It's often hard for a busy mom to find the time for fitness, but it is 100% possible with a few easy and fun lifestyle changes. The key is getting the whole family on board with healthy, fun and fit activities.
Expose Your Kids to Physical Activity at a Young Age
At just two years old, all three of my boys started with BMX Bike racing. Teaching them how to ride a bike at such a young age required them to learn great balance, and now they are inseparable from their bikes. Expose your children to different types of physical activity and see what sticks with them. When your family and children constantly want to participate in physical activity, there is more motivation for you to do the same.
Emphasize Food and Nutrition as Fuel
I apply the same strategy for what my children eat. I have been teaching my kids about the nutritional benefits of food ever since they were little. I also think it's important to relate nutrition to physical activity. It all goes hand-in-hand. For example, once I got my kids to love a particular physical activity or sport, I emphasized the importance of nutrition as "fuel" for them. Without nutrition, there would be no energy or strength for bike riding.
Also, my boys love superheroes. I connected the two by referencing the muscles and strength of the characters they looked up to. I would say, "Hey Owen, how do you think Batman is able to run so fast and get so big and strong? He doesn't have superpowers, so it must be the food he's eating." They became more mindful and excited about what they were putting into their bodies because they wanted to be like their heroes. Once your kids realize the importance of healthy eating, they will want to be around it, making it easier for a mom to stock the house with muscle-building and energizing, healthy foods.
Make Chores a Group Activity
I always try to balance my fitness lifestyle with my "mom" lifestyle, and one of the easiest ways for me to do this is to include my family in my motherly chores. For example, I go grocery shopping twice a week. Beforehand, I make sure we all sit down as a family and my kids help me write out my shopping list. We all get to choose what healthy, balanced meals we want to eat. As I go through the list, I break the dinners up into thee parts: vegetable, protein and carbohydrates. I keep it very simple but still teach them what a balanced meal needs to have and why. They love to pick and choose, and it becomes another activity we get to do together. Giving them options with their meals makes family-wide healthy eating that much easier.
Also, when it comes to chores around the house, I use my children as my weights to give me a workout, all while helping me clean at the same time. For my high ceiling fans or shelves, instead of me standing on a chair to dust them, I will lift one of my boys up for him to dust the fan. While I vacuum, one of my kids will (typically) be jumping on top of the vacuum, making it fun for them and an INTENSE arm workout for me. It's important to make time for the gym, but sometimes a busy mom just needs to utilize what's around her—including her family—to keep busy and work out around the home while multitasking with chores.
Lead by Example
To get the whole family involved in a healthy lifestyle, moms often have to lead by example. Anyone who has kids knows that they observe and imitate. If you practice what you preach, then it will be natural for your kids to develop healthy habits. It's that easy.
My children are motivated to eat better and stay active because they see me prepping my food and getting ready to go to the gym. If I go for a distance run, they want to join me on their bikes. If I'm eating healthy, they want to, too. Sometimes they'll say things like, "Hey mom, are you going to get your food together now? Can we ride our bikes until you're done?" I cannot describe how good that makes me feel as a mom and as a fitness and health enthusiast.
Overall, having children takes plenty of focus, passion and dedication. As mothers, we have the tools of a champion already. With these simple and fun lifestyle changes, mothers can work toward extending this dedication toward their own personal health and wellness and to their family's.
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