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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 November 8, 2019

What to Eat After a Workout (Revealed by Professional Trainer)

What to Eat After a Workout (Revealed by Professional Trainer)

With a workout plan in place, it’s important to stay consistent while slowly progressing each week. You don’t want your training to get stagnant because, over time, as your body will become used to doing the same thing. Workouts need to be intense and focused in order to drive your results.

But the workout is just part of the equation. What you do after your workout is what will really help you to gain strength, build muscle, lose fat, and enhance your fitness. This is where rest, recovery, and most importantly, nutrition, are critical to achieving your goals.

This article will look at what to eat after a workout but, before we look into that, let’s understand what actually happens inside your body when you workout.

Why It Matters What You Eat After a Workout

You may think that training in the gym is where you build strength and muscle, but that’s not the case. The gym and the workout are what sets the stage in order for you to improve your body. When you workout, you’re putting the body through a form of stress. Your body adapts to this stress in various ways; it gets bigger, stronger, fitter, and leaner.

When you strength train, you are breaking down your muscle tissue on a microscopic level. The act of resistance training creates small tears in the muscle tissue. When these tears are repaired, they get a little bit bigger than they were before. This is the act of muscle gain happening on a micro level.

However, you don’t just break down the muscle tissue and expect it to repair back bigger than before. It requires proper nutrition, hydration, and recovery. This is why it’s important to focus on what to eat after a workout.

The same thing goes for enhancing your fitness and cardiovascular function. Engaging your muscles, and cardiovascular system allows them to push through plateaus and improve your fitness levels. This will also require proper nutrition to do so. The most important thing to remember from all of this is what you do at the end of one workout helps prepare you for the next one.

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What to Eat After a Workout to Gain Muscle

Protein is going to be one of the obvious choices here but it is only part of the equation. Protein does a lot of things in the body such as:

  • Building enzymes and hormones
  • Immune system function
  • Keeping hair and nails strong
  • The building block for skin, bones, ligament, and cartilage
  • Balancing fluids
  • Maintaining proper pH
  • Transporting and storing nutrients

And in our interests in regards to fitness, it helps to build and repair muscle. Those microscopic tears in the muscle tissue require protein in order to build back larger and stronger than before.[1] When you are finished working out, your muscles are like a sponge and are wanting to absorb protein to replenish and repair.

So after a workout, you want to make sure you get a serving of protein within 30 to 60 minutes. There’s varying information about how long you can wait and still get the benefits of protein, but why wait when you’re trying to structure your workouts and meals? It’s true you don’t need protein the second you’ve finished your last rep, but you want to consume some relatively soon after training.

Since your muscles are a sponge, it makes sense to get some easily digestible nutrition in after a workout. This allows your body to make use of it quicker and not have to spend a long time digesting, absorbing, and transporting those nutrients. Protein shakes can be very helpful in this situation, but they’re not absolutely necessary. Think of protein shakes as convenience and time-saver for those situations when getting adequate protein intake may be more difficult.

The Best Protein Sources and How Much You Need

Some good post-workout protein sources include:[2]

  • Eggs
  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Grilled chicken
  • Oatmeal and whey or plant-based protein
  • Cottage cheese

As far as how much you need to consume, the recommended amounts involve consuming 0.14 to 0.23 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight in that first meal 30 to 60 minutes after a workout.[3] If you weigh 150 pounds, your post-workout protein requirement would be 21 to 35 grams of protein.

This will help decrease muscle protein breakdown and increase muscle protein synthesis. Muscle protein synthesis is basically just a way to say growth, but it’s where the hard work from the gym is created.

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How Many Carbs Do You Need?

Whereas protein is important for muscle recovery, carbohydrates help to refuel your body and muscles. When you work out, you use the glucose that is stored in the muscle and liver as glycogen. Intense workouts deplete these glycogen stores and your post-workout nutrition helps to restore them.

The type of activity you do will determine how much glycogen is required. High endurance activities like swimming, running, and cycling will require more than resistance training (though resistance training still will use it). After intense workouts that have more of a cardiovascular emphasis, you will want to consume 0.5 to 0.7 grams of carbs per pound of body weight. For the 150 pound person, this ends up being 75 to 105 grams of carbs.

A good combination is consuming carbs and protein together after a workout as the combination of the two can lead to more insulin secretion. This insulin secretion allows for more protein and glycogen to be uptaken by the muscles and this results in better repair and replenishment.

Your best carb choices after a workout will be the ones that are absorbed a bit faster and are easily digestible. Look for things like:

  • Oatmeal
  • Rice cakes
  • White rice
  • Chocolate milk
  • Regular and sweet potatoes
  • Fruit
  • Quinoa

What Not to Eat After a Workout

Since you have depleted your body from exercise, you want to restore as many nutrients as possible. Not only will this help nourish the body but, it’s clearly needed for improvements to fitness and physique. Consuming nutritionally devoid foods will not help to accomplish this.

Manufactured, processed, and junk foods are the ones that are devoid of nutrients. They are full of artificial ingredients, additives, and chemicals and will not help to replenish the body. They are also full of calories that are more likely to end up stored as body fat. They will also not fill you up because your body will still be requiring the nutrients that it deserves.

You will continue to be hungry for those nutrients your body craves and it will result in overeating. This is the opposite effect you want to have, especially after exercising in the hopes of getting fitter, leaner, and stronger.

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What to Drink After a Workout

Water is always going to be your best bet before, during, and after working out. Sports drinks are often consumed, but if the workout hasn’t been that intense, you are probably taking in more calories than needed – and often more than you burned.

Sports drinks can have a place, especially if it’s intensely vigorous exercise outside in the heat. This type of training can cause your body to lose a lot of water along with electrolytes through sweat. A sports drink is the easiest way to replenish all of this in those conditions.

However, water will still be a sufficient choice. Water does a lot of things besides keeping you hydrated, such as:

  • Regulating body temperature
  • Transport of nutrients
  • Circulation
  • Digestion and absorption
  • Cognitive functions

Water also helps with performance and recovery. If you are playing a competitive sport, and allow yourself to become dehydrated, this can affect your decision making and thought process. This is when you start to make plays and decisions you normally wouldn’t. This is why you want to make sure to drink through your exercise consuming 7 to 10 ounces every 10 to 20 minutes.

After your workout, you want to consume at least 8 ounces of water. When drinking water in relation to exercise, you don’t want to chug it but sip it.

Drinking water too fast can lead to cramping. You want to think of it the same way you would water a plant. When you water a plant you sprinkle on the water. If you dump it all on it just floods and pools and this is a similar impact that happens in your body.

Another tip is to drink water that is room temperature, so it’s not a shock to the body – like ice water is – when consumed.

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How Long Should I Wait to Eat After a Workout to Lose Weight?

Even if weight loss is your goal, you still need to replenish your body with carbs and protein. These are both important in the healing and recovery process, and will also prepare your body for its next workout. However, you may be able to wait a bit longer to consume them.

If you’ve been doing any form of cardio, fasted cardio, or high-intensity interval training, your body gets to a state where it’s still able to burn calories and body fat after the workout is done. The act of burning fat is called lipolysis and you want to ride this wave after your workout.[4] If you eat immediately following training, you can interrupt this process. But you also do n’t want to wait too long as your body still requires nutrition.

Waiting the same amount of time –30 to 60 minutes after a workout to eat – will allow your body to get the most fat-burning benefits from the workout. It’s also important not to go more than 2 hours after a workout without eating as you’ll start to undo the progress you made from the workout.

Final Thoughts

Exercise and nutrition need to go hand-in-hand if you’re looking for results. Whether it’s muscle gain, fat loss, improved fitness, or all of these things, it’s vitally important to pay attention to what you eat after a workout.

A priority needs to be made on protein and carbohydrates and the timing of these things will help determine your success. Avoiding the things that will set you back in your progress is also critical. Consistency and discipline with training and nutrition will be the magical combination to get the most out of your workouts.

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Featured photo credit: Ryan Pouncy via unsplash.com

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