The gym isn’t for everyone.
It could be that you don’t like being on display next to Miss 20-Something emphasizing her golden goddess legs with her pink spandex short-shorts. Maybe you just don’t want to fork out the cash required for a gym membership. Maybe you don’t have the time to leave your house.
Maybe it’s all of the above.
A distaste for the gym, however, is no excuse to ignore fitness altogether. “Amazon Queen” and MOMeo Kyle King, creator of Inspire the Amazon Within, a course for women based on the upkeep of “physical, emotional, and spiritual fitness,” notes the benefits of staying in shape are substantial, especially for mothers:
“When a mother is healthy, she is more able to physically handle the rigors of raising her children.”
King adds that poor health tends to detract from a mom’s ability to handle all the lifting, sleeplessness, and long hours that raising a child requires.
Furthermore, King adds, physically unfit mothers tend to have unfit kids. Children don’t learn by what we say to them, but by example. If you want your children to grow up with good habits, you have to exhibit them daily.
The good news is that staying in shape from home can be just as effective as dragging your butt everyday to the closest fitness facility – as long as you allot a small amount of time in your daily regimen. To “develop and maintain strength and conditioning,” King recommends dedicating 30 minutes a day to working out. While mothers often struggle to find time or lack the desire, she notes that motivation comes more easily once established as part of a routine.
“It’s mind over matter some days, but once there’s a (fitness) routine in place, it becomes clear as to its value. She’s more likely to follow through.”
“It’s the first few weeks that are critical for her to change her patterns,” says King.
Scheduling sessions with a private instructor or attending group classes may help mothers in the initial phases of establishing a routine, because they offer structure.
Finding Proper Form
One issue women may face working out at home is making sure their form is proper. For the first few weeks of any new regimen, King recommends getting some one-on-one training with someone who can watch your form while you learn. After a short time, King says:
“Most people will begin to have muscle memory kick in and they will be able to keep their form without help.”
In order to successfully exercise from home, moms can consider investing in certain tools of the trade. Plenty of websites feature great workouts featuring these tools (see below); King plans to offer daily workouts on her blog for the “at home” crowd.
However, moms don’t need any gym equipment at all to perform some exercises. They just need their kids!
They can be great cardio partners, too. For moms who don’t own cardio machines, or who are unable to run/walk outside for whatever reason, King cites dancing as an “amazing” way to get your heart rate up:
“Your kids will want to join in,” she says. “It’s fun and exhilarating… the music and (sense of) abandon is helpful for a healthy mindset.”
King also recommends finding time to work out away from the kids. As lovable and entertaining as they can be…they also have a tendency to distract.
Ultimately, regardless of where you get your fitness fix, it all boils down to having the right mindset. Namely, that fitness is important for both you and your children, and that you’re willing to set aside time.
As King makes clear, a dedication to fitness should first and foremost revolve around how good it feels to be strong and supple and less about looks.
That can stop you dead in your tracks.
Fitness equipment and tools you should have for your home gym:
– Stability ball for strengthening your core
– A few sets of free weights ranging from 5 to 20 pounds, depending on your strength
– Jump rope for anytime cardio
– Yoga mat for stretching and floor exercises
– Medicine ball (12 lbs. is a good weight)
– Good running shoes with no more than a year of wear
– Loose, comfy clothing – the cuter it is, the more inspired you’ll be to put in on every day and kick butt in your workouts!