How To Add Exercise Into Your Already Busy Life

Being active every day is a great step towards better overall health.

Finding a balance in motherhood and life can be difficult! Between the busy appointments, cooking food, school drop offs, cleaning the house, and whatever priorities your might have, it is important to keep your body healthy! Physical activity is not only a stress reliever, it helps us sleep better, improve memory, and increase happiness! These are improvements we would all LOVE, right?

According to the Canadian Mental and  Physical Health Guide, it is recommended that adults have at least 2 ½ hours of moderate to vigorous physical activity a week. Children and youth should have 60 minutes a day!

Good thing is, you don’t have to start all at once! Take a few minutes to find some great exercises or activities that suit your body and lifestyle.

Start slow so you don’t overwhelm yourself. If you want to create a good and enticing habit, beginning with something doable and easy will help you maintain focus and strength. If you start too fast or with too much of a time commitment, it is easier to lose focus and burn out. Something none of us want!

When deciding on a daily fitness routine, ask yourself these questions:

What is my goal?

Can I make time for myself during the day?

Are there every day tasks that I could incorporate exercise into?

What are ‘time wasters’ that take up space throughout my day?

My goal of exercising everyday is to feel active, take care of my mental health, and also take time to meditate.

I enjoy feeling happier, sleeping better at night, and getting outside as much as I can. Although I am not trying to lose weight, or have any prominent health issues, I do know that I am prone to feeling the ‘baby blues’. We live in a basement suite right now, so being able to get outside as much as possible is something very important for my mental health. Over the winter it was difficult for me to feel happy and motivated.  Here is an important link to an article I wrote about How To Survive Winter With A Baby. There will be many days you may feel like a mole rat because you can’t go outside in -25 weather. It’s easy to feel sorry for ourselves and wallow in sadness. Take better care of yourself! Get up every morning and get dressed. Do things that help make you feel happy and motivated!

Don’t we all feel the ‘baby blues’ every now and then?

Approximately 70-80% of women will at some point experience the baby blues after a child is born. These negative feelings and mood swings can last a couple hours a day every now and then. Or last for months or even years if not attended to. Please speak with your physician if it is affecting you greatly. I know that as I keep a level mind and – somewhat – of a balance in my life, I have less mood swings, I don’t feel as sad, and I enjoy my time with my family.

Fitness is a key part of my daily routine. Without it, I feel unaccomplished and lazy. Truth be told, I normally spend about 10 minutes at a time doing exercise. Unless I can go outside for a run or to the park, I am at home with my baby. I also babysit another child during the week, so this also makes it difficult to focus on ‘me time’. 

I believe that if you WANT this bad enough, you will make time or squeeze in a few minutes here and there. Check out my favorite YouTube workout videos for several short and fun workouts from home!

What if I just don’t feel motivated?

Make a plan for YOU

It is nice to have a schedule so you can plan out what you want to get done. I don’t suggest putting a time stamp or limit on any tasks throughout the day because I know how busy and distracted we can get! 

Try making a list of tasks you would like to accomplish; exercise being one of them.

Keep this list close so that throughout the day you can complete your tasks without forgetting. – Remember to be flexible!

Try it out!
Something is better than nothing. Instead of watching TV and wondering if you’ll ever start your goal, just get up and DO IT! If you discover that the workouts are too long, too difficult, or you feel hungry or anxious, then make the needed changes. 
 
Shorten your exercises and do some in the morning and some in the afternoon. Make sure you have eaten a good wholesome breakfast in the morning to encourage brain activity. Try out some of my recipes for a good healthy meal.
 
Do you feel anxious? Find a space in your home, or backyard where you feel safe and motivated. I know that if I workout in the bedroom I can get more done. Unless I am watching a workout video on the TV, I get too distracted in the living room. 
 
Ask for advice or help from friends

Let’s face it. We are not alone in this even if we feel like it! Being a mom is a hard and rewarding blessing. Find a friend or a family member that you can be accountable to or with. Go on a walk date around the neighborhood or a close by park. 

Ask other moms for advice or guidance on living a healthy lifestyle. There are also plenty of FB or Instagram groups that help promote healthy living through diet, exercise, and mental health. Visit my Instagram page for new recipes, workouts, and cloth diaper reviews!

Everyday tasks that you can garnish with exercise!

  • Loading/unloading the dishwasher – Do some squats or lunges as you do the dishes! 
  • Folding the laundry – You can almost always find me in the middle of a workout while folding the laundry. Because we do cloth diapers, I have extra folding and prepping to do. I lay down on our bedroom floor and do leg circles while folding! You could even do some squats by the side of the bed while sorting piles. 
  • Park at the back of the parking lot! – Get more steps in by parking farther away. But make sure you have a stroller or shopping cart, or you’ll be carrying baby AND groceries a lot farther than planned. 
  • Exercise while you play with baby – There are lots of fun exercises you can do while holding baby. Try a weighted squat by holding baby on your chest. You can also lift them in the air to strengthen your arms. Do push-ups or planks above baby. I would lay Beckett down beside me with some toys and get a good workout in. He knew I was close and could help him if he needed it. Just remember to be careful! 
  • Cleaning the house – Believe it or not, but cleaning up messes all day long is TIRING! Am I right?? Spend 10-15 minutes picking up toys or pots and pans off the floor and returning them to their place. Do lunges or jumping jacks while going around the house. This will boost your heart rate and get in some good cardio!

Get outside!

Whether you have a backyard or a stroller, you can always get in a great workout being outside of the house. This doesn’t even include going to the gym! Bring a blanket or yoga mat outside and get in some exercise while baby is exploring. If your baby is too young for this, make sure to have  a safe and comfortable place to lay them down beside you. 

If you have a stroller, go on a walk around the neighborhood or a lake. Do some lunges, squats, and alternate between walking, jogging, and running. I also like to do some leg lifts while holding on the stroller. Attach a bike chariot or baby seat to your bike and take the baby on a scenic ride. Biking is also a great form of exercise. It’s a great cardio boost, core and leg strengthener, and it helps increase endurance levels.

Getting rid of ‘Time waster’s’

Well it might sound simple, but if you have time to check social media more than once a day, then you have time to exercise. Heck, you could exercise AND check your social media! By keeping a list of tasks to accomplish during the day, it helps keep us on track and motivated. I find that if I am checking social media too often, I am not planning enough things for me to do or get done. There is always a snuggle to give a baby, laundry or dishes, and even scheduling time for your hobbies! 

Prioritize. I cannot emphasize this enough. If you do not have a goal to work towards, or things in your life that have importance, then take some time to discover these. 

Read my article about Making Needed Changes In Your Life, to help keep you motivated to accomplish your goals.

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