A new year brings New Year’s resolutions, and for many of us our resolutions are health and fitness related. A survey of 1000 Australians found 69 per cent of us make at least one New Year’s resolution but only a quarter of us will stick to achieving our goals.
Being a busy mum, it can seem impossible to fit in exercise and eat a good diet. I totally hear you when you say you don’t have time. I feel like I don’t either. I have two kids 17 months apart, a husband who works 12 hour days and I myself work from home.
As a former personal trainer and class instructor, not having as much time to invest in myself these days drives me more than a bit bonkers. But I’ve found that if you make it easier, lower the expectations you put on yourself about how often and how long you’ll exercise, and don’t do too many diet changes at once, it’s manageable – and you’re more likely to stick to it.
It really doesn’t take much to make a difference. There are some simple, small changes you can make that will have you looking and feeling better.
1. Incidental exercise
Head out for a walk with the pram and take the long way home (or even better, find the steepest hills!), do some squats while you’re holding your baby, chase your toddler around the house or challenge older kids to a running race in the park – all ways to get some activity in without really trying.
2. Quick workouts anywhere, anytime
You don’t have to have an hour, or make it to a formal session such as a class or bootcamp. Get out with the pram, do a bodyweight workout using the park bench or playground – steps ups, pushups, squats, planks, mountain climbers, run/walks, the possibilities are endless! Maybe invest in a kettle bell or slam ball to use as a weight.
You can also do home workouts while the baby sleeps, or even using an older baby as a weight – make it a game for them! See the ‘get inspired’ section below for some great workout inspiration and ideas.
3. One or two diet changes
Going cold turkey on everything at once is the fastest way to fail! Start by eliminating one or two of your weaknesses (i.e cut down on alcohol and chocolate, or start by replacing your sugary breakfast cereal with oats, or replace white bread with wholegrains). Then, as you get used to that, have a look at what else in your diet you could replace with better choices. Healthy eating and exercise go hand in hand, but diet changes are what will make the most difference to how you look and feel.
If you tell a friend what you’re trying to do you’ll be more likely to stick to it. Spreading the word will make you more accountable, and if you have a workout and/or healthy eating buddy you can egg each other on and keep each other on track.