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5 Tips for Busy Moms: How to Exercise at Home

5 Tips for Busy Moms: How to Exercise at Home

Getting into an exercise routine is tough, and even more so as a mom. There’s never enough time in the day, and when you do exercise, your body aches the next day and you feel like no progress has been made. But, we all know the benefits of exercising regularly: better health, greater happiness, and a reduced risk of disease. Thankfully, you can still get in regular exercise without having to hit up the gym. Here are five things you can do to make your at-home workouts a little easier.

Set a Goal

goal-setting

    Without a goal, you’re setting yourself up for failure. You need to have something to work toward, and having the vague, undefined idea of exercising every day can lead to slacking. So, it’s best to figure out why exactly you want to get in better shape.

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    Do you just want to increase your flexibility, or are you looking to burn off some fat? The reasons you want to work out will affect what exercises you set out to do and how long you’ll have to spend on them each session. Do your best to come up with an attainable goal and write it down. This will help keep you accountable.

    Pick a Good Workout Routine

    the-perfect-morning-workout

      Once you have an idea of why you want to start exercising, you’ll next want to find a workout plan that allows you to reach your goal. For example, if you want to lose weight, you’ll want to find some good cardio routines you can do. If you’re trying to get toned, bodyweight exercises might be the better option. When doing research on a suitable routine, the internet is going to be your best bet here. Also, keep in mind that you’ll want to find routines that you can do in the space and comfort of your home. For example, this Lifehack article has more than a dozen stretches and low-intensity exercises you can do at work and that are easily adaptable for home workouts.

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      Set Aside Time

      Set-Aside-Time-Read-Each-Day

        Obviously, you’re going to need some time to work out at home, whether that’s three times a week or every single day.

        “But,” you might say, “I don’t have any time!” While this is certainly true in some rare cases, there’s almost always a way you can make more time. Whether you choose to carve in a little time while everyone is in bed or you multitask exercising while cooking dinner, there’s always a way you can fit exercising in. Try your best to block out a regular part of the day and your habit will become much easier to fall into.

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        Get a Workout Buddy

        Get a Workout Buddy

          If you need some help committing, or you just want someone else to share the pain of exercising with, having a workout buddy can do wonders. Not only do you keep each other accountable, but you also motivate each other. By pushing each other to succeed, you’ll have more fun and you’ll progress much quicker and easier than if you were working out alone. If you’re having trouble finding someone to work out with, perhaps the kids can get active with you. Not only would it be a great way to connect with your children, but it’d also be a great learning experience for them as well.

          Map Your Progress

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          Track-Your-Progress

            Nothing’s as motivating as seeing yourself make progress toward a goal. If you’re doing some simple exercises, consider keeping a workout journal and writing short entries about how the day’s workout went. In a short amount of time, you’ll be able to look back and see the progress you’ve made. If you stick to your routine, what once seemed so difficult will be laughably easy. Even better is if you can keep track of any quantifiable data, such as how many pushups you’ve done or how long you can hold a plank.

            Featured photo credit: 7 Simple Exercises Busy People Can Do Anywhere, Anytime via lifehack.org

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            Published on November 29, 2018

            When is the Best Time to Workout to Get Incredible Results

            When is the Best Time to Workout to Get Incredible Results

            “I don’t have time”

            is the number one excuse people give when they’re asked how come they don’t exercise.

            In the book The Power of Full Engagement by Tony Schwartz, it says that it’s management of our energy levels and not time that is the key to higher performance. If we kept our energy levels in check and made sure that every part of our lives contributed to positive energy levels, we would be able to get more done.

            One of those aspects that give us energy is exercise.

            Exercise is the fuel that gives us energy and an activity that keeps on giving even if we are sitting around day in the office and in meetings.

            Reaping the benefits of a good workout is immediate. We have better focus and concentration; we are more alert and awake; we manage our mood better and have more creativity after a good workout than if we skipped the gym.

            If you’d like to get started working out I’m going cover the pros and cons to exercising at different times of the day so that you can find a time that fits for your lifestyle and schedule.

            So, when is the best time to work out? Let’s get started!

            Working out in the Morning

            Most people aspire to exercise first thing in the morning and get it out of the way. If this is you, read on to find out the additional benefits of getting your workout done in the morning.

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            Benefits of Morning Workouts

            1. The rest of the day is yours

            Exercise and lifting weights is a staple and a habit in my life but it’s also the biggest to-do on my list. When I exercise first thing in the morning, then I’m free to do whatever I want the rest of the day. This is why I have a very strong preference of exercising in the morning as oppose to afternoons or evenings.

            I schedule my day with my biggest to-dos first while I have the energy and focus at the beginning of the day. But the more I procrastinate about my workout and putting it on my list for later, the bigger that reminder to exercise sits on my shoulder.

            My mind feels free when I finish my workout and this is the main reason I get my exercise in as soon as the day allows; and if I have to get up before the sun rises, then so be it.

            2. Gyms are less crowded and there is more equipment available

            Here’s the best part about working out early in the morning – there is not competition for equipment.

            Most people typically struggle with getting up early in the morning except for the elderly. And in the morning, the gym floors are pretty sparse, this means there is no wait for equipment or competing for floor space.

            I live in the crowded city of San Francisco where the gyms are packed once it gets to 9 AM, so the best times to get in if I want a squat rack is before 8 AM. Plus, the gym equipment is organized so I can find the free weights I want without much effort and there is usually a bench available.

            3. You have more energy and more clarity to fire up the day

            After you drag yourself to the gym at the crack of dawn, you will walk out of there with more energy and clarity then when you stepped in. Not only will you wide awake but you have extra energy on top of your cup of coffee.

            The extra burst of creativity and focus keeps you productive so that you’re able to make more progress on your projects at work and finish earlier.

            4. You become more consistent

            The ones who see results are the ones who are consistent and morning people are definitely more consistent than people who postpone their workouts later in the day.[1]

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            This is because as the day starts to unfold, unexpected meetings and events come up that can cut into or even eliminate gym time. If you want to workout more consistently, get your workout in first thing in the morning before life happens.

            Downsides of Morning Workouts

            1. You’re a zombie on the floor

            Of course dragging yourself out of bed before the sun rises is why most people struggle with morning workouts. Some of us, like me, don’t want to talk to anyone before a certain time and get really short on a lack of sleep.

            To combat morning zombie, make sure to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep.

            2. Your preparation starts the night before

            Your workout may happen in the morning but your preparation starts the night before. If you’re a last minute person and not a planner, you will struggle in the mornings to get out the door in time.

            Packing everything you need for the gym in the morning is the key to getting to your workout in that day. Support successful mornings by modifying your night time routine in order to prepare for the next day.

            How to Make It Easier to Wake Up

            The first step is to make a commitment and stick with it. Don’t go back and forth the night before on whether you should go to the gym in the morning.

            Make the decision to go in the morning and focus your energy on making it happen.

            When you create that habit, you do it even if your workout is less than optimal and you’re not completely ‘all there’ or you’re a zombie in the morning. Just keep going because repetition makes it easier and the more often you go, the easier it gets.

            Eventually your brain will catch up and start to automatically be awake at those times.

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            A question you can ask yourself is what can you do to make it easier for you?

            Can you set your workout clothes out the night before? Or have your breakfast prepared the night before? Or if you’re an alarm snoozer, put your alarm across the room and set back up alarms to make sure you get out of bed to shut them off.

            Again, what can you do to make it 20 seconds easier to help you get up and out of the door in the morning?

            Working out in the Afternoon/Evening

            So what about working out in the evening? Is it a good time to help achieve your fitness goals?

            Benefits of Evening Workouts

            1. Your body performance is at its peak

            When you’re training in the afternoon, your warm ups can be shorter because your body temperature increases throughout the day.

            A higher body temperature leads to increased flexibility,[2] overall muscle strength,[3] and increased endurance.

            Not only does the combination of low blood pressure and heart rate in the afternoon lead to faster reaction times and better performance, but also less likelihood injury.

            At the same time the muscle growth hormone testosterone also peaks in the afternoon which is great for maximizing resistance training.

            2. An accountability partner is easier to come by

            If you’re someone who needs accountability partner to make it to the gym consistently, it could be easier to find a workout buddy in the afternoon than it is in the early morning. There is more flexibility in scheduling during lunch or after work as oppose to early mornings because it could cut into your sleep.

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            3. You have more class options

            If you’re a class person or like to attend group classes, I found that there are more class options in the afternoon/evening times versus mornings. So your favorite instructor may teach a couple more classes in the afternoon during the week giving you more flexibility in your schedule.

            4. It’s a great way to destress after a long day

            One of my favorite reasons to workout in the afternoon is the relief it provides after a long day at work. This is especially true for those who work long stressful hours. That hour you spend at the gym is dedicated you time to zone out is completely relaxing for the mind.[4]

            Downsides of Evening Workouts

            1. Consistency could take a back seat

            Postponing your workouts till later in the day means you are more likely to skip your workouts because of an unexpected event. You’re also more likely to be low on energy after a long stressful day or you have to stay late at work and cancel your workout.

            I find afternoon and evening workouts challenging because I’m ready to wind down after a long day and instead have to find the energy to wind up and be mentally prepared for my workout.

            2. Crowded gyms and classes

            For the most part, gyms are packed in the afternoon because of the after work crowd and in some cases gyms require you to RSVP to classes ahead of time due to limited spots. Majority of the people prefer working out after work and you’ll see an influx in crowds at the gym.

            3. Additional preparation required

            Working out after work means you need to be more mindful of your meals and make sure that you have prepared additional snacks to help you get through your workout.

            It also means lugging around an extra bag with your gym clothes and other essentials.

            Conclusion

            At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what time of day you workout because your body will adjust to your schedule when you go the same times every time. What’s important is that you find a time that you can go to the gym consistently that works with your schedule.

            It’s important to be consistent because consistency is what’s going to get you results. The road to results is simple but not easy. Mastering consistency year round is what is going to make you leaner and stronger one year from now.

            Featured photo credit: Autumn Goodman via unsplash.com

            Reference

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