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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 March 8, 2019

How Adding Flow Yoga to Your Workout Routine Boosts Your Gains

How Adding Flow Yoga to Your Workout Routine Boosts Your Gains

When we fall into a workout routine, our moves become automatic, and the body quickly adapts. This is called muscle memory.[1] While teaching your body how to properly execute squats, push-ups, or crunches is a benefit, overly relying on these moves to consistently grow gains won’t yield the kind of results you want. That’s because the muscles work in the same way every time.

Simply put, they’re not being “surprised,” so they get lazy.

Supplementing your routine with flow yoga is one way of surprising your muscles, especially if you are new to the yoga practice and have never tried the postures. It’s like taking a new road home when you drive, deviating from your usual route. Science has found that by doing so, you’re creating new neuropathways in your brain.[2] The same is done in your muscles when you try a new routine.

How is this done? Let’s dive right into it.

How Flow Yoga Boost Your Gains in Your Workout Routine

Think about your current workouts:

If you lift weights, you rely on external tools to engage your various muscle groups. Over time, your shoulders, legs, or biceps will come to expect the weighted plates or dumbbells, in the repetitive sequences that you remember.

In flow yoga, we use the body as the weight. Add gravity and hundreds of different postures and combinations, and you have a workout that uses the same muscle groups, but in many different ways.

A pose such as plank is a full-body workout, with every muscle engaged to keep the body in one long line. While it’s a stationary pose, it requires muscle control and activation, with no room for passivity.

    A Flow sequence, on the other hand, requires your muscle to switch from one pose to another swiftly, providing you with a more balanced and wholesome use of your major muscle groups.

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    Not only do these poses and routines re-energize the body in a refreshing way, they also allow you to learn something new, which is powerful for the mind.

    Bottom line? Complementing your exercise regimen with flow yoga is like hitting the shuffle button on your workouts, using your muscles in ways that “surprise” them, which in turn boost their growth and performance.

    Energizing Flow Yoga with Added Cardio

    Flow yoga is also known as “Vinyasa.”[3] In Sanskrit – the sacred language of the practice and its Indian roots – Vinyasa is roughly translated to “one breath, one movement.”

    This guideline, first and foremost, enhances your breathing, and teaches you how to go from our typical shallow, chest-only breathing, to a more deeper, belly-chest breath that uses the entire lung system.

    Not only is this beneficial for a myriad of healthcare reasons (combat allergies, eliminate toxins, reduce stress, ease anxiety), it also greatly impacts our muscles,[4] and therefore our workout.

    Flooding your muscles with rich oxygen will only keep them healthy, while the cardio benefit will get you warmed up to take on the more challenging postures in a flow yoga class. This prevents injuries and cramping.

    The best example of energizing cardio in flow yoga is the Sun Salutation sequence. Each pose is completed on an inhale or an exhale, until the sequence is finished. One full sequence may be repeated several times, encouraging you to take fuller and deeper breaths. The cycles warm up and loosen the body and prepare the muscles for stationary poses that are held longer.

    Here’s how to do a Sun Salutation Flow:

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    Due to the Sun Salutations, the muscles are not thrown into a challenging workout, but rather primed and prepared with energizing breath.

    Why is this important, you ask? Because happy muscles are warmed-up muscles.

    The Best Thing About Flow Yoga

    The best thing about practicing flow yoga? You’re building strength and flexibility.

    Strength and flexibility are like the Mecca of a wholesome workout routine. Before we get into why this is important, let’s break these two down individually to see how they stand up on their own:

    Meet Strong Stan

    Strong Stan is at the gym, doing bicep curls with massive dumbbells. His muscles have peaked in size, and he proudly displays them.

    While he loves to lift weights, Strong Stan often skips stretching or warm-ups. He just doesn’t see how that could help him continue his muscle gains, so he jumps right into a heavy workout.

    While it’s not evident to a passerby, Stan’s muscles are hurting. Without sufficient flexibility or deliberate stretching, Stan’s muscles are shortening and getting tighter. This eventually leads to joint injuries,[5] because un-stretched muscles have limited range of motion.

    Big muscles are a sure indicator of strength, but here’s the kicker – choosing not to prioritize flexibility will keep them inherently at risk.

    Meet Flexible Fiona

    Flexible Fiona is in a flow yoga class, easing herself into a backbend.[6] She effortlessly gets into the pose, and “hangs” out there for a few breaths while the teacher cues the class.

    Even though the teacher instructs the students to engage their glutes and be mindful that this is an active pose, Flexible Fiona opts otherwise, and relaxes into the posture by sacrificing the strength she ought to be building.

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    To many in the class, Fiona’s execution of the backbend would be a success – maybe even something to envy. However, what Fiona doesn’t realize is that her excessive flexibility is actually a detriment to her joints.[7]

    Flexibility has been defined as the “absolute range of motion” by Tony Gummerson, Martial Arts instructor. For people who are naturally flexible, that line of absolute range is often blurry and, in practice, overlooked.

    It’s very easy for Fiona to go above and beyond her range of motion, since her flexibility parameters are much wider than what Strong Stan may experience in a similar pose.

    Because she doesn’t feel the stretch in the same degree of motion as other students in class, Fiona has to push the envelope of her flexibility. This puts too much pressure on the joints that are already overworked, and it overstretches the muscles that are now prone to tearing.

    Your goal is to create muscle and joint balance and wholeness.

    What Strong Stan and Flexible Fiona have in common is that they’re both missing vital pieces of muscle awareness.

    In Stan’s case, heavy and tight muscles crave flexibility. Without it, not only would Stan hit a plateau in his gains because of a sure injury, but he would miss out on having the lean and toned muscles that we all want to have.

    In Fiona’s case, her overstretched muscles are not getting a workout at all. Rather, her excessive flexibility is resting on her joints, which leads to definite injury.

    So what can you do? It’s quite simple.

    You have to give your muscles the opposite of what they’re used to.

    If you’re a Stan and hate stretching, focusing on your flexibility is key. You will lengthen your tight muscles, and you’ll create new muscle memory by practicing routines that are new to you and your muscle groups.

    If you’re a Fiona and hate strengthening, focusing on this priority is vital. Your muscles are used to being passive as you stretch, so shaking up the usual and putting them to work will not only keep you injury-free, but that much closer to the muscle gains you’ve been looking for.

    Fortunately, flow yoga is the whole package, and can be the one-stop-shop for both Stan and Fiona.

      Final Thoughts

      If you’re serious about using flow yoga to supplement your workout routine to boost gains, sign up for a class at your local gym or yoga studio. There are a number of styles of yoga to try, but as we’ve discussed in this article, the Vinyasa style is your best bet to complement a moderate exercise regimen.

      Many studios offer beginner-style Vinyasa classes, where the instructor will explain the basics, and break down the sequences in a pace that is suitable for entry-level students. From here, the student can build upon their practice, and opt for more challenging, fast-paced classes, such as Power Flow or Ashtanga.

      Working out is a lesson in teaching your muscles. The gains that we grow are the result of that experience, and it all comes down to conditioning our body in a way that is healthy, efficient, and balanced.

      With a practice like flow yoga, we can offer supplemental training to our current regimen that will work our muscles in ways that are new, refreshing, and “surprising.” This method will keep our muscles toned and lean, as long as we prioritize the balance between strength and flexibility to ensure that we’re meeting both of these needs. Our muscle gains and body health depend on it.

      More Resources About Yoga and Fitness

      Featured photo credit: Edit Sztazics via unsplash.com

      Reference

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