OK, it’s time to be real. Being a mom is hard. But being a mom with a young child/children who finds the time to exercise regularly is even harder. Check out how me and other moms are making it work.
Working out and staying active is critical to my healthy lifestyle and for managing MS as well. Being active just makes me feel better and I know for many MSers, including myself, working out actually makes you less fatigued and gives you more energy.
PC (or Pre-Chloe), I had my workout schedule down pat. I was a regular at The Barre Code, and later Pure Barre and loved being able to flip flop between core strength and cardio classes. They not only helped me physically but mentally, it felt great to get into “the zone” and leave all of the stresses of the day behind. I’m a bit more constrained with options now since I’m with Chloe all day and need to get creative to get my cardio in.
When Chloe was born, I set my goals for exercise pretty simple: walk every day. It’s one of the easiest things you can do and even 30 minutes of fast-paced walking can do wonders for your health. I live close to a walking trail and I walk 3 to 5 miles every day. When Chloe was just a newborn and slept religiously, I planned her feedings and nap schedules around it and figured out a walking route that coincided. I loved it – I could power walk and clear my head, listen to music, and enjoy the outside air (not to mention shed my baby weight!). Now since she’s older and wants to see what’s going on, I wear her during our walks or take her our in stroller for long distances.
I’m sure I’ll get back into the gym or find a new routine soon since the weather has turned (although these fall cool days are pretty amazing!), but this works for me now so I’m taking advantage. Since many parents struggle with finding the time or the right work out to fit with babies, I thought I’d ask around and see how others get creative to make it work.
Mamas Weigh In:
“I get to yoga every weekend during nap time so hubby only has one kid awake while I’m gone. During the week, I take the kids to the park and wear the baby while chasing two toddlers. Never sitting down on a bench and being an active playmate is an easy way to stay fit!”
“As a mom of three, I originally tried to incorporate my children into workouts, no matter how few and far between they may be! However, I learned quickly that it’s more “work” than a workout with all of them trying to “be just like mommy”. Nap Time is now when I exercise which is less stressful! During nap time, I try to do three sets of push-ups, crunches, legs and abs. I feel energized for the rest of the day, when I can find the time to squeeze it into the rest of my household duties.”
Jenny, Mom of 2 girls (5 and 2 years old)
“Although it’s tough to wake up when it’s still dark outside, mornings are really the only “me time” these days. Finding balance is hard but it’s also rewarding to carve out time for yourself, whenever it best fits into your schedule. Having a routine works well for our family, it’s helpful to setup a schedule at home with your husband to switch off set days on the weekends, so you can have a dedicated morning to workout (or sleep in if needed!) and so can he. Also with so many studios offering childcare, it’s getting easier to take care of yourself while also caring for your children.”
Stephanie, Mom to Carter (9 months old)
“I go on walks with a few of my neighbors who also have little babies. We go to the lake and around Lincoln Park. It’s more fun to work out with other moms with kids around the same age!”
“My main workout is chasing Lila (3 years old) and carrying Sena (11 months)!”