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Healthy living for busy moms

The Ultimate Guide To Healthy Living For Busy Moms

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Trying to fit exercise and healthy living into an already busy schedule can be challenging for moms.

I’m in the same boat – I get it! Motherhood is a wonderful thing. A beautiful thing! But it takes a lot of time and nearly all of our energy. We work (in and out of the home), keep up with housework, do mountains of laundry, run the kids to band and soccer practice, make sure everyone has something to eat, help with homework, and the list goes on and on.

I’ve had many moms say to me “I want to live a healthier lifestyle, but I’m not sure where to start” or “I’d like to start exercising, but I don’t have time for the gym.” Sound familiar?

We need realistic ways to make exercise and healthy habits a part of our lives. That’s why I’ve created this ultimate guide especially for busy moms to get you started.

Why Is Healthy Living Important?

You’ve heard the saying “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” If you haven’t, think about it….right now, go ahead 😉. Motherhood requires so much of yourself, and you gladly give it, but without filling yourself back up, you will quickly run out of things to give. Mom burnout is a real thing.

Personally, I know that I am a better mom – more of the mom I want to be – when I exercise regularly. What that looks like in my daily life might be very different than what it looks like in yours.

Remember, we’re working on realistic changes, and that will vary between us. Finding ways to “reset” your mood, give an energy boost, cope with stress, and enjoy these precious years is crucial to your well-being as a mom.

Ok, so we all know we should live healthy lives, but how do we do it and what does it look like?

Healthy Living Tips for Success

First, let’s lay a little groundwork. To be successful, we need a plan! “A dream without a plan is just a wish,” after all.

Think about your goals.

What is it that you are wanting to accomplish? Do you want to lose weight? Drink more water? Have energy to play tag with your kids?

Set realistic expectations.

Busy mama, you probably won’t be able to spend 10 hours in the gym every week. In this phase of life, that’s probably not realistic. Sorry to burst your bubble. But, maybe you could manage 2 hours? Or take a walk with the family three evenings during the week?

Start with baby steps.

Don’t overwhelm yourself…things change in time, not overnight.

“I’d like to lose 20lbs, but will aim for 2lbs this month.”

“Drinking 1 gallon of water a day seems like A LOT, but I could drink an extra glass before bed.”

Don’t compare yourself!

Comparison is the thief of joy. Let’s help and encourage each other, but don’t try to do as much as “she” is or wish you looked more like “her.” You, mama, are flawless in your own way.

the ultimate guide to healthy living for busy moms

Common Questions About Living A Healthy Lifestyle As A Mom 

What is a “healthy lifestyle?”

This one is really up to you (and your doctor), but generally, a healthy lifestyle includes physical activity, food choices, and taking care of your mental health. As a mom, it’s important that you find a balance between all three in a realistic way that works for you and your family.

You can’t out-train a bad diet, but you also shouldn’t calorie count yourself to a mental breakdown. Take a breath. Think about what you want and what “healthy” means to you during this phase of life.

How can I find the time to exercise? I’m SO busy already!

I believe you! So many times, we hear “exercise” and automatically think “gym.” But you can get a great workout at home…even with no equipment! Activities such as walking, jogging, and cleaning (am I the only one who sweats when I vacuum?!) can be great workouts. As a bonus, doing them at home means you can do them together as a family!

On days when you’re really short on time, you can try things like parking farther away from the store door as you run errands, walking in place as you cook dinner (one time I easily got hundreds of steps while I watched my daughters watercolor!), or doing a quick 10 minute stretching session.

Remember, making a commitment to exercise does not necessarily mean 5-7 days a week. Many health professionals stress the benefits of working out 3 times a week.

How can I stay motivated?

Start each day with your goal in mind. If you are aimless in your pursuit of a healthy lifestyle, you will not have a specific end to work towards. That’s one reason we need to set realistic goals. Imagine what it will feel like once you’ve accomplished what you set your mind to! Your goals will keep you pushing forward, even on the days you don’t feel like it.

Set a schedule. By setting a schedule, healthy habits will become a part of life and less of an item on your to-do list. That’s one reason why I love group fitness classes – they have a set day(s) and time. Plus, your classmates become your friends ❤.

Find something you love to do! I am passionate about indoor cycling. Very rarely do I “not feel like” going (and not just because I’m the instructor, haha!). What do you enjoy?

  • Walking as the sun sets?
  • Gardening?
  • Playing tag with your kiddos?
  • Surprising your husband when it comes time to move furniture? 😉

It may take a few tries to find something you love, but once you do, staying motivated to do it will be less of a problem!

Reach out to others for support. Chances are, someone else is going through the same struggles as you are. You are not alone! Reach out to someone you look up to or who is knowledgeable in an area you’re struggling with.

As moms, we shouldn’t see ourselves as competitors – we are teammates!

What are some simple health tips I can try today?

  • Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning. Then, reward yourself with your morning coffee!
  • Don’t drink your calories. Water is best, but eliminate sugary drinks and soda as much as possible.
  • Take the stairs.
  • Stand up straight. (I need to do much better at this!)
  • Take a 10 minute walk around the block.
  • Don’t snack after dinner.
  • Go to bed 30 minutes earlier.

How can I encourage my kids to live healthy lifestyles?

The best way is to show them! Show them what it looks like to be active as an adult, to cook more and takeout less, and to enjoy life to the fullest. So many of the things we’ve discussed can be done as a family. Teach them healthy habits as early as possible and they will likely carry over into adulthood.

Nothing makes my kids giggle quite as much as when I run around outside with them. I’m sure the cars driving by think I’m crazy, but it’s worth it for the sound of their laughter!

I want to make healthier meals, but don’t know where to start.

Plan! Recently, I’ve started mapping out our meals on a monthly basis. I noticed that we eat out a lot less when I alraedy have something planned or prepared. As I look for the month ahead, I’ll consider and make changes if we’ll have company over or t-ball practice and make those nights crockpot or make-ahead casserole nights.

You don’t have to use the most organic, sugar-free, or gluten-free ingredients to make a healthy, well-balanced meal. Try not to serve fried or frozen food several nights a week. If you don’t already, try serving a fruit or vegetable (or both!) with every meal.

10 simple tips to maintain a healthy lifestyle

The Last Thing You Need to Know About Living A Healthy Lifestyle As A Busy Mom

Progress is better than perfection! Know why? You won’t always be perfect! Progress means that you are taking realistic steps toward your healthy lifestyle goals and will continue to improve over time.

As we’ve discovered, living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to totally uproot your life or take up a lot of extra time. Small changes can make a BIG difference. Remember, think about your goals and why you want to make these changes.

Which tip will be most beneficial for your healthy lifestyle? Is there an area that you’re still unsure about? I want to hear from YOU.