Here is your Busy Mums Guide To Exercise..

As a Mum, your life can feel full to the brim with work commitments, household tasks, arrangements with family and friends and maybe fitting in some time for a shower now and then!

With so many plates to spin, keeping up an exercise routine can feel like a chore, especially when you can’t find the time or energy to expend. But the purpose of this article isn’t to add more to your agenda or shame you for not ‘doing it all’, it’s to help guide you to an exercise commitment that feels more uplifting than draining, and more integrated than oppressive.

What if you could create a plan that returned great sensations, feelings of personal accomplishment and a long-term commitment? Would you go for it?

If it’s a YES, great! To start, we need a vision and a realistic plan to connect you with the commitment needed to manifest a positive outcome.

So, lets get cracking:

Step One: Start with the end in mind.

A positive mental attitude may not be enough. We have to truly visualise our future and see the positive impact of exercise and healthy behaviour.

What’s the overarching theme of this goal?

Is it to stay fit? Impact body composition? Be able to keep up with the kids? Or, is it finding some time for yourself?

Once you have this in mind, go a bit deeper. What will be your end result?

The goal should be something quantifiable and tangible. Here are some ideas and examples:

Goals for Staying Fit

  • For the last month, I have taken an average of 10,000 steps a day.
  • 3 times a week, I do Pilates before the kids get up.

Goals for Impacting Body Composition

  • For the last month I strength trained 2 x each week.
  • I drink 2.5 litres of water a day.

Goals for Keeping Up with the Kids

  • I am in bed and asleep before 2230 each evening.
  • I walk around the lake in less than 45 minutes.

Goals for Finding Some Time for Yourself

  • I have been at Yoga each week for the last month.
  • I walk slowly in nature for 10 minutes each day.

So, what’s your goal?

Make sure it’s written down, positively stated and in the present tense. It’s also worth letting people around you know what you’re up to, as this will create a support network that could give you that extra push.

Step Two: Know your why.

A lot of fitness success is founded in creating change, then seeing the rewards that come with these changes. However, change can often come with sacrifice, and sacrifice can be difficult, which leads to the risk of relapse.

At these times, you need to remember your why…

Your why is the deep lying, big picture reason behind your goals. This is the thing that drives your change and becomes your motivation at times of challenge.

What is your why?

If your goal is to keep up with your kids, is your why the desire to be present for your family? If your goal is to find some time for yourself, is your why to find personal growth during time you feel is not your own? Do you want to move away from a particular health risk? Or, do you thrive on challenge?

Your why is the reason why your change and sacrifice is worth it. It’s a decisional balance. Certainty in your why will outweigh your challenges and be the glue that makes your changes stick.

Step Three: Plan your commitment.

Once you’ve set your goal, and spent a little time contemplating your why, it’s time to plan your minimum weekly commitment to your exercise and health practice.

Find ways to implement a routine that integrates with your current life. For example, walking the kids to school instead of driving, exercising before they wake up etc.

Remember to start your efforts slowly and allow the challenge of your exercise to grow organically over time. Nothing meaningful is created with a short-term approach; make decisions that are long term and encourage continuity.

A great habit is to keep a training diary or a completion calendar, tick off your successes and record your numbers. Over a period of time we always forget how far we’ve come and looking back on a series of successes does wonders for our self-belief.

Step Four: Get some guidance

Despite the challenge, there’s always good reason for exercise.

Before you became a busy mum, you may have enjoyed long sweaty workouts. Now that your time is a bit more limited, it’s necessary to be a little more targeted with your training.

If you can only exercise twice a week for 30 minutes, it’s best to ensure that your time is used wisely. Identify your weakest areas and work on those to ensure the lack of time doesn’t mean lack of progress. For example, if you’re struggling with stability, Pilates would be a great choice. If you’re particularly tight, try yoga.

If time allows, it’s worth booking some time with a trainer or attending a class, as your efforts will be directed, and every movement will be made more effective.

Step Five: Be good to yourself

Remember, we always overestimate what we can achieve in a day, but we underestimate what we can achieve in a year. Missing a session or two will not keep you from your goal when you have continuity over a long period of time.

There is no failure in missing a day of exercise. Simply remember your why and the long-term project. Ultimately, this whole process is about putting yourself and your needs first.

Remember your why, and remember that we are made to move 😊

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