I’m nowhere near a swimsuit model or anything, but I’m in fairly good shape for having a baby in the past year. I’ve thought about getting a gym membership to a facility with childcare, but it would be a big strain on our already tight budget.
That leaves me with needing to get fit at home. Here are the ways that I stay in shape and take care of my physical health as a stay-at-home mom.
Fit in Tiny Bits of Exercise
When I’m playing on the floor with my baby, every once in a while he will be really absorbed with a toy and I have a minute to be still. This is when I’ll do push-ups, lying down leg raises, or some sort of ab workout like planks or sit-ups. Don’t worry about doing a certain amount or thinking you need to do a full half hour to an hour workout; every little bit of movement helps!
Get a Jogging Stroller
I quickly found out that most moms in New Orleans have jogging strollers, whether they run or not. The sidewalks here are jagged and uneven from hurricanes and huge oak tree roots growing beneath them. At least that’s what my guess is for the reason. Having the proper stroller makes it easier to go on runs or long walks. That way you aren’t struggling to try to lift the stroller and navigate around potholes the whole time.
My baby boy doesn’t like to sit still for long, so I wait until the end of the day, when he needs a body rest, to go for a jog. Sometimes I get the courage and energy to drive to our lovely nearby Audubon Park for a great running path, but it can be tricky. It’s better to not risk your child getting fussy in the car ride and just leave for your jog straight from home. That way, you get more bang for your buck and fit in more exercise before a potential meltdown! I also make sure I don’t go too far from home before circling back for the same reason. You can always do your loop again if your child is still happy to be riding along.
Be Creative with the Jogging Stroller
On the way back from my jogs, I do calisthenics on the last couple of blocks. These strollers have a strap for your wrist, so you can take your hands off the handle. You can do high knees, lunges, cherry pickers, and other exercises that really work your muscles while still moving forward towards home. You’ll really feel like you did your body good by the time you conquer those last couple of blocks home!
Have an At-Home Workout Plan
There are plenty of apps that are available to help you work out from the comfort of your home. This way, you can do workouts while your kids are sleeping or napping. I know there are usually a bunch of other things to get done, and sometimes I opt to rest as well instead of being productive, but if you decide to make exercise your priority then you can let the laundry be dirty just a little longer some days.
My favorite exercise plan is from Kayla Itsines. I downloaded her PDF of quick HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts that you do over the course of 3 months to get in shape. She now offers an app called Sweat with Kayla instead of the downloadable file. It’s a little pricier, but I can attest to how good these exercises are. I used them to get in shape before my wedding, and it was the most toned I’ve been since my high school sports days!
Play with Your Kids!
This is the most fun and important way to fit exercise into your busy mom life. Play with your kids! It’s quality time that is good for you and your children in many ways. It’s tons of fun to have dance parties and run around outside. My baby loves when I do squat jumps while holding him when we listen to music. His added weight makes the move even more effective on toning my legs.
Best of luck to you ladies. And remember, your body is beautiful no matter what. Do what makes you feel good and healthy!