Want to feel energized and confident in your body? Kimmy Smith, former professional athlete, fitness instructor, and yoga teacher has your back with some simple wellbeing hacks for busy working parents to help you build strength from the inside out.
You don’t need extreme measures, but moving our bodies every day is key for our emotional and physical health. One of my own biggest struggles as a working parent — I have three children — is finding the time to exercise, focus on myself and take a little break from caring for everyone else.
So I created The Fit Mummy Project app and The Empowered Motherhood Program — workouts that mothers can do anywhere and with very little or no equipment. Here are my top tips for creating a healthy lifestyle and body.
Start your day with movement + mindfulness + motivation
The three Ms are my pre-work routine: seven minutes of movement, seven minutes of meditation, and seven minutes of motivation. I use the Fit Mummy Project App to do a quick workout and meditation combination. I then use the seven minutes of motivation to set my goals and intentions for the day.
Move every day
It doesn’t have to be an hour-long session at the gym, but do make moving your body every day a commitment and priority. Moving your body will circulate fresh blood to your brain, help improve your mood and reduce any stiffness that comes from sitting at a desk.
I love these three simple ways — listed in order of intensity — to move as an active break:
- Three sun salutations
- Five push-ups + 10 squats x three rounds
- Two quad push-ups + 10 mountain climbers x three rounds
Focus on inner strength
You can sometimes do more harm than good if you push your body beyond what it’s ready for. Returning to exercise with safe and gentle movements that focus on building strength from the inside means you will be helping your body to repair (tick!). Plus it also means that you will be way more likely to avoid common postnatal injuries (double tick!). And you’ll be able to build your fitness and strength faster than if you just jump on a treadmill and go for it (triple tick!).
Many mothers (me included) do their pelvic floor exercises incorrectly. So if you have the time and budget, I really recommend that you see a women’s health physiotherapist for a personalized program to build your pelvic floor and core strength.
Listen to your body
When pregnant, we become so much more intuitive. For me, pregnancy was the first time since childhood that I listened to my body. As you step into your role as a mother, continue to cultivate that intuition. Listen to your body, honor the signals it’s sending and how it’s changed, and the healthier and happier you will become.
Don’t feel pressured to return to the same exercise you’ve always done. Go with what makes you feel good. I tried so hard to do the same exercise that I used to do before I had my daughters. When I finally gave in and did what felt good, it was the biggest relief.
Workout with your little ones
- Pram workouts – Try adding a pram workout to your next walk or even pop your baby into the pram at home and give it a try.
- Active playdates – If you’re meeting a friend or a group for a playdate, make it an active one. Go for a walk together. Take the kids to a park where you can work out while they run around. All chip in to hire a nanny so you can exercise while someone is keeping the kids under control.
I hope you’ve found some new ideas on how to incorporate exercise into your busy life!