How To Fit In Fitness When You're A Working Mum
By Di Westaway | Chief Adventure Chick and Founder of Wild Women On Top
Phew. You’ve survived six weeks of fighting the kids off screens, off Maccas and off the couch.
So now it’s time to tackle that perennial New Year’s Resolution that fails: your fitness. It’s time to think about how the hell you’re going to make your health a priority this year.
Because even if you’re a full-time working mum, not only is it possible for you to exercise every day, it can even be fun.
The secret to getting and staying fit when you’re a working mum is frequency, rather than intensity. So forget about all that HIIT, spinning and burn, baby, burn. What you need is a fitness habit that’s fun with friends.
And you need to get it done before the kids wake up.
I’ve been a working mum of three for 15 years, and coached thousands of women on how to balance work, fitness and motherhood. It’s not easy, and you won’t always get it right, but it is possible, and it is worth it.
Here’s how to make it happen.
- Find a friend who also needs a bit of motivation, have a coffee and make a training plan. If you don’t have any friends who are interested, join a group IRL (that’s In Real Life, for those over the age of 24) or on Facebook and connect with someone there.
- Sign up to some sort of physical challenge together, preferably for charity, that takes away the guilt you may feel for taking seven hours out of your week to exercise. This might be an endurance hike, a fun run, or an adventure which you need to train for.
- Put up a habit chart on the fridge and record every day you get 10,000 steps and five minutes puffing. This will help keep you on track.
- Set your alarm for 5.30am every day, have your activewear ready at the bottom of your bed and get out the front door before you have time to think. Make a plan to meet your buddy so there’s no backing out at the last minute.
- Walk somewhere green and hilly for 30 minutes, making sure you puff for at least five minutes. If this seems too easy, put some weight in your backpack so you get your bum and thighs working more.
- Be back home in time for breaky with the kids feeling fabulous.
- Diarise one night a week where you get the kids fed and bathed, get a head torch and a buddy, and go walking outside for two hours seeking out hills and nature.
- Diarise one Sunday morning a fortnight where your partner takes the kids and you go wild with the girls. Make it a three-hour hike, where you commit to a distance or a number of hills, then grab brunch afterwards. It’ll become the highlight of your week! On the alternative Sunday morning, you can take the kids while your partner has some ‘me time’.
If you’re feeling a bit blah about the WHY of exercise, remember this: hiking helps your heart, buffs your butt, tones wobbly bits, increases suppleness, builds balance, reduces brooding and maximises memory. It helps with stress, mood, energy and vitality. And it’s bloody great fun.
When you do it with friends, you don’t even notice yourself puffing and panting – you’re so immersed in great conversation and the magic of nature. That makes it a complete mind, body spirit workout like no other.
Do you want to be inspired and empowered to lead an adventurous life you love? Do you want to find the Wild Woman inside you and unleash her? You've come to the right place. Sign up for our newsletter to recieve great content like this weekly to your inbox, and join a global community of women leading adventurous lives they love. Join us.