Most moms have very busy schedules. Moms are expected to do a lot of things every day. It’s not always easy to juggle a full-time career along with an active family, volunteering and other responsibilities and commitments. Working every day, taking care of things that need to get done at home, shopping and running errands, and spending time with family and friends has already taken a lot of most moms’ time and attention. Taking care of themselves and staying healthy, sometimes gets put on the back burner.
Even though life is busy, staying fit is still an important part of every mom’s life. Without enough energy and stamina, you can feel run down and overwhelmed by life. There are so many things going on at one time, it seems like there just isn’t enough hours in the day to get everything done at times. Taking care of ourselves is often neglected the busier that we are. Taking care of your body is far too important to be ignored.
With that in mind, here are ten easy ways for moms to help stay fit and healthy every day.
1. Get a good night’s sleep
This can be tough, especially for moms who have young children or who are working jobs with varying hours. Most moms get about 4-6 hours of sleep a night. Adding another hour or two of sleep daily not only makes you more rested, but allows your body to heal itself from the everyday stresses and strains and helps heal any aches, pains or nagging injuries.
Go to bed earlier, even if it means rescheduling a few activities from your daily schedule. If you can’t get a good eight hours of sleep every night, it’s fine to take a nap before dinner or on the weekend. While it’s hard to schedule a good night’s rest at times, making sure that you get a good night’s sleep is essential for a healthy lifestyle.
2. Eat healthy
A big part of feeling healthy is having a balanced, nutritious diet. Having a healthy diet means staying away from foods that are high in sugar and cholesterol. This also involves adding more natural foods like fruits and vegetables, especially organic varieties that are free of chemicals and pesticides. This may be more expensive initially, but eating healthier, saves money in terms of overall health costs in the long run.
You can even schedule healthy meals for your entire family, and add healthy, low-calorie snacks during times in the day when you need a little more energy to keep going. It may be extra work in the beginning, but planning healthy meals is a vital part of an active, healthy lifestyle.
3. Diets are OK
For moms who are trying to lose a few extra pounds or just trying to switch to healthier eating habits, diets are a perfectly acceptable option. There are diets with specific calorie limits, the Omad Diet (which stands for One Meal A Day), working mom diets and many other options. Talk to your doctor, health care professional or dietitian before starting any diet. Diets can be a great component of a healthy lifestyle, but not eating enough calories every day can help you feel tired, sluggish or lethargic.
Some diets may also require the purchase of meal plans or other things, so research each diet you are contemplating carefully. Make sure the time and dollars invested are worth it. Skipping meals is not acceptable, either. Your body needs enough food for you to make it through every day, and it has to work even harder if it doesn’t have enough fuel to keep it going. Stick to the diet plan, but don’t overcompensate if you miss a day or two, either. A cheat day once in a while isn’t bad, but definitely isn’t something that you should count on.
4. Exercise daily
No matter how busy your life is, there’s no excuse not to take some time out of every day to exercise. You don’t need to have a gym membership or run a few miles every day to stay active, either. There are very simple things you can do, like taking the stairs more often at home or in public, performing a few brief stretching exercises while performing chores at home, or just taking a brisk walk or jog around the neighborhood before supper.
If you have exercise equipment at home, you can even get a good workout in right before bed after the kids have gone to sleep. If you’ve had to cancel your morning run because of rain or snow, you can jog on a treadmill at the gym or run a few laps up and down the stairs or run in circles in the bedroom or other areas around your home. Just a few minutes of exercise every day help burn calories, build lean muscle and help you feel physically and mentally stronger.
5. Drink plenty of water
Water is a staple of any health regimen. Doctors recommend that adults drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day. This can be difficult to accomplish, but with practice and determination, you can easily add this to your daily schedule. Add water to your daily meal plan, it is a great healthy replacement for coffee, sugary sodas and alcohol. Water helps the body stay hydrated throughout the day, and has been proven to help improve energy levels and overall brain function. Pack a few bottles of water in the car for the next day trip or on your way to the gym. Water is an easy and important part of living a healthier life.
6. Get the whole family involved
When moms are working on making themselves feel healthier, they usually aren’t doing it alone. Your family wants you to feel your very best, so why not get the entire family involved in some healthy activities? Planning weekend trips or summer getaways to the cabin up north, a day at the zoo, an afternoon at the playground or time spent hiking or walking along the beach are all great ways to get everyone in the family involved in getting fresh air and vigorous exercise. Biking, swimming, running and playing sports are other great activities that don’t take a lot of time, either.
An impromptu game of tag or touch football in the backyard on the weekend is just some of the many great examples of fun, healthy activities to get everyone involved in physical activity. Every activity is a great way for the family to meld while helping to build stronger, healthier bodies at the same time. The more active your kids are the more alert and focused they are at school, and that generally means less time sitting around watching TV or playing video games. The more active they are, the better they feel as well.
7. Make time for yourself
This can be one of the hardest tasks for working moms to accomplish. It’s also one of the most necessary items for a healthy lifestyle. If you feel overworked or overstressed, then it’s time to take a timeout. You need a breather to mentally and physically recharge, even if it’s just for a few minutes at a time. Drop the kids off at the babysitters’ and have a night out with your partner or significant other.
Let your partner watch the kids or keep them busy for a few minutes while you work out or spend some quiet time alone. Take a few minutes after chores to read a book, meditate or take a relaxing bath. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you take the needed time to rest and recharge. You can’t be active every minute of every day, and you need to balance physical activity with time to rest.
8. Keep an open mind
You may think that you have the perfect fitness plan, a very healthy meal plan, and a terrific schedule. We finally feel like we have it all figured out. Everything is finally happening according to plan. But as we all know, life is far from perfect. Sometimes we have to deal with disruptions and other unexpected things that just happen. The sudden loss of a family member, a change of jobs or moving to another city or country can have major effects on ourselves and our families.
Instead of letting these changes you down, you have to stay positive, keep an open mind, and roll with the changes.
If you can’t get that workout done today, then do a few stretches in your free time and schedule your time at the gym for another day. Maybe your workout at home was broken up by a surprise visit from neighbors or family members. That’s okay, exercise when you can in moderation. If the healthy dinner that you planned tonight was canceled because of your child’s birthday party, it’s fine to splurge on a few foods from time to time that might not be so great for your diet once in a while. A little bad food every now and then isn’t dangerous. Just don’t let those interruptions or temporary setbacks derail your progress or stop your plans for living a healthy lifestyle.
9. Set goals
You can set goals for the number of calories to consume per day, how many calories that you want to burn off from your workouts or daily exercise, the number of reps you want to reach, the number of pounds you want to lift at the gym or your target weight goal at the end of a month, week, or year, for example. These are all great goals to work towards. You can track your progress on a calendar or journal. If you achieve a particular goal, celebrate it! If you don’t meet the results you planned for after a certain period of time, there’s no reason to feel like a failure.
That just means it’s time to look at how realistic your goals are and re-evaluate them. If you didn’t achieve a weight loss goal, for example, then it may be time to look at your diet and exercise or enlist the assistance of a coach or trainer to help you achieve your desired results. Set goals, adjust them when necessary and don’t give up!
10. Find space for yourself
You can make space in an extra room at home, the backyard, at the gym or other areas to dedicate yourself to your workouts and exercise every day. You can even do a few stretching exercises or easy yoga poses in the break room or at your desk at the office if you need to. Just make sure that you have uninterrupted time for getting your exercise in.
Finding that space for yourself will help you stay on track for achieving those daily fitness goals. You can even get the kids active as well. They can exercise while they’re picking up their toys, helping with dinner or finishing their chores in the backyard after school. By making sure they’re active, you can stay dedicated to your exercise commitments.
These are just a few of the many ways for busy moms to stay fit every day. There are a lot of websites, books, magazines, online videos and other resources with helpful information. See your doctor or physician or health care professional if you experience any pain, swelling or other discomforts during your exercise routine. Don’t ignore your body if it’s uncomfortable or in pain, it may be the sign of something serious.
Moms are asked to do a lot every day: they have to be great parents to their children, committed and faithful partners, hard workers on the job and devoted daughters, aunts, cousins, and friends, among other things. It can be hard to fit proper diet and exercise into your daily routine when you feel like you’re already stretched paper thin and feel like you just can’t add another thing to your busy lifestyle. Making time for a healthy, active lifestyle will not only give you more energy to focus on the dozens of things that you have to do every day, but it will also help keep you moving forward to feeling better, and knowing that you can take on anything that life throws your way.