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5 Genius Fitness Tips Every Full-Time Working Mom Must Try

5 Genius Fitness Tips Every Full-Time Working Mom Must Try

The sit-ups. The push-ups. The cardio. You’ve got so much exercising to do, but your life is packed full. You don’t have enough time to fit it all in.

From caring for the kids to keeping up with laundry and keeping the house clean, it seems virtually impossible to squeeze in a workout or prepare nutritious meals once you get home from your 9-5 job.

So, what happens? You get more behind every day. What’s worse is that every other working mom you know seems to have no problem working out on a regular basis. Are you the only full-time working mom who struggles to find the time to exercise?

Don’t believe it for a second.

If your biggest problem is not having enough time to exercise, you’re perfectly normal. Almost every working mom out there feels the same way.

Why Every Working Mom Feels Short On Time Most Of The Time

Working moms struggle with a lack of time more than most people do. From getting the kids ready for daycare or school to making sure they are safe and sound, every waking hour seems to be given to your children. It’s for good reason: they are your pride and joy.

You also have a house to maintain: laundry to be done, bathrooms to be cleaned, a kitchen to be maintained, a husband to tend to — everyone and everything demands your attention. It seems that you’re the only one that can maintain calm and order amongst the chaos.

What’s more is that you have a full-time job. No matter what your income stream looks like, it demands your time and attention. From taking care of your boss’s calendar to keeping order in the office, meeting deadlines, and organizing meetings, you are the heartbeat of your organization.

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So, how do you get it all done? Well, most working moms don’t all the time. Sometimes, the house stays dirty. Sometimes, the laundry piles up so high it looks like a miniature version of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. And sometimes, just sometimes, the chaos at work is too much.

Eventually, you start to play catchup with everything that’s befallen you. You might squeeze in an exercise session or two, but when those chaotic days come, you feel like quitting altogether.

Trust me, I get it. Overwhelm can set in and crush your spirit. You can only keep calm and order in your life for so long. And even as you struggle day by day, the temptation to give up your fitness dreams grows and grows.

And yet, some working moms seem to make a huge splash. They make time for exercise. They make time to prep nutritious meals. They make time to clean the house. They make time to do the laundry. They make time for their family. They have more energy. They lose the extra weight. They get fit.

How do these moms get it done? In one word: structure.

These working moms create a structure that puts them in full control of their weight loss goals.

Here’s how you can regain control of your schedule and turn things around.

1. You Must Prioritize Exercise

Ask yourself this question: Is exercise a top priority in my life?

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You might think it is because fitness is on your mind daily, but here’s a little secret: a should is totally different than a must. When something is not a priority, you will always make excuses not to do it.

Why should fitness be a priority? Because if you can’t take care of yourself, how are you going to take care of your family?

Every day, we’re constantly bombarded with new-and-improved research that shows the benefits of a healthy diet and exercise. More energy. Less stress. A body geared for fighting off viruses. Now, don’t get me wrong, you’ll still have a sick day here and there, but not as often as you would if you weren’t active or eating healthy.

2. Specify The Reasons That Prompted Your Desire To Change

Here’s the thing about fitness: it will only work if you have the right mindset. You can have all the resources at your disposal, but without a compelling reason to exercise, you are likely to quit.

I’m not talking about having motivation or trying to pump yourself up on days you decide to work out. Motivation will only take you so far. Your reason is what will prevent you from veering off track or quitting altogether.

Your why will always keep you going.

Your why will help you develop discipline. You’ll be able to find the strength to exercise and eat healthy during times when it’s hard to do so.

An effective strategy is to keep a journal where you write your reasons for working out. Remember, your reasons are, well, your reasons. Don’t ever think that your reasons aren’t good enough. As a mother, you are a prime example for your family. Think about the impact on your husband and children when they see the dedication and drive you show for changing yourself.

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3. Think Family Fitness

Involve your children in your fitness routine. Why? Because it’s tough to find a babysitter to watch the kids for an hour or so, and just because you can’t find care for your children doesn’t mean that you can’t exercise. There are tons of ways you can include the kids in your fitness routine.

Some moms like to play games with their kids. They’ll race each other or play a game of tag. Invest in a children’s seat for your bike, or if your children are age-appropriate, buy them a bike of their own so they can join you on a bike ride.

Plus, there’s a new wave of what moms are calling “stroller fitness.” A lot of moms are walking or jogging with their kids in their strollers.

Don’t let your babies be an excuse for not exercising. Not only will you be active, but you can even form a strong bond with your kids just by having them around while you work out.

4. Know That Some Days Are Going To Be Easier Than Others

There are going to be days when you’re full of energy and feel like you can do extra. And then there are going to be days where you’re just happy to have put your workout clothes on. No matter what you feel on the difficult days, make sure that you at least try to get some activity in.

You might not be able to get in that full mile or strength train for 30 minutes. That’s fine. Each day is going to present its own unique obstacles. You might be fatigued. The kids might get sick. You might have to put in extra hours at work. Whatever the case, don’t give it the momentum that will make you give up.

Just keep going.

5. Don’t Go At It Alone

Try to find a community that will support you. Fitness and nutrition are more difficult if you have no one to fall back on. The important thing for this tip is to find a community that will 100% have your back. It could be your husband, a close friend, an online community, or another working mom. You can even seek the services of a life coach or fitness trainer.

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It’s important that your community understands your goals and desire for working out. Why? Because they are the ones that are going to keep you accountable. You will not achieve your fitness goals if you have a community that accepts every excuse you make. This is why I believe that the services of a life coach are a beneficial investment.

You want someone that will give you the kick in the pants you need to keep going. At the same time, you want someone that will be motivating and uplifting instead of critical and doubtful.

Create your community and you’ll increase your chances of making fitness a habit.

You Can Do This!

Moms, we need you! Not just to be alive, but to be involved and active in our lives. Your husband needs you. Your babies need you. Hell, the entire world needs you.

What would life be like without moms? What would life be like for your children without the warm and caring love of their mom? What would life be like for your husband without your intimate love and support for him and the family?

It is true that if you follow these tips, you will lose weight. But most importantly, if you follow these tips, you will create a mind and body that will give you the energy and strength you need to guide your family through the beautiful journey that is life.

So, when does your fitness routine start?

The choice is yours. Start now.

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Published on July 18, 2019

11 Best Core Strengthening Exercises to Do At Home

11 Best Core Strengthening Exercises to Do At Home

No matter where you are in your fitness journey, chances are you wouldn’t mind a little more definition in your midsection.

Whether you have a six pack or a beer belly, those abs could probably be a little bit sharper. Not to mention developing better core strength is hugely important when it comes to improving your overall strength and athleticism, as well as protecting you from injuries.[1]

The good news? Your abs and core muscles can handle a lot of training.

While most of your muscle groups do best with just two training sessions per week,[2] you can hit your abs every other day to great effect. You don’t even have to leave the house!

Here’s my guide to the 11 best core strengthening exercises you can do at home with no equipment.

1. Planks

Let’s start with the mother of all core-strengtheners, the plank.

Planks not only work your abs and obliques, they challenge those core muscles deep inside your body that help promote stability and power. They can also reduce back pain and improve your balance and posture.

Get down into pushup position, feet behind you, hands under your shoulders. Lock out your arms and legs, squeeze your core muscles, and hold your body stiff (like a plank!) for as long as you can.

For a more challenging variation, try a forearm plank with your arms out in front you. Lay your forearms on the ground for support, with your elbows under your face rather than aligned with your shoulders.

2. Side Planks

To hit your obliques even harder, try this challenging variation: the side plank.

From plank position, rotate onto one side. Prop yourself up on your elbow and one foot with your body straight and stiff.

Don’t forget to squeeze your core as you hold this position for as long as you can.

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Switch sides and repeat to avoid creating muscle imbalances.

3. Reverse Crunches

The regular stomach crunch is a fine exercise, but when it comes to abs and core strength, you’ll want to opt for moves that are a lot more challenging.

When you can crank out 50 crunches without a problem, it’s probably time for something new.

The reverse crunch packs a wallop for your lower abs and can be done anywhere, anytime, just like the standard crunch.

Lay on your back with knees bent in crunch position. Place your hands flat on the ground by your side and lift your pelvis, bringing your knees up toward your face, then back down again.

Engage your lower ab muscles to do the work, not your back. Repeat for a few sets of 12-20 reps.

4. Flutter Kicks

The lower abs are a problem area for a lot of people, so we’ll want to work them hard.

If that sounds like you, flutter kicks are just what the doctor ordered.

Lay flat on your back in leg raise position, hands at your sides or pressed into the floor. Raise your legs together about 6 inches off the floor, then alternate lowering one and raising one a few inches in rapid succession.

It should look like you’re kicking the air, and it should give you quite a burn in your abdominal area.

5. Arms High Sit-Ups

Imagine a crunch, but way harder!

Lay down on the ground in sit-up position, knees bent, feet flat on the floor in front of you.

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Raise your arms up to the sky and keep them elevated as you perform a few sets of sit-ups.

Engaging your arms in this way makes the move extraordinarily difficult and taxing. You’ll get a lot more mileage out of this move versus traditional crunches.

6. L-Sits

The L-Sit is outrageously difficult to perform well, but if you can build your strength here, the benefits are phenomenal.

To perform an L-Sit, you’ll need a stable surface to press off of. You can do them on the floor, but it’s a little easier if you can elevate yourself on a pair of dumbbells, two sturdy chairs, or a similar apparatus.

Sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you. Lock your arms in place at your sides, palms on the ground or surface, and press. Bring your legs into the air, perpendicular to your upper body, using the tension from your locked arms.

Hold this position as long as possible for an intense strength building workout.

7. Stomach Vacuums

And now for something different!

It’s easy to work your front-facing abdominal muscles, but there is another muscle group in your core that’s frequently overlooked: The transverse abdominis.

This muscle isn’t visible through your skin, but it’s incredibly important in stabilizing your body, creating good posture, and holding your belly in tight to your spine.

To strengthen this muscle and get a flatter stomach, try stomach vacuums.[3]

Standing straight and tall. Exhale all of the air out of your body and simultaneously pull your belly in tight. Imagine sucking your belly button back into your spine.

You’ll feel the transverse abdominis engage. Hold as long as possible, rest and then repeat.

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8. Star Planks

Planks are too effective to not utilize multiple variations of them in your routine.

The star plank engaged similar muscles to the traditional plank, but is a lot harder to hold for time.

From the push-up or standard plank position, walk your feet out wide and your hands, as well.

Your body should form an X position. Elevate your core off the ground, squeeze tight, and hold for as long as possible.

9. Boat Pose

Yogis know all about core strength, so if you want a tighter tummy, you should take a page out of their playbook.

Boat pose is an extremely difficult isometric hold that builds exceptional balance and core power.

Star in sit-up position. Crunch yourself up toward your knees, then lift your feet off the floor until they’re about level with your face. Balance on your butt, squeeze your core, and hold this position as long as you can.

Your body should form a V with the only point of contact being your butt on the ground. Holding boat pose should be extraordinarily challenging!

10. Mountain Climbers

Ab work alone won’t shred stomach fat. But when you combine abs and cardio, that’s when you’re onto something magical.

Mountain climbers fit the bill if you’re looking to blast your core and also work up a good sweat.

Get down into plank position. With your arms locked and your body tight, drive one knee at a time off the floor, up toward your chest, and then back to its original position. Repeat in quick succession.

It should look like you’re climbing a hill, and it should exhaust you in a matter of seconds!

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11. Russian Twists

Finally, let’s give the obliques a little more love.

Get down into sit-up position and perform a crunch toward your knees. From here, lean back so your torso is at a 45 degree angle to the floor, clasp your hands in front of you, and twist side to side in rapid succession.

You’ll feel your obliques engage after just a few reps.

For a more difficult variation, lift your feet off the floor similar to boat pose while perform the move, or perform the twist using a heavy medicine ball for added resistance.

The Bottom Line

The biggest piece of the puzzle when it comes to six-pack abs is a low body fat percentage. That’s best accomplished by sticking to a smart diet and building your fully body strength.

However, if you want to improve your athleticism, overall strength, or even your longevity, you can afford to work your abs a bit more frequently — 3-4 times per week is perfect.

If you hit them hard enough, you’ll probably see some great improvement in definition as well!

Cranking out endless crunches is one way to go about core training, but there are so many better and more challenging moves you can try without ever having to leave your living room.

Give them a shot!

Featured photo credit: Luis Quintero via unsplash.com

Reference

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