Workout tips are only the beginning of the wellness equation. Being healthy is a pretty tough gig when you are doing it off your own bat. This is especially true for mothers. We’re often thinking our family, work, the kids and their schooling, the community, our friends, extended family and all the rest. It can be a real struggle to be able to stand up and draw a line around sufficient time for you to do what you need to do to get healthy. It can be even trickier if you have to ask for some help.
But just as it takes a village to raise a child, it also takes a village to make a happy, healthy momma.
So here’s some advice and workout tips on getting that village in behind you to support you with your exercise goals.
You need friends who support you
Sometimes the biggest resistance to changing ourselves comes from the friends we expect to back us the most- our friends. If you’ve ever tried to quit smoking, sugar, watching bad TV or move away from the herd, you’ll know what we’re talking about. If you’re friends are still in Ab Fab mode after the holidays or scarping down Game of Thrones and you have no interest, being on the other side of the fence can be difficult. Diet and exercise changes are another one where friends can tend to be a little more Devil on the shoulder than Angel.
It’s not that our friends don’t respect us wanting to change our ways. Our friends do want us to be happy, healthy and the best person we can be. Otherwise, why else would we be friends?
But sometimes when we try to make a change in our life, it might be that it makes them uncomfortable about their own choices. Or it signals you are growing and changing and they may not be. Or that they’re simply not interested.
That doesn’t mean it has to become a source of tension.
Take eating lunch with the girls. If you’ve decided to become more mindful about what you eat, it may influence what you order. Say goodbye to the naughty share plates, the sneaky bit of cake and the extra glass of wine at lunch and people will start to notice.
So how do you avoid the confrontational aspects?
First of all, decide that it’s your journey. If you want to cut down sugar or eat better, that’s your business. So there’s no harm in saying a polite “no thank you” and moving on. If you need a little extra fortitude and inspiration, check out this post from Meg.
Secondly, come prepared for the resistance and carry a bit of spark of your own. You don’t have to bang on about your new diet and fitness regime like a creaky barn door. No matter how much you like your workout tips, others might not appreciate them or be ready for them.
But you can explain the fun things you are doing or your rediscovered love for fruit if it excites you. There’s nothing wrong with inspiring your friend to join you!
Finally, remember that everyone is the expert in their own life. And that includes you. If your diet and fitness regime is working for you but it’s not your friend’s cup of tea, so what? You don’t have to do everything the same or turn each moment into a reflection of the other person by doing what feels right for you.
It might end up being a case of picking and choosing who you share your milestones with. Luckily, we have a group that welcomes stories from your fitness journey- come on in.
Family support also helps
Fitting family in with me time and exercise becomes incredibly tricky if you don’t have family support. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask for it.One of the best workout tips is to involve the family. If not directly through sharing the exercise experience, at least through understanding your goals, aims and specific journey to wellness.
If you get the opportunity to exercise, you can immediately see benefits such as:
- Lowered stress levels
- Increased energy
- A boost of mood lifting endorphins
- The feeling of being able to choose (instead of having life dictated to you by a tiny human overlord in a nappy)
- The opportunity to practise some mindfulness and calm your head
Long term benefits include:
- Better sleeping patterns
- Improved strength, fitness and stamina
- Stabilisation of positive mood
- A fitter, leaner body able to do more things
- A reduction in issues that might be plaguing your health such as light bladder leakage, sore joints, stiff muscles, tension headaches, abdominal weakness, carrying extra weight and so on
No partner in their right mind would deny you the opportunity to lower stress, improve your health and strengthen your body when looking after the kids. Let alone question if you need more sleep!
Sometimes, those close to us simply don’t see what we might need the most. So if you find yourself without that 20 minutes a day to do some exercise, ask!
It’s hard to back yourself when you are learning new things, struggling with a hectic timetable, working against self doubt or simply unsure. But it is the time when you need to move forward the most.
No matter how good the workout tips may be, you still have to find the motivation within yourself. Unfortunately, motivation is a glorified yet fickle beast. It won’t ring the doorbell one morning, kitted out in exercise gear and suggest you saddle up the pram for a high impact walk around the park. Motivation doesn’t book in on Tuesdays, as much as we would like it to.
Being able to get up and get to it comes from shutting down the voices in your head that want you to forget about it. It’s about identifying what excuses you make, knocking the tools of procrastination out of the way, and getting back to it.
It will be hard to stay interested and consistent when you first start with diet and exercise. There is no silver bullet or magical world you can enter where your brain says “Yay, exercise!” all at once.
However, if you stick at it, your brain will start to crave the exercise. Your body will start to have a mouth watering moment at the chicken salad instead of the chicken burger with fries. You just have to support it until that point where it begins to become a reality.
To make it easier on you to make the right decisions, try these few simple exercise, diet and workout tips:
- Stop buying the foods that tempt you during the grocery shop
- Dress in your exercise gear at the beginning of the day so that getting changed isn’t a barrier to exercise
- Start swapping out short car trips for walks
- Get in the habit of being active by playing chasies and sport with the kids
- Set small goals and reward yourself with body positive things such as a massage, a spa, a swim or a night of dancing when you reach them
- Chart your progress and make it a game. Look for the opportunity to beat a personal best or to increase 20 minutes to 25 minutes. Look for signs things are working
Your approach to fitness includes how you view yourself- so spend some time being kind to you and positive about your journey as well!
Find the community that cares with Body Beyond Birth
No matter how wonderful your friends are or how many times your partner takes the kids or even exercises with you, your fitness journey is your own. Being at a different stage of the fitness journey than your friends and family might also mean not everything is as exciting for them as it is for you. Not all workout tips are useful- especially if you’re not at the same stage of the exercise game. They might not get how important or difficult some of the challenges are either.
Luckily, Body Beyond Birth has a community where you can go to discuss your needs. You can share your trials and successes with a supportive group that cares. And you can ask for advice and ideas directly from Bekcy and Jackie. That’s whether you are actively using the Body Beyond Birth fitness program or not.
So what do you say? Take your fitness journey to new heights with workout tips, inspiration and more from a supportive group of women just like you now.