10 Mommy Workout Tips

Posted by Erin K. | Thursday, February 14, 2013

When I was pregnant, one of my favorite things to do was hike up the hill behind my house. I used that time to talk to my baby, reflect on all the changes happening in my body and in my life and to invest in both mine and my baby’s health.

Before I go much further, I must admit that I’m a workout person. I've always found it to be stress-relieving and sometimes its the only “me time” I get in my day. Growing up I participated in sports and learned early on that to be a good athlete, you can’t take an off-season. The best way to succeed in sports is to never get out of shape. Same goes when you’re an adult. It’s always easier to stay in shape than it is to get back into shape.

So while I was pregnant and once I was able to move after having a baby, I made it a priority to exercise. Even if the workout was small compared to what I used to do, I figured something was better than nothing. This choice was something that I believe made my transition into mommyhood much more enjoyable.

Of course, not everyone loves working out. But everyone CAN do it. And when I say ‘stay in shape’ I don’t mean not allowing your body to change or expecting to look like you did before baby number one or two or three. It’s not healthy to have unrealistic expectations. However, it’s good to do things that keep you feeling strong, healthy and empowered on a regular basis.

So, here are some practical tips to help you in your journey towards becoming a stronger, even more fit momma!

1- Abs are a way of life
I went to the chiropractor last week because my back had been bothering me and I learned a few things:

-A few times throughout the day, stand with your back against a wall. Make sure your heels are touching the wall, as well as the rest of your body. Then stand up tall, shoulders back, pelvis tucked in. As you stand like this, your abs will engage slightly. This is how your posture should be all day long. If you stand like this, with your abs engaged, your core will become stronger and your back will thank you.

-When you pick up your kids, use your abs not your back.

-If you want to multi-task and avoid laying down on the carpet to do crunches, try this: Stand up tall and lightly engage your abs. While keeping your abs firm, take 10 deep breaths in and out through your nose. Let the breath go into your stomach, not your chest. As you do this, you will feel your abs fighting to hold their form. The first time I did this I was sore the next day, no joke! You can do this as you stand in line at the grocery store, while you’re in the shower or anywhere!

2- Exercise as a family
Think Elementary School PE class here. Bear crawl around your living room. Do the crab walk. Jump up and try to touch the ceiling. Create stations and use a timer or make it a competition. Create an obstacle course. The goal here is for you to get some exercise while having fun with your family. It’s also a great opportunity to teach your children the importance of exercise.
Or, simply put on some music and have a dance party for ten minutes!

3- Use those pajama, no make up days as workout days
Some days I just don’t feel like getting ready. On these days I throw on some yoga pants and a t-shirt and I do my best to use it as an opportunity to get a little workout going. Throw your kids in the stroller and take a walk/jog or turn on a workout video while the kiddos take a nap or crawl all over you.

4- Stick with the basics
Push ups, squats, lunges…don’t think that to workout you need to do something fancy. Try doing 30 of each throughout the day sometimes for an easy way to tone up.

5- Plan a no-fuss dinner and head to a class
If you’re a mom that likes to get away once in a while, plan a night with your spouse where you can attend a class at a local gym. For me, I found a local hot yoga gym that offers a Friday night happy hour class. I get half off a drop-in rate so it’s much more affordable. Also a climbing gym down the street from me offers a $5 Ladies Night every Tuesday. So when it works with my schedule, I let my husband watch our son so I can go by myself or with a friend.

6- Eat Like A Fit Person
I don’t know about you, but after I have a big, heavy meal the last thing I want to do is move…at all. So if you’re feeling sluggish, try eating something light and healthy like veggies with hummus, a yogurt smoothie or a seed & nut bar. If you eat foods that give you energy and are easily digested you’ll probably be more likely to feel like being active when the opportunity arises.

7- Walk faster
Let’s be honest, sometimes as a busy mom it’s really difficult to find the time to workout. And other times we have the time, but we just really don’t feel like.
If you’re not up for something more vigorous, just go for a walk. But try to walk at a quicker pace for all or part of your walk. If you’re pushing a stroller full of kids this will be even more of a challenge!

8- Invest in a good stroller and baby carrier
If you don’t have the necessary tools to exercise, you won’t. So invest in a stroller or baby carrier that you enjoy using. For me, it was important to have a three wheel stroller with big, inflatable wheels that could tackle any terrain. For you it may be different, but if you hate your stroller, start looking for one, new or used, that will better suit your needs.

9- Breastfeeding
The longer you do it, the more easy calories you burn. I realize that not everyone is able to breastfeed as long as others, but if you can, it’s a great way to burn an extra 500-2,000 (estimates vary) calories per day! Wow!

10- Give yourself some credit
Everyday as a mom you are moving. While many Americans are stuck behind a desk all day, you are bending down, reaching up, moving kids around, picking up toys, preparing meals, chasing toddlers and doing chores. So if you do find yourself stuck in a rut, give yourself some credit for everything you ARE doing! Sometimes being a mom is some pretty good exercise by itself!

  1. Sandy VanHoey February 18, 2013 at 7:38 AM  

    Great tips! I tend to have such a difficult time with exercising. I was walking a lot but seems after a month or two, I quit. It would probably be a fun thing to do with my grandson since he has so much energy. I wouldn't have time to collect my thoughts since he never quits talking but we'd have fun

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