I'm not a mum but I have a lot of super mums in my life including friends, family and about 95% of my client base so when I write articles and social media posts, I try to factor in all those funny (or not so funny) stories I hear of crazy morning attempts to drag kids out of the house with both shoes on, fussy eaters at dinner time and waking 4 or 5 times at night to crying babies. The reality is that having kids completely throws your routine out of whack so I'm sure as a mum when you hear the words "exercise daily" or "eat clean," it's not always that straight forward.
So here's the thing. You can still be fit and healthy while keeping it real. It is possible to exercise and eat wholesome foods without prepping three separate dinners or spending hours in the gym every day. It's the small changes you make in your day to day that make the real difference and unless you're in the market to become the next Michelle Bridges then these simple tips will help you find a balance between taking care of yourself and taking care of the ones you love.
1. Get active with your social group. If you socialise regularly with a group of mums (or anyone) then why not add some exercise into your catch ups? You could go for a walk with the pram or organise a group personal training session in the park. Exercising with a group of friends can be so much more fun than exercising alone and it's a great way to get the kids moving (and for them to see you moving!) too.
2. Keep your meals simple. So the kids will only eat spag bowl this week? No worries. Don't make something separate for yourself, save time and eat the bolognaise with salad instead of the spaghetti. Or spiralise some zucchini and add that to the meat instead. It's about saving time to make it a long term solution and minimising the time you spend in the kitchen.
3. Do what you can, when you can. You might be able to get a full 60 minutes of exercise in during the day when bub is napping or you may be lucky to fit in 10! As you know, every kid is different in terms of routine so you may need to work around that by doing what you can, when you can. A little bit of something is better than nothing and exercise can be done in small pockets throughout the day if that's all the time you have. One of my clients, for example used to do 15 squats every time she went to the loo. That all adds up by bedtime!
4. Lose the "it's too difficult" mentality. Keeping ourselves fit and healthy is more important than it's ever been. We don't have to forage for our dinner anymore and Netflix is much more tempting than going for a run (tell me about it) so sometimes we have to kick ourselves up the butt just a wee bit. I hear a lot of excuses for why people don't exercise and some of them are legitimate such as serious health concerns or injury BUT to be honest, you won't get moving if you don't lose the attitude that it's 'just too hard' with kids. Remember that you don't have to train for hours every day to make it worth it. As long as you're moving your body and staying active regularly then you are making a difference which brings me to my next point...
5. Keep it real. It's ok if you can't work out every day! Some days there are things that come up like sick kids or lack of sleep and resting might be more important than swinging a kettlebell around. Exercise will give you more energy and if you do something every day you'll be happier and healthier but you gotta keep it real. Look after yourself when you need to and know when it's time to rest and when it's time to put your sneakers on and get outside.
Exercise is a must in my life because being a trainer I know all the bad things that can happen to us if we don't stay active. As we get older, those bad things can impact us in ways that are literally the difference between life and death. I'm not talking about entering a bodybuilding competition or squatting your own body weight, I'm talking about moving and using your muscles every day so you can stay strong, be active with your kids, teach your kids the importance of healthy living and live a long and happy life.
Here's to a happy, healthy and strong you; all while keeping it real,