Setting your sights on crushing some fitness goals? Let’s talk about 7 fitness tips for moms the help you reach those goals more easily.
I’ve been there. I’ve had goals that I surpassed and felt like a total badass for accomplishing. Then I’ve had ones that sank like the Titanic. Just call me Rose. But these fitness tips for moms are ones that are tried and true. They can really help set you up for success.
So let’s dive in mamas.
Though let me also say that it is totally ok for you to have exactly 0 fitness goals either. I’ve been going through a 5-year long journey to finally accept my mombod, and it hasn’t been easy.
It’s ok to not lose the baby weight and just be happy too. <3
Fitness Tips for Moms #1: Set Goals You Actually Care About
Before we even get into how to reach your fitness goals, let’s make sure you are actually setting them properly.
Why do you want to set fitness goals? What is the point? Is it because you feel like you “should?” Feeling pressure to get your pre-baby body back?
Let me be honest, mama.
You won’t get your pre-baby body back
Once you’ve had a kid, your body has changed forever. There is no going back. Even if you were able to work out, get plastic surgery, find some mythical cream that actually eliminates stretch marks, you’re still different on the inside.
That’s right. Even if you appear to have the same body you did pre-pregnancy (which is unlikely) your body has changed so significantly on the inside, it will never be exactly the same.
Hell, your sweet baby even left some of their DNA inside of you that can affect you for decades to come!
So perhaps, reframing this idea of getting your body “back” is in order.
There is nothing wrong with want to be fit, or wanting to look a certain way. It’s totally great if you want to change your appearance.
We all change our appearance in small or large ways by things like wearing makeup, straightening or curling our hair, or even getting plastic surgery. (I know a mom who had a tummy tuck because her diastasis recti bothered her not just in appearance, but physically too.)
But isn’t it time we change the way we think about our postpartum bodies. Is looking as if we never had a kid something all moms must aspire to? Isn’t just feeling good in our postpartum body enough?
Just something to think about.
I know I have fitness goals that even include losing weight, but I also know that even when I am at a weight that feels good for me, my body is forever changed.
(Read more about my postpartum body journey on Facebook at the post below, and follow me at facebook.com/momuprising)
What is your REAL motivation? How do you want to FEEL when you accomplish your goals?
Social media is a beautiful thing… but it can be so toxic too.
According to body-positive influencer and fitness instructor, Nikki Pebbles, “Things are so skewed to what we’re expecting when starting a fitness journey due to Instagram, Social media, magazines, all of that. So I think first comes first. Learning that your body isn’t going to be what it was 10 years ago, 4 years ago, or even 6 months ago. Your body is what it is now, and when we stop and think about fitness being more than just a physical goal and more of an ‘I want to FEEL good. I want FEEL different.'”
Nikki is so right. We get caught up on a mom who is 8 months pregnant and still has abs on Instagram (yeah that’s a real thing…), and we start to feel like crap that our belly is super flabby when we are 2 years postpartum. Until we saw that post, or whatever the post of the day is, we felt pretty great about ourselves. Now all of a sudden we need to lose weight and do 5 billion crunches before the end of the month.
Before setting any goals, feel into them. What is the real motivation behind them?
Fitness Tips for Moms #2: Start Small
I know our impulse is usually to totally overhaul our life ASAP, right?
You decide you want to lose that extra 10lbs you got from eating #allthethings around the holidays so you order that hardcore exercise program you saw on an infomercial while half-awake doing a night feel, right?
I’ve totally done that. Expecting myself to go from breastfeeding being my cardio to doing high-intensity workouts every day for like a year right away. I think because I was an athlete in high school that my almost 33-year-old self can still do some serious workouts, but the truth? I good walk around the neighborhood is about where I’m at right now.
It would serve me much better (and probably you too) to start with a small simple goal of just getting out for a walk with the kids every day.
Sunshine Boatright, creator of the Health and Vitality experience says, “Start from where you are, make that your baseline. Make small incremental changes from there. Because working your way up over time is way better than getting started, going all in, and hurting yourself so much that you can’t move and can’t face going back. It’s also, in my humble opinion, the best way to fall in love with the process instead of the destination. Because destinations can be deceiving.”
Fitness Tips for Moms #3: Make it a routine
A great way to start small is by making fitness part of your daily routine.
I love talking about self-care and self-care routines, and I’ve made a point of having fitness be part of my morning self-care routine. But I started super small.
At the recommendation of yoga instructor and habit expert, Dana Skoglund, I’ve started doing the 7-minute workout in the mornings. The 7-minute workout is so awesome because you definitely feel like you got some exercise, but at less than 10 minutes long it isn’t overwhelming.
But it has been scientifically proven to be as good as longer workouts because of the way different exercises are strung together in an intense way.
Dana also has the great tip of getting in the habit of setting yourself up for success. For example, she says, “For people who have no time, put your running shoes at the foot of your bed and your workout clothes out the night before.”
Then when you wake up in the morning it will trigger you to get your work out.
Changing up habits and routine is hard! When you’ve been doing things the same way for months or years, switching things around doesn’t stick well.
So start small and gradually build to where you want to go, and also connect that new action to something else that basically triggers the new habit.
For example, I have been working on the habit of taking vitamins and drinking water first thing in the morning. I’m pretty rock-solid in it now, and I’m ready to expand. So now I am adding in the habit of doing the 7-minute workout after I take my vitamins.
Maybe the secret to reaching your fitness goal through habits is actually to just get in the habit of drinking a glass of water and taking vitamins every morning.
Fitness Tips for Moms #4: Find a friend
Accountability makes it more likely you’ll actually stick with your goals and reach them.
The trick though? You need to be held accountable by someone you respects and believe in to be successful.
So even though the obvious choice would be to find someone at the same level of fitness as you to hold you accountable, you’re better off finding someone who is at or close to the level you want to achieve.
Recent studies have shown this to be the case, so choose your accountability buddy wisely.
Fitness Tips for Moms #5: Find free childcare
Getting time to work out can be rough when you have kids. But did you know there are tons of places that offer free childcare for you while you workout?
All of the YMCA’s have childcare available for free with your membership, and even some regular gyms have it too.
If that’s not an option you can see if a mom friend would swap watching the kids so you can each work out or have alone time.
Also, my go-to is to just to involve my kids in my exercise. Think jogging with a stroller, walking, hiking, playing outside, etc.
Sometimes it takes creativity, but childcare really isn’t an issue if you are committed to your goals.
Fitness Tips for Moms #6: Track your progress
When I’m working on accomplishing goals and creating new habits, I’ve started to actually not even focus on completing the goal.
Instead, my focus is just on remembering to track whether I completed whatever task I needed to that day to reach my goal or establish the habit.
I am super forgetful. I will have this great plan or idea or goal, have all the best intentions in the world, but it just won’t happen. It’s not even because I chose to ignore it, but because I just forgot!
Now I have a little log in my journal that I mark every day on whether I completed my habit or not. Nothing fancy, just a list with the date and little checks or x’s next to them.
Fitness Tips for Moms #7: Focus on progress, not perfection
When I first started tracking my progress on my goals, I would stop even trying when I missed too many days.
I felt like if I started missing days, then I had to just give up and start all over again.
But that’s not how it works at all.
Doing my 7-minute workout, or yoga, or remembering to intermittent fasting… whatever the goal is… it’s better to have done it one day in a week than no days in a week.
It’s taken a lot of mindset work to get to this point, but now I am happy with ANY growth. ANY movement forward. ANY progress towards where I want to go, I count as a win!
Do you have fitness goals for 2020? Are these fitness tips for moms helpful? Let us know in the comments, and then check out this article about how to achieve your goals even if you’re overwhelmed.
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