How to focus on fitness when you just don’t have time – Monday workout motivation for new moms

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If there’s one thing I learned after having kids is that you have to be intentional about EVERYTHING. And when I found myself needing some Monday workout motivation, intention was the key yet again. 

I get that it’s harder to take care of myself when you have two adorable munchkins (with the vocal cords of yetis) running around, but it shouldn’t be impossible! Right? 

So how do you fit in a workout? How do you feel good (while still feeling like a good parent?) I turned to some of the most inspirational people in the fitness, health, and wellness industry for a little push. 

And when you’re done, check out even more words of fitness inspiration to motivate you to work out.

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Workout with your kids

Patricia Johnson, a self-proclaimed fitness fanatic and health junkie as well as creator of Pedal Lovers told me about taking advantage of all the gadgets on the market to include the kids in my fitness habits, like a ride-along running stroller or a baby seat attachment for the bike. 

Not only did I require this equipment so I could watch my daughter and exercise at the same time. But it also made a lasting impression on her. For starters, she loved being outdoors and the movement was always relaxing for her. Secondly, it helped instill in her a love for movement, too.

I encourage women all the time to take this opportunity while their kids are young and involve them in these daily moments. It means the world as they get older and you get some special bonding time in, as well.

Patricia Johnson
monday-morning-motivation-stroller

That’s awesome advice! 

My “stroller”, the Thule Coaster – is meant to be a bike trailer for kids, but I use it like a jogging stroller for now. Best part? It’s actually cheaper than most double strollers! (And it’s oh, so comfortable!) 

And when I finish up with my run, I take this advice from personal trainer Chris Cooper

Work out with your kids. Involve them in the activity or use them as a weight. A good example could be using your child as a weight for squats! 

Also, try getting away from thinking a workout has to be a dedicated time frame, and shift towards building reps throughout the day. Setting a goal for sat 20 pushups during the day can help you build consistency and it’s manageable to do 5 pushups here and there. 

Chris Cooper Instagram

Absolutely! I love doing squats while holding my toddler as she counts as well as shoulder press with my newborn who just loves flying in the air! 

Dr. Rubina Tahir, CEO of The Positivity Charge also says she loves working in front of her kids! 

Not only are you showing your children great habits, you will encourage them to join in – a few hops here and there! While your workout may be interrupted, you will still reap the benefit of exercise.

Dr. Rubina Tahir Instagram| Facebook| LinkedIn| Twitter

And lastly, Ted Kallmyer, author and Healthy Eater‘s Certified Fitness and Nutritional Coach gave me this reframe: 

Moms, did you know that playing with your kids for 60 minutes burns about 300 calories? Fitness doesn’t have to be a rigid and separate event, which can seem daunting for busy moms. Being active with your kids counts as exercise!

Ted Kallmyer Instagram

Schedule Schedule Schedule 

While I enjoy having romantic notions of working out around my kids or just finding time for fitness, my reality is something else. Actually, I do have time to work out, but it always somehow slips away. 

That’s why I make sure it’s in my calendar for the week. 

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Debi Tracy, of Mama Hypno who is certified in Hypnobirthing, yoga, hypnosis as well as a Doula (so she knows a thing or two about new moms) feels the same way.  She says: 

if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.  

In my calendar  I even have down breakfast, lunch and dinner plus dinner prep along with my daily meditation and personal yoga practice. I know from experience that if I don’t take care of myself, I am worthless to others — must replenish the well so there’s water for others! 

Thus I encourage my couples to schedule [just like a work or medical appointment] time in their schedule DAILY for the exact self-care they will commit to. Just waking up 15 minutes earlier than the kids and doing a short 3-5 minute mediation plus 5-10 minute yoga routine can set you up for an empowered day and it’s OUT OF THE WAY with your mind in a better, healthier frame to tackle whatever the day brings. 

Debi Tracy Instagram | Facebook

And fitness coach Robert Foster, suggested kicking it up a notch and scheduling your workout first thing in the morning! 

I have trained thousands of moms over the years and the one thing I say over and over is to “Own the morning”  Especially with little kids it’s important to get right up and get the major things accomplished while the kids are asleep and before the day can get away from you.

Robert Foster Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

And then there’s always nap time

While for me, the only thing I can do during naptime is collapse for a few minutes (and maybe fall asleep if I’m trapped under the baby,) some use this time to fit in a workout! 

David Bloom of Treadmill Talk says: 

“Use your child’s nap time to get a quick workout in. Instead of taking a rest yourself or starting your chores right away, set aside a half hour for a walk, run or other exercise. You’ll be glad you did!”

David Bloom
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And Melissa Morris, an exercise physiologist and contributor for Quick Quote, reminded me to just start where I can. 

Be kind to yourself while trying to keep up with your fitness and be a mom at the same time. Your fitness routine may need to look different than before you were a mom and that’s ok. 

Use naptime as a chance to squeeze in a quick at-home workout. You can use a streaming service that has workout routines, like Peloton or Daily Burn. You can also use YouTube to find exercise routines, like Yoga with Adriene. And if you have a stroller, try to go for a daily walk. Even a short daily walk has health benefits. 

Taking care of yourself and investing in your own health is important for your children. You want to be able to get on the floor, run, jump, and carry them around for as long as you can. Do all you can to stay healthy. Use keeping up with your kids as your motivation. 

Melissa Morris

Be Flexible

And when all else fails, just remember to be flexible. 

Calendars and schedules are nice, but being a mom often has a different reality. 

Sometimes your kids just won’t nap. (Or go to bed… ever!) 

Sometimes your kids take about forty minutes longer to get out the door – when you had a fun surprise planned just for them. 

But take life as it comes. 

Stephanie Stamas founder of a postpartum rehab program Chelsea Method gives this advice to other tired, business-owning moms: 

Keep your expectations reasonable and give yourself so much grace. It’s always the nights that I set my alarm to wake up early and be productive the next morning that the baby wakes up multiple times. The more flexible and adaptable you can be, the less painful the inevitable disappointments are.

And as a Doctor of Physical Therapy, she also adds this advice: 

Create good habits early! As a physical therapist and pelvic health specialist, I’ve seen that most postpartum complaints (back pain, diastasis recti, incontinence) are exacerbated by habitual movement patterns developed as a new mom. 

If you can tune into your posture and become aware of how you are doing your mom tasks – lifting, carrying, rocking your baby, breastfeeding – this will save you from a lot of pain down the road! 

Stephanie Stamas instagram

So true! 

As much as I hate putting the important things off “until tomorrow”, feeling guilty about it doesn’t serve anybody! 

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And lastly, Jenni Derryberry Mann, founder of  Nurture Nashville Yoga, (who, by the way, specializes in helping pregnant moms and exhausted parents boost their moods) just says to mind your mindset and mantra. 

For us moms, mindset is everything, especially when the kids are little. Motherhood is an all-consuming 24/7 gig in the best of times.

In a pandemic, you’re operating at super-hero status — even if your shiny cape & golden lasso are at the bottom of the laundry heap.

Set your mindset to “I’ve got this” and make it your mantra. Not “I’ve got to do this,” or “I’ve got more to do.” Just “I’ve got this.”

Like this:

  • A 10-minute walk with baby in her wrap or the littles in tow. I’ve got this.
  • Sharing screentime & snuggles with your son. I’ve got this.
  • Online mama-baby yoga class with your little one. I’ve got this.
  • Reading your daughter’s favorite book to her for the 14th time this week.
  • Baby securely in the bouncy-seat so you can finally get that hot shower.
  • Indulging in your favorite healthy-ish afternoon snack while your kiddo naps and you ignore the laundry pile for just one more day…

Mama, you’ve got this! Sidestep the guilt and shut down the “shoulds” so you can give yourself credit for the countless small things you do daily. Tiny humans demand all your resources: time, attention, energy, creativity, problem-solving. Rely on “I’ve got this” as a mantra to give yourself credit for all you do. That mindset that will nurture you through this season of intense giving and amazing love.

Jenni Derryberry Mann Instagram | Facebook

How’s that for Monday Workout Motivation? 

I’d love to hear if these quotes have helped you get motivated to get your move on. 

And I want to give a big thank you to all our fitness, health, and wellness experts for sharing a Monday Workout Motivation quote!

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