Guest Post: Simple Ways to Stay Fit This Spring

Note from Beth: This weeks’ FIT FAMILY post is a guest contribution from the perspective of a mom of younger kids. Emma is a wife and mother of two, who lacks the time for a serious diet or exercise plan. She is always looking for simple ways to stay fit and healthy. 

Emma

As a mother of two little ones – ages 10 months and 2 years – my health often takes a backseat. My world is centered on my husband and kids, and as much as I love it, I started to think that I could find a way to be healthy while still juggling all of my mommy and wife duties. And with spring just around the corner, now is the perfect time for me to make some simple changes for a healthier lifestyle — and you can too!

Mommy and Baby Exercise Classes
Any mom out there would agree that it is extremely difficult to find time to yourself for workouts, especially when your kids are still in the toddler stage. Before kids, I loved taking yoga, and would frequently join classes close to my home. While having very young kids made this difficult to do, I learned that there are tons of simple moves you can do at home to tone up while still keeping an eye on little ones.

Cleaning: An Unexpected Workout for Mind and Body
With the start of spring comes spring cleaning, but what a lot of moms may not know is that cleaning can actually be a great way to stay healthy, both physically and mentally. If you have a lot of closets, rooms, or yard space to clean, you’ll likely be moving around a lot during these tasks. Kick it up a notch by playing some music, and you’ll find yourself moving even more. Plus, reducing clutter and getting rid of old items can do wonders for your mental health, by reducing your stress level and making you feel much more at ease. It also reduces dust build up, which is a very common allergen. Finally, the best part of a “workout” like this is that it’s all done at home, which means you can be with your kids and be healthy, all at the same time.

Getting Outside
Now that my kids are older, I’ve been finding ways to encourage them to exercise as well. There are plenty of great blog posts around that include pointers for making exercise seem like less of a chore for kids. With any luck, spring will (hopefully) yield beautiful weather.

Getting outside is a great way to improve your health. And once you’re out there, you will find there are a bunch of fun activities you can do. I definitely want to rent a bike this spring, especially one that comes with a kiddie seat on the back. My husband and I want to get two bikes like this, and plan days where we take our two little guys and explore the outdoors. It’s a fun family activity that will definitely help keep us in shape. Other ways to enjoy the outdoors are taking your kids to a local playground, or walking to places like the grocery store instead of driving or taking public transit.

If your kids are still in the toddler stage, you’re going to have to learn to gauge their moods, and whether or not they’ll be up for a bike ride or a trip in the jogging stroller. I learned the hard way that my second child needed to get his nap in before the trip to the park, and still remember the glaring eyes as I zoomed through our local park with a screaming (and I mean SCREAMING) toddler in the bike seat. While I may have caused a scene that day, it didn’t stop me from trying it again – what a difference a nap can make!

Setting Goals
When it comes to being healthy, setting simple goals for yourself is key, no matter what season it is. And writing these goals down on a notepad, white board or wherever else, can really help you stick to them. The satisfaction of being able to check something off of a list will do wonders for your productivity. I’ve also started using MyFitnessPal to help keep track of my progress, while weight loss isn’t my main goal here; this app helps me see the areas where I can improve my health. These can be any goals that you think will help your health this spring. Whether it’s making sure you get X hours of sleep each night, eating more fruits and veggies each week, or carving out time in your schedule to go for a run, these goals will definitely help you reach your spring health potential.

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