relative whom you like and find reliable. Find a mommy from playgroup and load the dear little ones in the strollers. Encourage one another and exercise together. You’re less likely to cancel on each other if the other gives you flack for it. Also, use someone who is interested and committed to a healthier lifestyle.
5. Make your plan fit your life.
Too busy or broke for the gym? If you’ve got floor space, you’ve got a gym. Try investing in some kettle balls, dumbbells, and resistance bands. Exercise with the kids before and after school. Try dancing. Or just let them outside and chase them. Have playgroup in the mornings twice a week and gymnastics in the afternoon three days a week? Make a workout schedule that fits your everyday schedule.
6. Be happy.
Don’t pick an activity that you hate, find something that you’re passionate about. Don’t like dancing, don’t do it. There are so many activities that are great for cardio. Don’t like lifting weights, don’t do it. There are enough ways to exercise that you don’t ever have to do something you don’t enjoy.
7. Watch the clock.
Your body clock, that is. Try working out when you have the most energy. Whether you’re a morning, midday, or night person, find your time and get your workout on! Working out when you have the most energy means you will get the best out of your workout. Have more energy after dropping the kids off at the daycare or school? Try finding the time of day where your energy peaks and try to make your schedule work with that.
8. Call in the pros.
If this is your first time, sometimes relying on a video instructor or a professional trainer can be of great use to you. It’ll help you focus on specific muscle groups and the best exercises to work them. Whether you are going for resistance training or professional dancing, there’s help out there. Find it. Use it.
9. Get inspired.
Exercise needs motivation and motivation needs inspiration. So find it. Keep a pre-pregnancy picture on the fridge. Find a motivational quote that works for you. Use your kids as your inspiration. Watch The Biggest Loser if it gets you inspired. Just find what works for you and work it to achieve your goals.
10. Be patient.
Finally, remember that there are no easy results and quick fixes. Be patient, be consistent, be diligent. It will pay off. It will be gradual as your body starts to tone up and your weight gradually begins to drop. Don’t give up. It will take time but you won’t regret it.