By: Shabana Waheed
Parenthood is hard no matter which way you slice it. There are so many responsibilities and things that need to be done on a daily basis that making time for yourself sometimes seems impossible and quite honestly, some days it is impossible.
Every Adventure Requires a First Step
I first started my fitness journey back before I had children.
Going to the gym 5-6 times a week. Tracking my meals, making strides on my goals.
When I became pregnant I kept going to the gym and ate my healthy meals. I wanted to be sure that as soon as I had the baby, the transition back to “normal” was going to be an easy one.
I really had no clue what I was in for. How sleep deprived I would be, how much “extra” time I actually didn’t have and that even though I had kept my healthy habits, it was still going to be quite an adjustment to get us all into the new way of life.
Instead of going to the gym whenever I wanted to after work, I had to wait for my husband to get home to care for the baby and same for him. On days where he was out of town, I had to figure out a workout at home with a baby either in front of me on the floor, or if she was old enough, she was playing.
Sometimes if I was lucky enough to get her down for a nap without me having to be right next to her, I could squeeze in a quick workout.
Oftentimes though, I would have to stop 20 minutes in and then come back an hour later to pick back up where I left off. It was not ideal in any fashion but I made it a priority because I knew I wanted to keep my health goals, and continue on my journey, even if it meant I was starting/stopping 2-5 a day.
Walk it Out
One thing that did work really well for us in the first year of parenthood was walking a lot.
I would put my daughter in her jogger stroller and we would walk for miles. She would often get her afternoon nap in while we did that and I would get my exercise in. It wasn’t the weight lifting I wanted but it was something and that was enough at that point.
Walking is always a great place to start if you are not sure where to start on a fitness journey. Just get out at walk!
According to Healthline, a simple 30 minute walk has been proven to ease joint pain, reduce stress, lower blood sugar, boost immune function and more!
Two to Tango
When we had our son, balancing 2 kids was tougher but I knew I could do it. In the first few months I did workout videos on YouTube from BodyFit by Amy. They were usually short enough that I could do them in between naps.
Most of them were HIIT, mixed with weights and kettlebell and cardio. They were definitely time-friendly and effective. I highly recommend BodyFit by Amy for new parents wanting to get their fitness on but have limited time! Or anyone in a time crunch.
Get that Blood Pumping
Eventually I was able to get more time as the kids have gotten a little older. I still have to wait for my husband to get home, in order to go to the gym but I have acquired a lot more equipment at home if I need to workout at home.
The key is not feeling like you need to spend hours at the gym every time you go or that you need to be dripping in sweat every time you workout.
If all you can get in is a 25 minute YouTube HIIT workout at home, then that is great! Don’t beat yourself up because you don’t have the time to workout 2 hours a day like so and so who looks like a fitness model.
Being a parent is hard and getting time for yourself is harder!
However, carving out time for your health and fitness is of utmost importance so if 25 minutes 5 days a week is all you can do for now, let’s do it! Then eventually let’s add a little bit more.
Kids get older and more self sufficient, jobs change etc. I cannot stress enough the importance of making yourself strong and getting your hearts blood pumping!
If you have the space, time and finances, I would highly recommend getting a few things for your workouts at home. On days where you can’t make it to the gym, or maybe you just live too far away etc. I would recommend a set of booty bands from Lifting the Dream, a couple sets of dumbbells (light, medium and heavy- this will look different for everyone), kettlebell (medium and heavy), yoga mat, a step and maybe a barbell and plates if you can.
It took me about 3 years to acquire all these things. I certainly didn’t go buy them all at once. But, if you are not the gym type, this will set you up for beginner success!
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How have you managed to juggle Parenthood with Fitness? What are your main struggles?
Malia is the force behind Lifting the Dream and a proud mompreneur. When she's not lifting heavy weights, she's probably at the beach or Disney with her family. She is a Cali girl born and raised, with salt water in her veins and sunshine in her heart. She and her family now reside in Florida soaking up the sun, heat, and all the amazing outdoor activities this state has to offer.