In this post I’m going to be helping busy moms with their fitness routine! Feel like you need a boost? This post is for you!
When faced with uncertainty, such as that felt during the recent lockdowns and quarantine, people tend to feel one of two ways regarding their goals: they either shut down and feel helpless and abandon their goals or, they dive all into something headfirst (homemade sourdough anyone?) The group that “gets it done”, however, sometimes ends up getting burnt out from jumping all-in and overdoing it. Now, I’m not berating either group. Both are natural reactions to the crazy situation we find ourselves in. Many of us have never experienced this level of uncertainty on such a global scale before, so give yourself some grace.
As a fitness professional who works directly with moms of all walks of life, I’ve personally heard from many who have been working on just getting through the past year, but have been feeling the effects of abandoning their health both physically and mentally.
That’s why I wrote this post! To help busy moms with their fitness routine. So let’s get right into it.
But, whether you’re in the camp where you abandoned everything and gained the “quarantine fifteen” (which now is actually 20 lbs gained on average!) or whether you jumped in on an intense exercise regimen but have fallen off the wagon, here are 7 ways to give your fitness routine a boost.
Tip 1. Schedule Your Workouts
My first tip to help busy moms with their fitness routine: have set workout days and times. This is one of the most important things you can do to hold yourself accountable for your fitness plan, especially when working out from home. See, without a set schedule, it’s easy to procrastinate and leave your workout for “later”. It’s always “later”, right? But that sets a bad example for our brains, which like set schedules in order to form a habit. Have scheduled workout days within each week and have a scheduled workout time. Get in a strong habit of sticking to these no matter what (barring any extreme circumstances).
Once you have your workout days set up, find a time during the day that works for you, and stick with it. Personally, I like to train first thing in the morning, but I also have loads of clients who prefer training at the end of the day. Whatever works for you is what’s best. Both are great, as long as you’re getting that workout in!
Tip 2. Get new workout clothes and/or shoes
My next tip to help busy moms with their fitness routine: There isn’t much a little retail therapy can’t solve! A cute top in a fun new cut or color or a new pair of workout sneakers can work wonders for your sense of motivation. When I feel stuck in a rut, my go-to is to get a couple of new leggings and workout tops! That gets me excited to hit the weights again.
Need a suggestion? My brand of choice for stylish and functional workout gear is and has always been Better Bodies, and I have been able to snag a promo code for you guys. Just use promo code Melo15 for 15% off your purchase at Better Bodies!
Tip 3. Set and focus on realistic goals
My third tip to help busy moms with their fitness routine:
Small and measurable goals are where it’s at. It’s easy to say “My goal is to lose weight” or “My goal is to get healthy”. But these are not measurable. Who defines what is healthy? And…” lose weight”?? Well, how much? And the next step is small and realistic goals. It is easy to get discouraged and think ‘’what is the point’’ when you set a lofty goal such as losing 20-30lbs. Instead, break down your big goals into small weekly, monthly and yearly goals to make the path much more manageable. Keep the end goal in mind, yes, but break it down.
For example, let’s say you want to ultimately lose 30 lbs. Breaking it down into, say, 1 lb lost per week, 4 lbs per month, and then about 7-8 months to lose the full 30 lbs. makes it seem much more manageable. Telling yourself “I need to lose one pound this week” or “I just need to get through this month losing 4 lbs” sounds much more manageable and appealing than thinking to yourself “I need to lose 30 lbs!!!” (With no set time frame or an unlimited time frame).
Also, it is important to keep the goals realistic. Meaning, don’t expect to lose, say, 20lbs in 5 weeks. You’re only setting yourself up for failure when you finish off that first week losing only a couple of pounds, after which you’ll feel discouraged and will crash and burn (not to mention you can’t physically lose weight that quickly without some very unhealthy methods, and even then, you’re likely to fall short of your goal).
In fact, I once had a client who told me she wanted to lose 20lbs in 5-6 weeks, and I had to be honest with her and take the chance of losing her as a client, but I believe it is important to set realistic expectations to avoid frustration and disappointment over something that was not even feasible, to begin with.
Tip 4. Trust the Process
Next up to help busy moms with their fitness routine: It is important to understand that fitness is a journey and not necessarily a destination. Moms in particular tend to be super hard on themselves and expect results in a crazy short amount of time, and if that doesn’t happen, they get discouraged and quit. But, it is important to remember that:
1- It took you 9 months to put on the weight, so you should expect at least as much to take it off. Think about this: would you rather do some restrictive crash diet and lose the weight fast yet risk putting it back on just as fast, or would you rather learn sustainable healthy eating and exercise habits that you can stick with for life? Even though the second option means slower weight loss, it is MUCH more likely to be a weight you keep off for good.
2- Be easy on yourself and realize that you probably don’t have as much disposable time to spend exercising, like you used to before kids. So it may take longer to lose weight than it did before kids. That’s ok. Your plan has to fit within your lifestyle.
Tip 5. PREPARE!
Let’s talk about food now! Nutrition is a big part of feeling and looking your best, so we can’t talk about “boosting your fitness” without talking about diet. You can exercise all you want, but if your diet is all cake and fried food – which is likely to put you on a caloric surplus as these are high palatable/high caloric food, well, your fitness journey will be a flop.
‘’Fail to prepare…prepare to fail’’ is the first thing that comes to mind when we’re talking about diet success. It doesn’t have to be something MEGA elaborate, either. You don’t need to start cooking in advance for all 7 days of the week and stick to the same old stuff daily to be successful. But, having some sort of plan in place helps. For example, start off by simply having only healthy foods in the house. By taking this simple step, you’ll naturally be less likely to reach for unhealthy snacks daily. Have a big event coming up? Plan in advance. Budget yourself during the rest of the week so that you can have a treat at your friend’s wedding or your kid’s birthday party! Need some recipe inspo? Check out some of my recipe blogs here and here!
Tip 6. Sign up for a challenge
Feeling blah about working out? Signing up for a challenge is a great way to shake up your routine and get yourself back on track. A challenge provides accountability, something a lot of us are lacking in our fitness journeys. Knowing someone is checking up on you, and knowing you’ll have to share your results at the end, gives you that extra push and motivation you’ll need! A challenge also pushes you to do things you might normally not do…to step outside your comfort zone. With the right challenge, you’ll also have the support of a coach and the support and encouragement from (and competition with!) fellow challenge-takers. (P.S.- If this speaks to you, check out my 5 Week Super Shred Challenge! It’s just what you need to give your fitness routine the boost it needs!)
Tip 7. Have a plan
My last tip to help busy moms with their fitness routine: Winging your workouts and nutrition hardly ever works, especially if you’ve lost your mojo. You need something clear cut to get you back on track. In general winging it is a bad strategy because, unless you’ve done a ton of research, you don’t know exactly what will give you the maximum “return on investment” so to speak. What workouts will give you big gains in the fitness department? What diet should you follow to help you reach a healthy weight or give you more energy?
The problem is that we hear a lot of conflicting advice from different fitness and nutrition gurus telling us what’s right and wrong. But sorting out the fads from the sustainable stuff is not easy. Don’t have the time to decipher it all? That’s what I’m here for. I’ve done all that sorting and sifting for you. Again, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of having a plan! My 5 Week Super Shred Challenge may be just what you need!
So remember: if you’ve fallen into a rut during the past year, well, first off, you’re not alone. We all experienced a shake-up to some extent! Second of all, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Many of us switched to online work, kids home all day with daycares and schools closed, etc, not to mention gyms also closed so no escaping the house for some much-needed alone time for working out. Third of all, and most importantly, there IS something you can do about it! It’s time to prioritize your health and well-being. Consider this your virtual wake-up call to get back at it!! I believe in you!!