How do you do #newyearnewyou as a busy parent?

New year new you featured image for workoutlikeamum blog post

January is always a time when we all get that motivation to start the new year with a fresh approach, and a ton of resolutions on our lists, but unfortunately life as a busy parent often gets in the way of achieving them all… For many of us ‘more exercise’ is on that list. Exercise is a great way to handle the everyday stresses of being a busy parent. But although we all know this, sometimes it feels like you just don’t have the time to do it, you are too tired, or you can’t get the childcare…

So here are some of my top tips to help you keep on track with your new year’s resolutions to exercise more in 2019 and become fitter and healthier (while still enjoying a normal life 😉).

KEEP IT LITLLE & OFTEN

One of the main barriers for all of us as parents is time. We have none of it and 5 minutes to enjoy a sit down and a cup of tea is luxury most days… So how do you fit exercise in? This is why I love Hiit workouts. They don’t last long but are so effective. If you only have 10/15 minutes in a day you can still get a good workout in! Try this Hiit workout out, it should take less than 10 minutes but will get your heart rate up and burn some extra calories for the day:

  • 10 squat jumps
  • 10 Press-ups
  • 10 Star jumps
  • 10 Burpees
  • 30 seconds Rest
  • Repeat 4 times

GET THOSE STEPS UP

I have a fitbit and love it! It motivates me to make sure I get my step target everyday and makes me think twice about getting in the car if I could walk somewhere just as easily. This week I have been doing a step challenge on my fitbit with friends and it has motivated me to get out walking so much more (got to love a bit of #healthycompetition 😉) Becoming more active by walking and moving more helps to improve fitness and to raise your metabolic rate – burning more calories every day.

INVOLVE THE KIDS

It’s difficult getting childcare to get to the gym and sometimes at the end of a busy day the last thing you want to do once the kids are in bed and the dramas of teatime, bathtime etc have all been handled is go out to the gym. So why not get some exercise in with the kids during the day? There are so many ways you can do this. If you have babies and pre-schoolers why not get them wrapped up in the buggy and get out for a long walk or a run. Or older kids loving working out with you if you keep it fun. I did a post a while ago where a 30-minute run and a 30-minute game of rounders with the kids burnt the same amount of calories. Exercise doesn’t have to be in a gym; as long as your heart rate is being raised and you’re moving you will be getting the benefits of a workout.

DO ONE THING WELL

We all often just make our resolution lists far too long and then it becomes overwhelming, feels impossible, and we just give up. Its so much easier and manageable to try and change one thing at a time and keep it to small manageable changes, as let’s face it, we have enough on our plates as busy parents. For example, committing to walking at least 20 minutes a day and making no other changes would make a difference. Look at your lives and choose something you can change that’s manageable and that you can stick to. Once you’ve made that change and it’s part of your everyday life you can move onto the next thing.

SET GOALS

Setting some short term, mid-term and long-term goals can really help to keep you on track. It’s really motivating too as you achieve them and tick them off (got to love ticking things off a list 😉). Don’t just make one big goal such as dropping 3 dress sizes by next Christmas as it will feel too hard…. Set small interim targets (eg 2cm off your waist each month) that you get that sense of achievement which will keep you motivated to then get to your end goal. Have you got something coming up you want to fit into a dress for? Or how about setting a target to run a race to get fit for? Your goals are very personal to you and need to be realistic as well.

STILL ENJOY YOUR TREATS

One of my favourite hashtags is #itsallaboutbalance. If you cut absolutely everything out and deprive yourself all of the time it’s not maintainable. Let yourself have some treats at the weekend and look forward to them as a reward for the exercise you’ve done. I find it helps me to keep disciplined and on track knowing on a Friday night I will have a takeaway and wine and not feel guilty. Just balance it out with some exercise that day and maybe a lighter lunch.

I hope these tips have given you some ideas and motivation for the New year. If you’d like to come along to classes all details are on my website www.workoutlikeamum.com or you can follow me on Facebook and Instagram for free workouts, meal ideas, and recipes, along with some honest (and balanced) posts about life as a busy mum working to stay fit and healthy. I believe very strongly in having a balanced approach to exercise and food. No one is perfect 100% of the time, but it’s about balancing the takeaway and wine at the weekend with good food and exercise most of the time.

Happy New Year! Sarah