We know this can be tricky to figure out!
How to balance motherhood and fitness, is it even possible? Can you set body goals as a mom and actually achieve them? We absolutely know you can – that is why we asked Melissa Jansen Van Niewenhuisen to weigh in on this guest blog! Melissa is a personal trainer, online coach, pre and post pregnancy exercise specialist. She’s also a mom to two small children AND is no stranger to competitive bikini shows!
To start off with I would like to say that fitness is not for everyone but being healthy is.
You do not have to be running marathons to reap the benefits of it. You do not have to be a powerlifter to get stronger and you do not need ripped abs to feel good. When people think of fitness their mind immediately goes to the aesthetic of it. How you look, the outer part of it. I would rather you think of how it makes you feel as a person. If you are not enjoying your fitness routine, then you just have not found the right thing that fits your needs yet. In motherhood, you might have to try a few methods until you find something that works with your unique routine.
How does this relate to motherhood?
I can go so deep into the physiology of why you need to exercise but let me just tell you this. Simply put. It is for your own sanity. If it was not for my fitness routine, I might have been completely bonkers by now, because it is my biggest outlet for stress.
Motherhood looks different to everyone. You have the corporate mom who is short on time and needs to balance a lot more than just her fitness regime. You have the stay at home mom who has a toddler(s) clinging to her all day and just fights for a second alone.
So how you do find the balance here to keep your sanity.
My favourite thing to tell people is thing, do not sweat the small stuff. You will have good days and you will have bad days, your success will come in consistency and showing up. Your fitness journey is not always about fat loss:
It is about the ‘feel good’ endorphins you get after each sweat session.
And it is about the sense of accomplishment that comes from sticking to your goals.
Doing something for yourself that makes you feel good.
It is about eating to nourish your sometimes over tired body.
Some days you need to take a step back, but you should not see it as going backwards. Tomorrow will be hinting with new opportunities to try again. If you had an off weekend, you have not spoiled all your hard work, you just pick up where you left off. Exercise and eat healthy for the way it makes you feel.
So just for interest sake, let me tell you why you should be doing some form of exercise.
Except for the fact that you will feel better, have more energy, and add years to your life, there are more benefits. You look at things like controlling your weight because by building muscles you are increasing your metabolism. Also, it gets easier to pick up your ever-growing babies because you are getting stronger. Everyone knows you need to look after your heart health with some cardiovascular work like running, or cycling.
I have mentioned it improves your mood. Endorphins are released when you exercise. We can all do with more of those! All that pumping blood drives nutrients into your blood and lungs to give you more energy to tackle everyday tasks.
We as mothers need all the help in the energy department we can get.
As far as time management goes, you will need to plan in advance.
Failing to plan is planning to fail. If you battle to do the planning yourself, get a credible coach to help you with that. If you do not have financial means, then you need to start reading because there is a magnitude of info out there about juggling fitness goals and life. Try to get up in the morning to get your gym session in. Even if you can do 20-30 minutes, it is better than nothing. Anything is always better than nothing. You just need to make the time count and put in maximum effort.
If you are a stay at home mom with kiddies during the day, there are so much fun activities you can do together and get them on board. They love the fun and giggles. Plan out some meals for the week and prepare in advance what you can. My whole family enjoys the same meals. A little effort with tasty food will serve the whole family.
You really do have options here with training modalities.
You just need to look until you find something you like. If you want to know how to balance motherhood and fitness, you need to find what works for YOU. Some prefer yoga, other Pilates, functional fitness, etc. We are each unique with our own preferences. The one thing that we have in common is that when you have a strong, fit body that is well nourished, you feel amazing!
I hope this helps you to see that no two mom’s are the same just like no two people are the same. Our goals and our schedules. But of course the key to find exercise you enjoy, planning meals and prioritizing time then actually just committing to it!
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