Exercise Strategies for Busy Mum’s

Anyone who knows me knows that I am the LAST person to give any advice about fitness. However, as it’s a new year (how can we already be two weeks through 2012!?!?!) I thought I’d do a quick post on the strategies I’m trying to use. I’m having a bit of trouble making time to do exercise in an already packed schedule, but I am desperate to lose the extra baby weight because I can’t afford a brand new wardrobe!

Often I find it’s really difficult to carve out a dedicated hour to do some exercise. I’m trying to combine it with doing other things like going for a walk with friends instead of sitting in a coffee shop eating cake and drinking calorie rich drinks! I’m also trying to change my mindset to think that actually, exercise is really important for me because without it I’m not going to be as fit and healthy as I need to be to look after my family.

I use all the classic tips like, walking whenever I can, taking the stairs and not the lifts, etc. I’m also trying to do 10-20 minutes of yoga every evening. I don’t need to leave the house for this and I can fit this in at the end of the day. I have a yoga DVD (in fact I have a few fitness DVD’s, but this is the only one I can cope with at the moment!) which has exercise sessions that are all 10 minutes long. Doing small bite sized chunks means I’m more likely to do it.

I have a pedometer which I bought from Amazon. It cost me a tenner and it’s been an enlightening experience. I try to walk during lunchtime, even if its just for 15 minutes. I can average about 8,000 steps a day if I make a concerted effort but it’s normally between 5000 and 6000. You are supposed to do 10,000 steps to be healthy and 15,000 steps to lose any weight. Unfortunately I just don’t have two hours a day to dedicate to walking but I figure that something is better than nothing.

I have signed up to a dancing class. I have negotiated with my husband that when our little one is in bed I can have an hour on a Tuesday evening to go to a dance class. It starts at 8pm and finishes at 9pm, so by the end I am practically crawling out of the door, but without doing the class I feel sluggish all week. Initially I felt guilty about going out for an hour, but I’ve learnt that this class makes me a better Mum because I need this time to make this investment in myself.

We have also tried a few times for my husband to take my little one to the “Dad’s time” class that is on a Saturday morning in our local Children’s centre. It only costs £1 and he gets a bacon sandwhich for his trouble and the opportunity to talk to other Dad’s about the joys of parenting. I get a whole hour to myself which I use to dash out on my bike for 30 mins and then come home to relax in a bath. I have to admit that this one only happens once a month if I’m lucky, but I’m realising that once a month is better than never!

Having said all this, I do know the statistic that says that to lose weight it’s 40% exercise and 60% diet. I am trying my best to focus on my diet, but as a busy working Mum, sometimes the best laid plans fly out the window. I’m learning not to be so hard on myself though, sometimes I have to recognise that I’m only human and to be human means to make mistakes. Although, next time you see me happily munching on a cake, feel free to poke me in the ribs and remind me it all goes straight to my thighs :-D!

I’ve included a link below for exercise classes and events that happen in and around Basingstoke. If you have any strategies for exercise or know of any other classes, please add in the comments. Good luck with your fitness strategies for 2012!

Exercise for Mum’s

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