Working mothers face tremendous challenges when it comes to exercise. They can find themselves short on time, energy, and stamina. New mothers, in particular, may find it difficult to attend to their own fitness needs. However, it is entirely possible for working moms to achieve their fitness goals. All it takes is a little bit of creativity and a great deal of commitment.
First of all, working mothers must give themselves permission to exercise. They may be so busy trying to please their spouses, children, and bosses that they feel as if they don’t deserve to devote time to themselves. However, trying to be all things to all people–without taking time to safeguard one’s health–can lead to disaster. Working mothers must recognize the fact that they need to be fit in order to take care of all of their other obligations. Exercise can also help them to keep sickness and injury at bay, so that they can remain healthy over the long term.
Next, working mothers need to make a commitment to exercise. In other words, they need to make it a priority in their lives. If they don’t, they may find that too many other things stand in their way of exercising–shopping, preparing meals, getting ready for work, carpooling, and the like. They must, in a sense, make an appointment with themselves to exercise.
One of the ways to ensure that exercise is a part of a working mother’s daily routine is to take an exercise class. If you invest money in a class, you’re more likely to keep your commitment to exercise. The class can consist of aerobics, aqua-aerobics, kickboxing, modern dance–whatever appeals to you. You can take the class during your lunch break, while your children are in day care or in school. Or you might be able to squeeze in a class before work, after you drop your children off for the day. Making time for an exercise class may take a bit of schedule-shuffling, but it is well worth the effort.
If you are a new mother, you might also consider a “Mommy and Me” exercise class. These classes allow mothers to exercise with their infants. These programs fulfill a variety of functions. They can help you shed unwanted “baby weight.” They can also make it easier for you to bond with your baby. In addition, they can introduce you to other mothers who are facing the same kinds of struggles as you are. You might check with your local YMCA or YWCA to find out if there are such classes in your area.
Some working mothers also squeeze in exercise by organizing family walks. You can walk around your neighborhood while pushing a baby stroller, or encourage your school-age children to walk with you. If you keep a brisk pace, walking can be an incredibly beneficial form of exercise. You might also try walking with another working mother while your children are at their grandparents’ house or at the babysitter’s.
Working mothers face tremendous demands, both at home and on the job. Therefore, it is important that they keep fitness in the forefront to help increase their staying power. With planning and dedication, working mothers can find the exercise program that works for them.
Ray Kelly is an Exercise Scientist with 15 years experience in the health and fitness industry. Sign up for his Free Exercise and Meal Planner at The Biggest Loser or http://www.free-online-health.com