By Rachel Ellen Green, CPT
Many women experience “mommy brain” due to many factors including the demands of parenting. Focusing on your physical health can be difficult when balancing kids, work, chores, and more. If you feel scatter-brained and low energy, try incorporating more exercise into your schedule. Exercising can improve your energy levels and brain function. How can you find time to exercise and stay consistent with your fitness goals as a busy mom?
Here are 8 tips to help you balance your familial responsibilities and your fitness as a mom:
Break up your workout
- You can get a full body workout in as little as 15 minutes. If you don’t have time for a full 15-30 minute workout, you can squeeze in 5 minute bouts of exercise during the day. Some movement is always better than no movement.
- Just a few squats or a short walk can get you through mental fatigue or an afternoon crash
- Do a 5-10 minute circuit during naptime
- It’s easy to reach for processed food in a hurry. Spend some time prepping healthy snacks and meals so you can make good choices on the go for you and your kids.
- Healthy foods such as, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and fish can improve brain health
Increase your non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT)
- This is the energy you expend during daily activity like, walking, doing chores, working, etc. You can increase NEAT by walking more, standing at your desk, etc.
- Park further away from the grocery store or work so you have to walk more.
- Take the stairs instead
Find a workout buddy or group classes
- Having a workout buddy or scheduled group classes can help keep you accountable.
- If you’re unsure of what to do to maintain your fitness goals, a group class can provide the exercises, so you don’t have to stress about it.
Bring the kids
- When you’re at the park or even playing at home, squeeze in a workout while watching the kids. The kids can even join by doing some movements with you or counting your reps.
- Take them out in a running stroller. You’ll get a good workout in and some fresh air.
Plan workouts ahead of time based on your schedule
- Workout early in the morning if you have a busy evening. This will also give you more energy throughout the day. In addition, exercising in the morning can prime the brain for learning throughout the day and prevent afternoon crashes.
- Planning your exercises ahead of time can help you reach your goals and stick to your plans.
- Creating goals will keep you motivated to workout consistently. It’s hard to stick to your workouts if you don’t have a reason to do so. Set a goal for a specific number of push-ups, squats, pull-ups, etc. by a certain date.
Find something you love
- Forcing yourself to do exercises you hate isn’t going to help you stick to your workouts. The best way to achieve your fitness goals is to find the workouts you love to maintain motivation and you’ll have fun.
Remember to keep moving and focus on your physical fitness for optimal brain health. For more information on ways to stay active and healthy as a mom, click here.
Rachel Ellen Green is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer. She works at LoHi Athletic Club in Denver, CO. In addition, she conducts online strength training sessions. Her goal is to change her clients’ physical and mental health through exercise. Rachel focuses on retraining the body to create functional movement patterns and strength building. Rachel has a passion for fitness, nutrition, and helping others. Her background is in martial arts, gymnastics, kickboxing, and more. Rachel is currently pursuing her Exercise Science degree from Metropolitan State University, Denver.