Your plate is full and exercise is an afterthought, I get it. Whether you are a working or a stay at home mom, you’re busy, so this guide is for you – all of you! Each situation poses its own challenges when it comes to getting a workout in, but I’m here to tell you that you can do it! For all of you working mamas, I’ve got your perspective covered with loads of great advice from my sister-in-law, Rebecca, a self-proclaimed “new-to-running mom”. Stay at home/work from home mamas and mamas who aren’t into running? I got you. I once broke my ankle by running into a pothole. It’s safe to say I’m usually less than enthused about running. Whatever your current attitude is about this popular form of exercise, today’s the day to get started.
First, let’s talk about why this is important. Even if you don’t think running is your thing, there are so many ways to make it your thing and reap its benefits. Aside from the obvious reasons for running like weight management and preventing health conditions/diseases, there are a plethora of other amazing ways that running will impact your day to day life and, in fact, make momming a little bit easier. Some results of exercising that I think have the biggest impact on mom life are:
- Improved Mood – Think Legally Blonde here: “Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.” A better mood equals more patience with your kids and spouse, more productivity and a more positive outlook on life. Yes, please.
- Boosted Energy – Yes, working out can be physically exhausting, but you come out of it re-energized. Regular exercise improves your strength and endurance thus making it easier to crush all of your daily tasks.
- Better Sleep – As moms, a lot of us have a hard time shutting our brains off at bedtime and setting aside our worries to catch some z’s. Regular exercise can help with this and help you get better sleep once you’re down.
But running’s not my jam…
Okay, so you’re sold on why exercising is important, but not quite sold on why running should become your thing. Let me be clear, running shouldn’t be your only thing, but it should be thrown into your exercise mix, and here’s why:
- Time Saver – Rebecca explains, “Running is great because it saves time – although I do have a gym membership, working in runs 2-3 times per week ensures I can get a workout in even if my schedule is tight because I can literally walk out my front door and my workout has begun.” For me, it kills two birds with one stone – gets my workout in, and keeps my toddler happy as a clam as she rides along in the jogging stroller.
- Good for the Soul – Rebecca continues, “It’s such a stress reliever! It’s really my only ‘alone time’ and it helps me unpack a lot of the stuff in my head. A scenic run on a gorgeous day is not just good for the body, it’s good for the soul.” Whether you head to work everyday or work at home, you need to have some “you time” – some time when you’re not responsible for being everything to everyone – some time to be quiet and reflect.
- Free for all – Everyone loves free stuff. You don’t need an expensive gym membership to run, just walk out the door.
- Community Building – Maybe you join a running club with other moms and cherish that social time. Maybe you prefer to do your regular runs alone, but enjoy doing a 5k for the groups you’re really passionate about. Whatever your jam, there’s a way to make running social in a way that fits your personality.
But how can I even get started?
Rebecca and I’ve got you covered with these 10 tips for finding your running groove and making it a lifestyle.
- Invest in the right clothes. Buy shoes, sports bras, leggings, etc. that make you feel awesome! Find the right lightweight shoes with the perfect support. Find that outfit that gets you excited to work out and makes you feel like an Olympic athlete. Dress for the part. Need suggestions? Hit me up.
- Find your motive. Think about your personal reason for running. Who/what are you running for? Are you running to get some alone time and clear your head or are you running to get some adult time? Maybe you’re running for the health benefits mentioned above, or to set a good example for your kids. Whatever it is, be intentional. Write it down and post it somewhere you’ll see every day.
- Make a plan. Set a running schedule with your running buddy if you like the social aspect or need someone to help hold you accountable. If you’re running alone, block out time on your calendar each week to schedule your runs. Find the time that works best for you and your family. Maybe it’s before everyone wakes up, over your lunch break or after work. Maybe it’s with your kids in a jogging stroller, with them running alongside you or with them somewhere else entirely. Everyone’s situation is different, you need to come up with a plan that works for you and stick with it.
- Be Safe. Be aware of your surroundings and consider these safety tips that Rebecca sums up perfectly: “I don’t run in the dark and I always take my phone with me. I always tell someone when I’m going for a run. If my husband is not home, I text him when I’m leaving and let him know where I’m planning to run and how long I expect to be out. Then, I text him when I get back.”
- Make it a jam sesh. Rebecca’s the queen of motivational music: “Put together a motivating playlist. Keep the songs upbeat, short, and have a large enough list of songs to make it through your longer runs and to allow for a brand new mix each time you hit ‘shuffle’”.
- Utilize Technology. Rebecca’s got you covered on this one too: “Use a tracker app. I love data and it’s motivating for me to look back over my accomplishments and get the progress updates during my runs.”
- Don’t Overdo It. We’re not saying you need to go out and run a marathon. Just get moving. If you need to, start with walking and work your way up to jogging and then running. Also, don’t forget to get a good stretch in after your muscles are warmed up! Listen to your body and take breaks when you need to. There’s nothing wrong with a little Netflix/couch time but…
- Drop the excuses. I’m the queen of excuses. I have rheumatoid arthritis and hypothyroidism so my most common ones are, “My joints are a mess” and “I’m too exhausted.” Guess what – running would actually help with these things! Whatever your go-to excuses are, acknowledge them for what they are and leave them behind. You’re the only one standing in the way of your own fitness goals.
- Change it up. Pounding the pavement every day may be too tough on your body. Mix it up with other activities like cycling/spin class, barre, swimming, Pilates, lifting, yoga, etc. There are plenty of excellent home workouts on YouTube so you still don’t need to spend a dime.
- Set Goals. Sign up for a race. Set a weight-loss goal, or an endurance goal, or a speed goal. Whatever it is, have something that you’re working towards that is going to light a fire under your butt to get it in gear. Don’t forget to check in on your goals from time to time and track your progress. Finally, be sure to CELEBRATE when you reach your goals!
But nothing. Let’s Go!
What is motivating you to get running? Do you have tricks that help keep you motivated? I want to hear about it! Leave me a note in the comments below or hit me up on social! Lastly, if you need an accountability partner or running buddy, I got you. Let’s connect!