Many moms have a hard time making it to the gym and, even when they do, they have to fight long waits for equipment and crowded fitness classrooms. It’s enough to inspire you to figure out good workout routines at home — but sometimes, that can feel just as daunting!
I know the feeling. Being a mom to a young child, I know how hard it is to squeeze that workout in and how much harder it is to feel like I actually accomplished something at the gym in the amount of time I have for it.
I even wound up becoming a Beachbody “coach.” So I not only work on myself, but I also help other like-minded people on my team accomplish their fitness goals with challenge groups online.
Do you want to create good workout routines at home, too?
Here are some important things you should consider when starting your fitness schedule in order to maintain the motivation and consistency you need to make the most out of it.
1. Schedule the time.
One of the hardest things for a mom to do is schedule “me time.” When you’re a parent you can get wrapped up in your child and all their activities. You end up putting yourself and your health on the back burner.
Jennifer Gray — a personal trainer in southeast Michigan who’s the owner, founder and president of Body by Jenn — says, “That’s something I have my clients do. Look at your schedule on Sunday night and plan for the whole week.” This includes scheduling time for prepping your meals and snacks for that week.
“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” Gray says. “It’s important to eat every few hours. If you don’t, your body will hold onto the fat.”
Scheduling time to workout is a must. It may be easier for you to workout in the morning as soon as you wake up, before obstacles from your day can get in the way. It might even help if you wake up at the same time every day to workout so your body will get used to doing that.
During the first year of my son’s life, I tried working out at night after he was in bed. I worked at a restaurant and by the time I would get home from work, I was too exhausted to hit “play.” I would tell myself that I would do two workouts the next day — and then I wouldn’t. It was an ongoing cycle that I put myself in.
Once I started working out in the morning and getting a pattern going, no one could stop me.
2. Don’t be upset when stuff happens.
Unplanned circumstances are bound to happen. Sometimes the kids might wake up early and your workout takes a little longer than it normally would that day. You may oversleep that morning or not feel well when you wake up.
It’s OK to work out later in the day or even take a rest day, for that matter. Rest days are important, too, when it comes to good workout routines at home.
If you do have a spouse/partner, you should communicate with him or her about what you want to get accomplished. He or she might even be able to help by picking up some of the slack around the house or with the kids.
3. Find workouts online.
There are many fitness coaches or trainers that will help you from the comfort of your own home.
Some may come train you at home or they might even Skype with you from their own home or gym. Gray says she does online training and gives her clients routines in advance.
“A lot of times after I set them up, we meet after a month,” she says. “I show them the moves in person.”
Gray helps her clients with whatever they need, whether it’s accountability, new routines, meal plan ideas, videos of the actual moves or even Skype calls. She does personal training, partner workouts and small group training that’s more of a “boot camp” style.
If you’re thinking that at-home workouts may seem a little pricey or a little too much for you to handle right now, look up free online workouts. The internet has tons of workout videos on websites like YouTube, Fitness Blender or even on fitness social media accounts. There is bound to be a video for what you’re looking to do.
4. Switch up workouts.
Losing interest is one of the factors that causes people to become inconsistent — and makes them not want to follow through with daily workouts. If you are doing the same workout day after day, you not only will get bored, but your body will get used to it and will no longer lose weight.
In my case, I do many different workouts. I have a calendar for the whole month and incorporate shorter ab workouts after my regular workouts. I have a lot of cardio workouts, including some dance and Zumba options. I also try to do some yoga or Pilates when I need to rest my body a little bit.
My workouts are different every day. That way I can remain relatively consistent — but not burnt out.
5. Improvise when you need to.
Gray stresses the importance of utilizing your home while working out. “It doesn’t have to be complicated,” she says. “You can use the stairs for cardio or even pushups on the stairs.”
If you need equipment for a certain video, see if anything in your house will suffice. When my workout videos call for sliders or agility markers, I use small paper plates. They work just as good and I hardly paid anything for them.
Gray has her clients look in the house for different items if they do not have the proper equipment for good workout routines at home. She once had a client use soup cans for weights.
6. Reach out.
It is important to get information from someone you respect, Gray says, like a fitness coach or trainer. This helps with having correct form and preventing any injuries.
Finding other like-minded individuals who are doing the same thing as you is a great booster, too. That way you both can share tips on what worked and didn’t work with each other — and keep your motivation strong.
7. Do what’s best for you.
Every person is different. It’s important to do what’s best for you and what fits into your lifestyle. Once you get into the groove, you won’t even have to think about it.
Some people work long shifts during the day and their only time to work out is at night or on a lunch break. For myself, I know that when I come home, I just want to unwind, get my stuff together for the next day and go to bed early. Everyone’s lifestyle is different, so no workout schedule or regimen should be the same.
It’s also important to try something out of your comfort zone. Maybe take a session with a personal trainer and see how you can fit that into your own workouts. You can get a group of friends together and get a boot camp class going.
Most importantly, have fun with it.
This post was originally published in 2017 and is updated regularly.
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