Can I be honest with you guys? I read a lot of articles that are written for and shared by moms who work from home, all of which claim to explain how they do it all. Some have childcare, others don’t. Some have older kids, some have infants. I read a lot of perspectives, many of which differ from the others and most of which differ from mine. But here’s the bottom line: being a work-at-home mom is HARD and we’re all looking for ways to get it all done!
One of the hardest parts about it for me, especially in our current stage of 3-1/2 years and 6 months, is fitting in time for fitness. Much of my “day job” if you will takes place in the kitchen, and then the rest is on the computer, so getting my actual job done usually requires that I do so when the boys are asleep. That, incidentally, is also the best time for me to fit in a consecutive workout as well. There’s a constant push and pull between whether I should work so that I can keep staying at home with my boys, or work out so that I can be strong enough to play with them.
Strength training is certainly my workout of choice, but because that is usually only 30 minutes a day I kept wondering how I could track the rest of my activity in the off times. Let’s be real moms: carrying a 20-pound baby around all day (and all the jiggling, bouncing, rocking that goes with that) while chasing a preschooler counts as exercise too! I would joke that during the summer I would sweat from the moment the boys woke up to the moment they went to bed at night. Only it wasn’t a joke because it was REAL LIFE.
Because mom life is hard work it’s certainly valid to track movement over the course of the day, and thanks to Polar you can! When I got my Polar Loop 2 in the mail a few weeks ago I couldn’t wait to try it on. Surely, I thought, I will break the all-time record of movement in a single day with these boys! It was so easy to set up and took about 30 minutes to do that, enter in all of my information, charge it up and then get started with the day.
Well, friends, I’m here to tell you: I didn’t break the record. I think on the first day I only fit in about 63% of the recommended activity. But I learned a valuable lesson, which is that I do move a lot but I can be a lot more intentional about it – even with kids.
Here are some great ways to fit in extra activity during the day if you’re a busy mom, like me, who wants to maximize her efforts for the sake of fitness:
- Park far away. On grocery store runs, church activities, play dates, shopping excursions, what have you – park far away. This idea has been around for a long time, but I’m here to tell you it can – and should – be done even with kids in tow. Use the stroller if you need to, but parking far away gives everyone more activity as you make the trek to and from the car.
- Use the stairs. Oh how I despise the stairs in our home, specifically on laundry days. Truth though? They’re great for increasing movement in our home, not to mention a good way to tone the booty too. A little more incentive to take the stairs wherever you are whenever you can!
- I hope you dance. The witching hour is a very very real thing in our house, which means that from the hours of 4pm to 6:30pm you can find me in our kitchen with the music on and having a dance party with my boys. W is usually running around the house anyway, a last-ditch effort to wear off the day’s energy, and I’m two-stepping with A to keep him from losing his junk over being still for a split second. It’s also the point in the day when you can see a huge movement spike on my Polar Loop 2 tracker on my phone. Coincidence? I think not!
- Go on a walk. And the whole world answers with a resounding “DUH!” In all seriousness though, activity doesn’t have to mean marathon training. It doesn’t have to include hours of weight lifting. Going on a simple 10-minute walk down our street and back is great for all of us. The change of scenery keeps the crankiness at bay, the fresh air and sunshine boosts our moods, the walking wears the boys out and I get a little more exercise in the process. I usually don’t even take a stroller for this one!
- Get the kids involved. It’s a little harder with my baby, but lately W has been interested in watching Mommy exercise and even likes to join in! Besides being the cutest thing ever it helps him to build interest in fitness, he sees a strong woman working to get better, and helps him to get stronger too. If they’re old enough, let them work out with you!
- Clean. So it’s after bedtime and the kids are sound asleep. Your work is done. You may just want to lounge on the couch and soak in that well-deserved mommy time. I say do it – but during commercial breaks, just get up and clean the house a bit. Straighten toys, unload the dishes, fold clothes, whatever. That extra movement counts and you get stuff done in the process!
- Track it all. Tracking my activity throughout the day has been so beneficial. I love how the Polar Loop 2 reminds me to move if I’ve been sedentary for an hour, gives me suggestions on how to reach my goals, and records it all on my computer and iPhone. It makes it easy to know if I need to get moving or if/when I can slow down.
Alright moms – I’d love to hear from you too! How do you get your days DONE? How do you fit in fitness along with all of your other daily activities?
This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Polar.