Every woman wants to stay fit and healthy even after having kids. I am yet to meet a mother who doesn’t want this, but I have been around many working mothers long enough to realize that this is easier said than done. After a hard day’s work, seeing to your kids’ needs and your husband’s also, you are either too tired or there just isn’t any time left for you. However, there are ways around this, as a busy schedule shouldn’t be a reason to gain weight and be unhealthy anymore. Here are 10 steps to help you stay fit even as a busy mother:
- Believe and commit: First of all you have to believe you can get fit and make a conscious decision to do so. Make a commitment to your decision. I once went to a gym where the instructor told us “don’t wish for it, work for it”. Being healthy is a serious commitment and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Take a good look at yourself in a full length mirror, be honest but don’t be derogatory; there may be flaws but don’t obsess about them. Know where you need to work on.
- Know your health status: Determine how healthy you are. Check with your doctor before you start your journey, the exercise a person with arthritis will do is different from what a person with diabetes will do. Confirm what your limitations should be, don’t give yourself a heart attack on the treadmill please.
- Water is your friend: Drink at least 8 glasses of water, 5 sachets or 3 bottles of water every day. There are several benefits of drinking water including weight loss.
- Include fruits and vegetables in your diet: Many mothers buy fruits for their kids but don’t even eat fruits themselves. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, it can just be a daily dose of oranges that you buy from the hawker on your way to work.
- Eat breakfast: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and shouldn’t be missed. While rushing to get ready for work, getting the kids ready for day-care/school, breakfast most times becomes brunch or nothing at all. You can make extra of what you pack for your kids’ lunch box for yourself, give yourself a particular time for eating breakfast and try to keep to it. If you eat breakfast, you tend to eat less during the rest of your day.
- Relieve the domestic help of some duties: Do some house chores. Scrubbing the floor, sweeping the compound, washing the gutters can sometimes be a workout on the weekend. Bonus: your house gets clean and you burn some unwanted calories.
- Enroll in an aerobics class: Look for a gym close to your house and go for a 30 minutes work out session during the weekend.
- Play time is exercise time: I have energetic nieces who always want to play catch or football and my body always aches afterwards because I can’t keep up with their speed. If your kids are like this, have fun with them in the evenings, on weekends, play the Ring Around the Roses, Police and Thief (one of my nieces calls it ‘Soldier and Boko Haram’ …. sigh) , ten-ten, suwe, foot races, football etc. You will bond with your kids and also keep fit. Everybody wins. Extra benefit: Your kids won’t allow you to skip their weekend play with you.
- Early morning yoga: Download a yoga exercise video or step by step picture and do ten minutes of yoga early in the morning before your kids wake up. It will help you feel relaxed and help you lose weight.
- Be patient: You didn’t gain weight overnight, so you can’t lose it that fast. Whatever regimen you decide to follow, stick to it, and give it time. If you are consistent, eventually you will lose weight.
About the Writer: Rabiat Abdulkareem is a graduate of Chemistry from University of Ilorin. She is passionate about food, travel and books. Connect with her on twitter @rabiatota