Getting Results Around Busy Family Life
It’s simpler than you think.
By Kelly Rennie
The most common excuse for a mum is that they don’t have time to exercise.
On the surface, this seems to make sense. As a busy mum myself, I understand what it’s like rushing from one thing to the next, dropping kids off and keeping the house tidy whilst juggling work commitments. It’s tough but is it really true that we don’t have time to look after ourselves?
In my instance, the ‘not enough time’ excuse is usually a surface explanation for something deeper, usually lack of motivation or lack of enjoyment whilst exercising. Going deeper still, ‘not having enough time’ is usually a sort of subconscious fear-based conditioning. This has its roots in low self-esteem and negative self-reinforcement. Our bodies change a lot when we have kids and the sudden differences can be tough to deal with emotionally.
The first step to changing this ‘not enough time to exercise’ habit is to simply do what you CAN do. Whether that is five minutes of light exercise as soon as you wake up or an hour after the children have gone to bed. It’s important to understand that there is always enough time to do something.
As busy as we are, we somehow still find the time for television, Facebook or even cleaning. This is simply because there aren’t any barriers (emotional of physical) to these activities.
Most mums get to the point where they are in denial about their health. A lot of this, frankly, comes down to poor time management and the holding on to fear. The fear you’ll get hurt, or be humiliated. The fear of failure.
The best way you can look at this as a busy mum is focusing on your long-term health. You want more energy? You want to look younger? You want less doctor’s appointments? Your health has to be a priority and a flexible, lifestyle approach is a must.
Follow the steps below to get started.
1. MAKE A PLAN
The best way to achieve any goal is to write it down and commit to it. Decide on the best time for exercise in your schedule and actually enter it into your computer or mobile phone calendar as a repeat event. Even if it’s as little as a six-minute workout. Look at it as a step forward to creating better habits for yourself and your life. Soon enough you’ll want to do more and will find the time!
2. FIND TEN MINUTES
Even if your days are chaotic (and they usually are) always take 10-20 minutes for yourself. As a mum, it almost becomes second nature to put everything before our own needs but this can be counter-productive. Self-love and care is extremely powerful and transmits to everyone around you as positive energy. It can change your life!
Maybe it’s an Epsom salts bath, reading a book, facemask or just lying on the bed doing some deep breathing. Whatever it is, this will help steer the rest of your day in a positive direction.
3. LIMIT SCREEN TIME
Whether it’s flicking through TV channels or scrolling up and down on your Facebook feed, screen time is generally wasted time. Start to limit the amount of time you sit in front of them. Instead, start using those extra ten minutes to be active or positive in some way. A good way to get this started is to set a time limit for your screen time.
4. Multi-task AND exercise
If you really have to get your TV fix in, why not exercise whilst you watch. Get the exercise mat out and do some yoga stretches, or even a quick circuit workout to kick-start some fat loss. Making this a habit is easy enough. Simply keep portable fitness equipment, such as kettlebells, resistance bands and jump ropes, in a handy area near the TV. You could even use the commercial breaks as a timer for cardio intervals!
5. Get help and delegate
Look at what chores you have in the house and see what your partner and kids can do to help. Don’t put the world on your shoulders. Can the kids do laundry? Can your spouse cook dinner? Don’t think you’re the only one who can do all of the things you’re currently doing – chances are you’re not and you shouldn’t be.
6. EXERCISE with the kids
Kids will always have a smile on their face when it comes to movement and fun, so get them involved. Whether it’s a ‘mums and bubs’ club, a bike ride, or a run in the park, your kids will jump straight in and keep you going! Exercise doesn’t have to be boring and solitary at all. Make it fun for everyone and you are much more likely to keep doing it in the long-term.
7. Get Creative
One of the tricks to having enough time is to create an exercise routine that fits around immediate family life. For example, whilst picking up toys and towels off the floor, increase your glute and leg strength by doing squats instead of bending at the waist. Calf raises whilst cooking anyone? One of my personal favourites is doing some overhead lifts whilst running upstairs to change a nappy. It will make your child laugh too, which is always a bonus!
8. Love What You Do
One of the hard truths about exercise is that most people just don’t like it. For example, don’t assume you’re a runner just because your best friend loves to run. Find something that suits your lifestyle and that makes you smile, then go back for more. Once you understand your fitness personality, you’ll be able to identify activities you actually enjoy. Squeezing them into your schedule won’t be nearly as hard.
9. Get up early
Always try to exercise first thing if you can, when you have no other commitments or time pressures. It sounds horrible right now but, trust me, if you get into the habit, it will make this whole healthy lifestyle thing a lot easier. If you’re anything like me, exercising in the afternoon after a hectic day is a no-no.
10. HIIT IT
You don’t need a gym or equipment to workout. You can literally do it anywhere and with anything! Utilise high intensity interval training (HIIT) to get the most out of the time that you have. It takes less than 30 seconds to do 15 push-ups or a plank which, when you come to think about it, isn’t much time at all. Over time the results add up too! Plan your work and work your plan.
Kelly is an international coach, fitness model, author of The Fit Mummy Manual and creator of the number one busy mum program. She is a mother to two gorgeous girls, Nevaeh and Eden, and aims to empower mums across the world with her holistic approach to life, mindset and health. For more information visit www.busymumfitness.com or find her on Facebook or Instagram: kellyrenniefit