How Busy Stay At Home Mums Can Get Fit : Being a full-time mum is extremely rewarding. Seeing your child smile for the first time, take their first steps, and chuckle fills you with pure joy – there are no other feelings that can rival them.
But on the flip side, you’ve got the sleepless nights, diaper changes, strict routines, and bath time. To make matters worse… your back and shoulder ache all the time… from frequently picking up your kid(s) and bending down to pick up toys.
I know what it’s like…
As a stay at home mum, it’s normal and essential to invest time into your child(ren) but what about you?
What about YOU time?
What about your health and fitness?
You deserve time to recharge and focus on goals that are truly important to you. And besides, you’ll be a better mum when your health improves because you’ll have more stamina, energy, and confidence – and you deserve it for all of the hard work you do each day.
In this article, we’re going to look at the common problems mums face regarding health and fitness but more importantly, how to overcome them…
Due to unpredictable sleeping hours, it’s common for stay at home mums to gain weight. Nick Screeton, a fitness expert and the founder of LEP Fitness says that “mums who sleep less than 6 hours per night are on average going to consume an extra 300 calories per day”. Over time, this leads to weight gain, which makes you feel even more tired, sluggish and, in 99% of cases, it negatively impacts your self-esteem.
All us mums know that conjuring up the motivation to workout after a long 12 hour day of changing diapers, cooking, cleaning, and playing is tough. This means that specific exercise falls to the wayside, and fatigue builds up, making you feel even worse than you already do.
Lack of Time
The only time you get to yourself each week is when your child naps or your partner takes over. In many cases, you may have only a couple of hours to yourself each week.
Lack of Money
Having children is expensive, diapers, clothes, food, toys, birthdays, prams, you name it! It soon adds up, it’s all well and good if you can afford it, but the reality is that lots of mums struggle enough as it is, and can’t afford to invest in a gym membership, hire a personal trainer, or buy good quality nutritional food.
While I appreciate that there are many obstacles…there are plenty of solutions too. And remember for every mum that’s using the above reasons not to get fit, there’s another mum out there whose making it happen. Remember the saying “Where there’s a will. There’s a way”?
Rather than focusing on all of the reasons you can’t get in shape, let’s focus on what you can do…
You can start small and build up. You don’t have to change your lifestyle overnight, but it’s essential to commit yourself to change and take action.
Imagine that you built up a bunch of positive health habits over the next 8-12 weeks. Your body shape starts to change. Your muscles feel firmer. You wake up with more energy, and your friends are noticing, “Hey, have you lost weight?” in which you can reply with a smile on your face, “yes, I have”.
So how do we make this a reality?…
Devote Time For You
Do you book in YOU time each week? If not, this is key. Invest in a diary and block out periods during the week for YOU. This is time without your little ones, where your partner takes over, or your mum babysits. Each week, factor in time, ideally 3-4x per week where you can go to a fitness class, do a home workout, or go for a run in the park.
Increase Your Steps
Walking does wonders for both your mind and body, and it’s something you can do as a parent. Set yourself a step goal each day (or five days per week) and aim to achieve it.
While many people say you should do 10,000 steps per day (around an hour of walking), I appreciate that this isn’t always feasible, maybe you’re tired or don’t have the stamina yet?
That’s fine. Just aim to do more than you usually do. You could start with 5,000 steps per day (around 30 mins) and build up over the next few months. I would recommend buying a Fitbit or an activity tracker so you can accurately monitor your progress. If you don’t want to do this, then most smartphones have a pedometer built-in.
Join A Group
There are lots of face to face and online mums fitness groups you can join. Whether you visit your local gym and do a fitness class or stay at home and join a Facebook fitness community, it’s up to you.
Being part of a group with like-minded people, such as mums who want to get fit, will help motivate you (you can see what other mums do to get fit) and help you build a support network.
Social connection is vital and can give you a boost, especially when so many stay at home mums feel isolated at home all day.
Stimulate Your Brain
Your mind and body go hand in hand, and it’s not just your physical fitness, but mental fitness too…
I know how tedious it can get playing with dolls, or tractors and diggers all day! You feel guilty, but there are only so many episodes of Peppa Pig one can watch, and it’s incredibly dull on the mind. Instead, why not download a podcast or listen to an audiobook?
Could you listen on your walk while your child sleeps in the pushchair? You can find some way to combine something that stimulates you. It could be a fiction book or a personal development book. I find that mums who work on themselves and factor in personal development time are much happier and productive parents. Here are six amazing audiobooks books that I recommend:
- Mindset – Carol Dweck
- Becoming – Michelle Obama
- Daring Greatly – Brene Brown
- Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway – Susan Jeffers
- What I Know For Sure – Oprah Winfrey
- The Silent Guides – Dr. Steve Peters
I know how tough it can be being a stay at home mum, I have two children myself (one who is nine months, the other three years old). Still, I can assure you that if you apply all of the above (or just one thing) mentioned in this post, it will create a positive change in your life that will lead to greater happiness and fulfillment. Make sure to invest time each week for YOU and your health and fitness. You’ll feel so much better for it, and you deserve it!
As a fellow parent, I want to say ‘well done’ – you are doing a great job, stay positive, and keep up the excellent work. Here’s to your future health and happiness.
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