Janey Holliday, founder of www.makingthingseasy.com (providing online food, fitness and lifestyle programs for busy women), is a single working Mum of three. Here she explains how fitting exercise in when you’re a busy Mum, is easy when you know how.
I’ve been a single Mum to my nearly eight year old twins for seven years now and I had my daughter by myself in March. One thing I know for sure, it’s essential for me to be fit and strong because this makes being a Mum so much easier. Plus exercise keeps me sane around all the immense juggling I do! I love having the ME time and sense of freedom by training outside when I can, but I also need the flexibility of online workouts to fit in around the children day to day. Plus, I’m clever at combining fun, family activities that sneak exercise in without anyone realising.
I coach many Mums and having no time is one of the top reasons they tell me they don’t exercise regularly. But making time for something so important (that make us Mums feel SO good and benefits the whole family as a result!) is easy with the right attitude. Here’s my top tips on how to fit fitness in around the kids…
- Get fit digitally: In the digital era we’re in at the moment, women can shop online, date online and now get fit online. This means a few things for busy Mums doing my online fitness programs; 1) we don’t need to leave the house to exercise, 2) we don’t need to find more time to train and 3) You can train inside or even in the garden! I do the fitness videos from my own online bootcamps because they are just 10-30 minutes long and you can do what you want when. When my daughter was 7 weeks old I started doing Pilates in the garden – no baby sitter needed and no drive out to a gym!
- Look out for fitness opportunities everywhere! My twins love swimming and so I’ve been taking my 10 week old daughter swimming for a few weeks now – it’s essential that we can all do things together and ideally activities that burn calories and make us feel good. I bought her a baby rubber ring/boat which means I can push her in the pool and do lengths whilst my boys play their shark games / diving competitions, or we have races together! Taking three children swimming by yourself is exercise in itself, ha ha! But I try to make it as fun as possible and we now do it twice a week.
- Exercise with the kids around: My children LOVE seeing me train at home and often join in. It means that I can do my 10 or 15 minutes whilst they are getting ready for school after breakfast and before the school run. If I need to do things to help them, I can just press pause and go back to it a few minutes later. Them seeing me exercise means they will grow up seeing their Mum prioritizing health and seeing exercise as a positive thing. They often join in too!
- Use children’s equipment to get fit: Recently I’ve taken to jumping on the trampoline as a way of exercising outside without needing childcare! Once the kids have had enough, they do something else in the garden and whilst the baby sleeps in her pram, I get on and jump for my life! I play some great tunes and have created a couple of mini routines that involve basic jumps and twists and I love it. (I should add that I had a c-section and so I have no pelvic floor issues if you’ve had a natural birth don’t jump until you’re ready and some women may not be able to do these types of exercises!). But skipping is also great, bouncing a ball around, playing tennis or catch against a wall, there’s loads you can do in your own back yard.
- Baby on your body to improve your body: My daughter now weighs about 12-13lb and I have an awesome Hana Baby sling that she sleeps in quite a bit during the day and is also my new training accessory when I walk up my nearest hill. I either go walking with my twins all together having a Sunday afternoon adventure or I hike it when they are at school. I have to say the sling also helps me get on with domestic chores and work which helps me create even more time.
- Just find 10 minutes: Most women avoid starting an exercise program because they think they need to find an hour or more a day. I just aim for 10 minutes on the days I am busy and if I can I do more, I do. Here’s me and Tabitha underneath the Cherry Blossom – she loves looking up at me and the sky and I love having her as motivation and distraction to the workout I’m doing from the videos I’ve downloaded to my laptop! Is it me or does she look like she’s pointing at my laptop telling me to get on ;o)
- Get help so you can get out of the house: I really need to have some training escapism and there’s nothing I love more than heading out of the house and across the fields of Kent with some uplifting tunes in my ear! I have a little bit of part time help a few mornings a week now and this is when I get out the house quick! Here I am on my first post natal training run (well jog!) on a beautiful spring day. I can’t tell you how great I felt after this, it set my up for the whole day.
I exercise for the mental benefits first, then for physical strength and then for aesthetics – I love great food, nice wine and being a size 12, so I’m extremely self-motivated (because you can have your cake and eat it with the right approach!). But I also love to feel good over all else, so I actually think it’s easier to motivate yourself when you focus on how you feel. Plus taking the pressure off to find 60 minutes, 7 days a week and just do something, it all adds up.
Hopefully these ideas will have inspired you to try fitting in more fitness around the kids, but if you need help and support kick starting a fitness routine and you want to get short term results yet being inspired for a lifetime, then come and try one of my online fitness programs.
Use slickmummyjune to get 20% off any of either the Tummy ATTACK or the Best Body 28 day online bootcamps that start on Monday 4th July. Simply visit the programs page at www.makingthingseasy.com