Thoughts on Staying Fit While Being a Mama.

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As a mom of young ones I often get asked how I find the time and motivation to run or stay fit while also taking care of my family. I am definitely not an expert by any means, on most days I struggle to keep up with my extremely active and emotional toddler, while also not forgetting about my 7- month old baby girl. Like many mommies out there, I still beat myself up for not being good enough, not cooking healthy enough, not spending enough one-on-one time with kiddos, not loving them enough, the list goes on.

But running for me has been God’s gift to me.

Running is a sanctuary of sorts, where I gain perspective on life in the cold wintry air and remember who I am again without a crying baby on my hip. After a run, I feel ready to tackle the day, I feel a new motivation to keep going and not give up even when motherhood makes feel loopy!

So when it comes to finding time to stay active {for me, that’s running} even with kiddos around, I do my best to make it happen because I know it helps me be a better mama and wife.

Here’s what I’ve learned over the past 2.5 years:

  • Find a time. I am a morning person and my kids sleep in, usually I am finished with my run before they wake up and before hubby goes to work. Whatever time is best for you- find it and stick with it. Make it part of the rhythm of your day. On that note…
  • Lay out your clothes and shoes. It sounds silly, but the simple routine of having my running clothes out and ready makes it that much easier for me to get out the door without conjuring up all sorts of excuses. I’m not gonna lie, the bed entices me nearly every morning, but when I get on my gear I don’t look back!

  • Aim for five minutes. There are still many nights where I am up multiple times tending to my babies. I wake up yawning and groggy. On those mornings I tell myself, I will just keep it short…5 minutes. But I guarantee you, once you get out, the fresh air will fuel you and will most likely want to go longer. I never regret going for a run, it energizes me for the day!
  • Invest in a good running stroller. I logged many a miles in our running stroller, I think my son spent his first year in there! My kiddos are my favorite running buddies. Obviously it’s more difficult pushing a stroller, but it’s so worth it and makes finding time to get out much easier. I find it calms my kids down too- the fresh air, the sights, the sounds, and a good snack for the ride 🙂
  • Don’t compare yourself. There will ALWAYS be someone faster and fitter. Know your own body and what is healthy for you. I’ve unsubscribed from many blogs and social media accounts that do not encourage me in some way. I only want to be filling my heart and mind with images and words that are truthful and remind me that life is not a competition and that I am perfect just the way I am. Besides, you had a baby {or babies!} and you’re a mama! That is more difficult than running any marathon and more beautiful than any magazine model.
  • Have fun! Sign up for races that are fun! Making smiling your fuel- a good smile can lift your spirits and your legs. Try different kinds of activities…working out from home, Zumba at the gym, walking to the store instead of driving, mix up your workouts so you don’t get bored! And lastly…
  • Be your biggest cheerleader. Yes, you. Cheer yourself on. Celebrate little steps of progress you see in yourself. Be aware of and stop the negative chatter in your mind. Always remember, that you are valuable, strong, beautiful, and worthy- not for what you do, but for who you are!

I’m sure there are many more ideas out there when it comes to staying active as a mama, but these are just a few bits of wisdom I’ve put into practice over the years!

Would love to hear how you stay inspired and active as a mama!