How Do I Make Fitness Happen as a Mom?

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As a trainer specializing in pre- and post-natal fitness, I have heard these questions many times:

“I WANT to get back in shape, but how can I possibly make it happen with my new baby? How can I possibly find the time?”

Photo by Mike Baird
Photo by Mike Baird

Many new moms know that exercising will help them regain their pre-baby strength and tone… and possibly sanity!  It will certainly help them boost their mood and give them much-needed personal time.

Exercise is vital – but can new mothers possibly make it happen?

I have observed mothers who have managed to balance exercise and motherhood pretty well. Here are some tips based on these observations. And frankly, ALL busy women can benefit from knowing the secrets to making fitness work in their crazy lives!

Go with friends. Scheduling classes with your friends can help give you the motivation you need to get out of the house. Especially if you’re the kind of person who likes to please or take care of others, you will not want to cancel and let your friends down.

Make big Sunday dinners with leftovers you can eat before you head to class. If evening meal preparation time is deterring you from giving yourself time to exercise, having leftovers available can be a great time-saving solution.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Do you have friends or relatives close by who can watch your baby? Ask them! Chances are they will cherish the opportunity, and you’ll be refreshed by having that time for yourself. (Just an hour away may be all you need!)

Lacking energy and motivation?  Make a playlist of your favorite music. Music can be so energizing. Playing your favorite music when your motivation is starting to fade can turn everything around and make you feel like you NEED to move and sweat!

Lay out your exercise clothing the night before – Or wear them to bed! Deterred from morning exercise by the effort to get ready in the morning in addition your baby’s morning feeding, diapering and entertaining? Make it easier for yourself. If you’re already wearing your exercise outfit, you are literally 5 minutes away from being ready to go!!

Hire a trainer. This is a luxury, but it’s an investment in yourself that could make all the difference. A trainer saves time by coming to your home and working around your schedule, and he or she will tailor the workout to your needs. On top of that, you may not even need someone to watch your baby during your workout. I use music in my sessions, and I find that my music puts babies to sleep – an added bonus!!  If an ongoing trainer seems like too much of a luxury, allocate a set number of sessions to get yourself on track and learn some great exercises you can continue on your own.

Give yourself credit. That sticker chart you are using to encourage your child…make one for mommy! Finding the time for fitness is a huge accomplishment and you deserve a pat on the back. Never forget how much you do every day and give yourself the credit you deserve. Perhaps all those gold stars should result in a spa day reward? Yes?

Photo by Bob Whitehead
Photo by Bob Whitehead

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Mahri Relin, owner of Body Conceptions, is a NASM certified personal trainer and an AFPA Pre/Post Natal Exercise Specialist.  Deemed one of the two “Best Body Sculpting Workouts” in New York City by Vogue, Mahri and Body Conceptions have been featured in Redbook, DuJour, Fitness Magazine, The New York Times, Vogue and Well + Good. Mahri was a trainer for Tracy Anderson and Creative Director for FlyBarre at Flywheel Sports. Among their other services, the Body Conceptions studio has a full roster of pre- and postnatal certified personal trainers who help women maintain strength, stamina and muscle tone before and during their pregnancies and return to their pre-baby bodies quickly.  Mahri is a graduate of Williams College and can be found on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest.  For more information on Mahri and Body Conceptions go to www.bodyconceptions.com.

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