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Finding the time to exercise. You thought it was hard before you had a kid. Now you look at back on those days and think, what did I do with my time? I was so free! If you have more than one kid, you know that exercise isn’t always a priority. Things like making sure everyone has eaten and scraping the sweet potatoes and crackers off of the walls end up taking precedence. And to be perfectly honest, that’s how it should be. And that’s how it probably will be when your babies are still babies.

So what’s a mama to do? Do we sacrifice sleep to wake up before the baby and exercise? Pray all children nap together so we can have 30 minutes of alone time to sweat it out? Wait till everyone goes to sleep and lose out on your valuable “me” time (aka wine o’clock). Most of the time these options don’t pan out.

Here are 4 realistic tips on how to keep up with your exercise routine while keeping up with your little ones.

1. Your Sleep and Nutrition Go Hand-in-Hand

 

porridgeDon’t sacrifice sleep and make proper nutrition a priority. What you put into your body has a huge impact on how you feel! If you just ate a crap ton of Halloween candy, and then woke up early to work out with only 6 hours of sleep, odds are you will crash and the cycle will repeat.

 

Focus on eating whole foodsquion with the emphasis on plants, staying hydrated (especially when tired) avoiding sugar and processed foods, and eating only when you are hungry. So simple, right? I know diet can be an incredibly complex beast, but if you make this a priority you will have more energy and focus and be able to actually put your all into exercising when you have the time.

 

2. Work with “Found’ Exercises

Lying on the floor with baby? Go for a couple rounds of dead bug or learn some new yoga postures!heartopen

Walking the kids to the store? Push through the heels and walk quickly to get your heart rate up and engage your glutes.

Burpees! You may hate them, but your kids will probably think they are hilarious.

It sounds like nothing, and most of the time we think we need to devote an hour+ in order to feel accomplished and like we truly “worked out”, but all of these little things certainly add up. Some of my most successful clients are the ones who consistently work with these found exercises.

3. Make Use of Friends and Family Whenever You Canscreen-shot-2016-10-21-at-11-21-34-am

If mom is coming over to see the kids, ask her if you can run out to the gym for 30 minutes.

She most likely will love the alone time with the grandkids, and you can get your precious you time.

We often don’t want to burden people, but asking for help in a non-pushy way is perfectly acceptable and necessary for your mental health. It takes a village, right?

4. Create a 10-20 Minute Workout You Can Do with Your Kids Around

safhan

This might be the most useful advice yet. If there is a time that you know everyone is generally a bit calmer, perhaps in the morning or after nap time,  set them up with some toys and books and get to it.  Don’t get stressed out if you can’t finish your entire routine. I’ve had many a workout cut short by a 20 minute nap (don’t you usually sleep for at least an hour?!) and you have to just let it be what it is. You can pick it up again later when people are a bit less needy, or try to involve the kiddos in what you’re doing.

Like anything else, incorporating these tips may take a bit of trial and error, but consistency is key! In yoga we call it your sadhana: your daily practice. The form your sadhana takes may vary day-to-day depending on naps, hungry bellies, and mysterious crying bouts. Keep going, set simple and small daily goals, and remember that your mental and physical health are still priorities in your new life as a mama!