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What comes to mind when I say the word ‘motherhood’? Do you see a family with 2.5 children in all color-coordinating outfits, laughing together at the most clever inside joke only they understand, eating a perfectly packed picnic basket lunch on a sunny day? As a mom of two boys, I see a mom with one overly excited child running around her legs, holding a wailing baby in one arm, and on the other arm has her diaper bag, all four heavy grocery bags, the dog leash, and her coffee that she has reheated 17 times today. These might be two extremes, but motherhood typically falls somewhere in between these two scenarios. Most moms wouldn’t use the word ‘balance’ when describing the motherhood journey. I would describe motherhood more like an exciting three-ring circus of sometimes organized chaos with moments of unspeakable and unexplainable love for tiny, opinionated human beings.
Simply put, motherhood changes your life -- sometimes for the better and most of the time without regard to your personal needs or desires. As a mom and the owner of FIT4MOM Eastside, headquartered in Seattle, the one thing I am asked the most is, “How do you balance motherhood and fitness?” If you are wondering about this very topic, you are in luck! As a mom and a fitness professional, I have some tips!
1. Find time for you.
If given an hour or two, working out might not be your go-to activity. If I find I have an hour or two, my to-do list is running through my head at lightning speed. In two hours I could fold eight loads of laundry, clean all the bathrooms and the kitchen, vacuum AND dust, and I might even have time to run to Costco. That is A LOT of boxes I could check off my to-do list. More often than not, I check off one box -- the one labeled WORKOUT. Working out increases my energy, carries me through my day, makes me a happier mom, and keeps me sane! The best part is I feel better about myself and it gives me the strength for motherhood.
2. Communicate with your partner.
We have all heard the saying “happy wife, happy life”. It is a scientific fact that working out can make you a happier human. Other side effects might include soreness, more energy, possibly even cheerfulness and an overall brighter outlook on life. There is a lot to be said for a mom who is taking this time for herself. Having a partner who supports your efforts not only relieves possible “mommy guilt”, but it might provide you with childcare to get out on your own! If you have time to get out of the house kid-free, check out FIT4MOM’s program called Body Back! Body Back is a kid-free, boot camp style workout with the added bonus of nutritional coaching and motivational support in an all-female environment. And many locations offer early morning and after bedtime classes!
3. Don’t use motherhood as a crutch.
Getting a good workout doesn’t mean that you have to leave your littles behind. Take them WITH you! Lead by example! You can invest in a good walking/jogging stroller, or a hiking backpack and find a local trail or hike. Some gyms even offer Mommy & Me classes. FIT4MOM locations across the country offer Stroller Strides and Stroller Barre classes. These are one-hour, full body Mommy & Me workouts that you can do with your little one in the stroller. And they are definitely not just a walk in the park. You will get a great workout and meet other moms that know exactly what you are going through. Stick around after class and turn it into a play date! A workout and mom friends in one spot? Why Not?!
Today's post is written by lucyPRO, Erin Houg. Erin lives in Snohomish, Washington and is mom to Roman (5) and Crew (3) and wife to Brian, a network engineer for Concur. She is owner of FIT4MOM Eastside. FIT4MOM is the country's largest fitness program for moms offering prenatal and postnatal fitness classes. She started her first FIT4MOM franchise in 2011, going on to purchase two more and open the first FIT4MOM studio in the country in Redmond, WA. She is also one of three finalists for FIT4MOM Franchisee of the Year 2017. When she isn’t working out or teaching FIT4MOM classes, she can be found at Costco and Trader Joe’s, trying to keep her fridge full for her two growing boys.