Some people are fitness freaks and they’re inspiring to watch. However, unfortunately setting the time aside to get those trim thighs, taut tummies, and strong arms, doesn’t come naturally to everyone. For new parents running on no sleep and lots of decaf, the motivation to exercise is much lower than the pull of a mom-belly and a dad bod.
Even if you manage to stay fit during your pregnancy, the wonderful process of bringing new life into this big, beautiful world has the ability to suck the motivation to workout in a major way. Finding time to go to the gym with a newborn around the house is a challenge to say the least, and with all of the new baby essentials that now flood your home, it’s vital that you ensure that space remains for your personal exercise equipment, as well as for your wider workout needs.
All is not lost, however, and with the right approach, you can find the motivation to work out as a new parent and get your fitness schedule back on track.
Let’s take a look at a few ways that new parents can remain motivated to continue working towards their fitness goals even with all of the distractions a newborn can bring.
1. Do Simple Exercises During Chores
Having a baby involves a lot of added responsibilities, many of which are honestly unanticipated. When you’re not folding laundry, you’re feeding, cleaning, or holding your baby. Naturally, with all of this time spent being busy, when your child finally falls asleep, working out might be the least tempting thing on your to-do list.
If you want to stay fit after giving birth or regain strength and stay healthier for longer, however, you can actually turn these unavoidable chores into workouts of their own! Do lunges as you clean, or take time to do some pelvic floor exercises and other easy home workouts between putting your baby down for naps. Even restless energy can be used to keep you fit in your first few months of parenthood.
2. Set Realistic Goals
Yes, you want your body back and you want to turn fat into muscle, trim your tummy, and get rid of orange peel skin. But those aesthetic desires may not be enough to keep you motivated when things don’t go according to plan, or when they don’t materialise fast enough.
Although there are many benefits to fitness and physical activity, the visible results are often more important to us than a healthy heart, strong muscles, and floods of endorphins. Those emotional and physiological benefits are easy to ignore when we’re tired, which is just a natural state of being for new parents.
As your child grows older, however, it’ll be valuable for them to see their parents setting and reaching goals, not just in fitness but in other avenues of life too. Kids with active and driven parents are more likely to be equally active adults when they grow up, so try to see these first few months of pushing forward as being not just beneficial for you, but also for the wellbeing of your family. Do it for the kids!
3. Let Yourself Off The Hook
Yes, let yourself off the hook; not from working out, but from your expectations that your schedule has to be perfect every day. Open yourself up to switching plans up, or improvising when your exercise routine interferes with your little one’s schedule.
Although all the baby books state the importance of setting yourself and your baby to a schedule or routine, this is easier said than done for new parents, so rest assured it’s not about how much you do in any given day, but rather the consistency of your actions.
In other words, don’t set unsustainable goals or even too many goals, and give up when plans fall through. Instead, apply willpower and discipline to develop focused habits that will ultimately lead to success on your fitness journey.
4. Home Workouts For The Win
These days, there’s no reason to use a lack of gym equipment or time as an excuse not to exercise. You will find countless free workout tutorials on YouTube and other websites that will ensure you sweat! You won’t even have to leave your home or invest in pricey home gym systems, as most of these exercises use your own body weight, or a few cheap hand weights and a yoga mat.
Involve The Whole Family In Your New Quest For Fitness
Family time is important, as is physical fitness. With a little creativity, you can combine both into a fun outing to the park to walk the dog, play frisbee, or go for a family bike ride. Not only will this be productive family time, but it will give the baby’s senses an opportunity to explore, alongside giving an opportunity to get your heart pumping and to start making literal strides towards a healthier, fitter you.