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Tips for working out as a mom


Pregnancy and postpartum exercise come with their own hurdles. And we tackled both of those topics in our Pregnancy Guide to Exercise and our Bump and Beyond Guide. But what about after that initial postpartum phase? Despite the lack of guidance, exercise remains incredibly important for mothers.

Not only is working out good for mom’s health, but there are several other positive benefits such as boosting energy levels, reducing stress, and simply setting a good example for your kids. Plus, for many people, exercise just feels good. And all of these juicy benefits can ultimately have a spill-over effect into your family and everyday life.

At the end of the day, it’s important to fill up your mama cup first so you can show up as the best possible version of yourself.

Benefits of exercise for moms

Motherhood is beautiful, chaotic, and yes, often exhausting. It can sometimes feel like you ran a marathon (or more!). Yet, exercise could be the key to boosting energy levels. And that’s not all, let’s get right into it.As a parent, your approach to fitness influences your children's perception of exercise. Prioritizing your health can shape their attitude toward staying fit. Lead by example and show your kids that exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and that it's never too late to start or start again.

Boosts energy levels
Exercise plays a key role in energy levels. Try swapping that fourth or fifth cup of java for some exercise to get you through that tired fog. Exercise increases endorphins and affects other hormones that’ll deliver a runner’s “high” to help you tackle the day.

Reduces stress
Mom life is HARD and stress is a problem for both your body and mind. Working out helps lower cortisol levels and better manage your neurological stress responses (one of the many mental health benefits of exercise).

Improves sleep quality
If the quantity of sleep is still a sore spot, try focusing on upping the quality of your sleep. How? Yep, you’ve guessed it – exercise! Exercise is one of the best ways to improve sleep quality by regulating our circadian rhythm which signals our brains to tell us when to sleep and wake up.

Improves posture
Breastfeeding or pumping have you hunched over? Or maybe you’re lifting your baby from a crib or simply opting for the toddler tantrum football carry leaving the park. Being a mom is physically demanding and can leave you with several imbalances. Exercise can help alleviate some of those aches and pains by strengthening key muscle groups. Try also incorporating some isolation exercises to balance your body and feel strong as a mother.

Increases confidence/self-esteem
Your body goes through some radical changes during pregnancy and the postpartum period. While these changes are incredible, they can leave you feeling uncomfortable in your own skin. Exercise is a great way to boost confidence through both the physical and the mental achievements of showing up for yourself and getting stronger.

Positive role model for your kids
As a parent, your approach to fitness influences your children's perception of exercise. Prioritizing your health can shape their attitude toward staying fit. Lead by example and show your kids that exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and that it's never too late to start or start again.


Tips to work it into your day

Now that we’ve covered the benefits of working out as a mom, let’s get into the important part: the how. Below we’ve rounded out our top tips to make working out as a mother work for you!

  1. Wake up early: (Yeah, right.) Okay before you roll your eyes, hear us out. We’re not going to sugar coat it – sleep is important. If sleep is still on the rocks, skip to tip #2. For all you other mamas, try to knock out your workout early before the kids wake up to seize the day. It’ll feel good to get it done and it’s also a great way to carve out some much-needed "me" time before the chaos begins.
  2. Set realistic goals for yourself: We tend to give ourselves grace during the postpartum period, so why not now? Motherhood and fitness both require their fair share of patience, so lean into it! Don’t try to do too much too fast if you’re starting a new fitness program and remember to go with the flow. Fitness is a long-term journey and it’s more about your consistency over time than forcing workouts when it feels like everything else is crumbling.
  3. Realize your priorities have changed: You don’t need to commit to one hour of exercise to reap the rewards of breaking a sweat. Just 17 minutes a day of your Base is enough. Remember, it’s not a sprint, opt for a routine you can stick to during this season of life.
  4. Schedule it in: If waking up before your kids simply isn’t in the cards, treat exercise like a business meeting and plan accordingly. Find a time that works for you (and your kids, of course), get your gear ready, show up, and get it done!
  5. Ask for help: Don’t shy away from asking for help if you’re able to! Ask your spouse, partner, or other family members to take care of the kids while you get your solo sweat on. We’ve already listed the vast benefits working out offers mothers, so let go of that guilt and get after those endorphins!
  6. Include your kids: When flying solo isn't an option, involve your kids in your workout. Go for a stroller run, go for a walk with your baby in the carrier, kick a ball in the backyard, or hit the playground for some calisthenics training. Get creative and make it fun! It’s a great way to get moving and forge new memories simultaneously.
  7. Make it fun: Make exercise your ultimate self-care time and let loose! It's all about YOU. Find what fires you up, set a goal, and go for it. Also, if you truly enjoy it, you're less likely to skip - and you don't want to miss out on all those feel-good benefits.

Let’s recap

Exercise is important in all stages of life, but especially so during motherhood. There are, of course, several challenges that make working out as a mom difficult, but with a little forethought, planning, and flexibility, it’s 100% doable. And the benefits are definitely worth it – you are worth it. When you prioritize yourself and your health, everyone benefits. Remember, it’s your cup first. Time to fill it up!

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