Momma Does It All: How to Fit a Healthy Lifestyle Into Your Parenting Routine

Being a mother is difficult enough, let alone trying to stay fit while parenting. Children take about nine months to be born after conception, then spend at least eighteen years under your roof. Those nineteen years are sufficiently long enough to knock any mother out of shape. Although kids are difficult to keep up with, here are several ways to fit a healthy lifestyle into your parenting routine.

Plan and Cook Healthy Meals

Meal planning helps prevent last-minute decisions to cook easily-constructed, unhealthy dishes, or even worse, visit a fast food restaurant or order delivery. Research which meals are cheap and healthy, saving you money without opting for often-inexpensive processed foods.

Many parents cook what their kids want to eat so they act calmer, don’t bug them, and don’t throw fits about not having their favourite foods. Too many children’s favourite meals are from fast food joints, frozen bags of processed junk, and not enough fresh fruits and vegetables. These meals are generally easier and quicker to cook than healthier dishes with more health benefits. However, spending time selecting healthier ingredients from grocery stores, researching healthy recipes, and experimenting with their flavours are all very much worth the benefits.

Incorporate Family Members into Exercise Routines

As a mom, it’s often difficult to find free time. Alone time, when it’s found, is usually spent taking care of errands or fulfilling other obligations. An effective way of making sure you stay fit as a mom is to include your spouse and children into exercise routines. Bring them to the park and engage in exercise with them. Even if you don’t like to play catch, play tag, or push them on swings, do it! Exercise is proven to release your brain’s “feel-good chemicals,” making normally-unenjoyable exercises easier to deal with. Besides, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and staying fit isn’t always enjoyable. The fittest moms don’t eat often-tasty fast food often or spend their days lounging around, two things that are most peoples’ — moms or not — guilty pleasures.

Whether your children like it or not, bring them along to exercise at your local park or exercise facility. Doing so is cheaper than finding a babysitter or dropping them off at daycare, not to mention the bonding benefits from spending time with family members.

Tie Your Emotions into Your Exercise Goals

People are often more sincere on following through with their promises, goals, and plans when they’re emotionally invested. Someone with a food addiction who particularly loves to binge on fast food may not stick with quitting if they’re unhappy with abstaining from such food, because their spouse or other family members have bugged them into stopping. As such, try your best to get emotionally charged in trying to stay fit. It might even be a better idea to not start an exercise routine if you can’t get emotionally invested, as dissatisfaction from failing may permanently discourage you.

Find Exercise Tips Online

Instead of  spending part of your day on the Internet, laying around doing nothing, checking YouTube for health and exercise tips from health-driven companies like ASEA is a great way to make use of time spent supervising children. Hours on end are usually spent sitting around, making sure your children and their friends don’t hurt themselves or one another. Moms with smartphones often spend time mindlessly browsing through social media or other websites on the Internet. Make use of this time and find short, low-equipment exercise routines, meals that are easy to cook, and healthier lifestyle habits.

Fulfilling a commitment to exercise or cooking just one healthy meal are both difficult tasks, let alone sustaining a healthy lifestyle. Doing so while parenting is even more difficult. Get emotionally invested, put your mind towards staying fit, and don’t get discouraged—best of luck!

By Hannah Whittenly

Hannah  is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake. Follow Hannah on Twitter and Facebook

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