Today’s post comes from Amanda from Happy Mother Runner. She has QUITE the busy schedule, but still manages to fit in time to be healthy and active. Here are her tips for moms to help you stay on track! Also be sure to check out her blog and say hello!
As a mom I try to stay healthy and happy for my child. But there are times when balancing everything (work, PhD program, Mommy, Wife, and Runner) can get tricky. After much trial and error I have discovered 6 tips that make staying healthy and active just a little easier.
#1: Stop eating my child’s leftovers.
I hate throwing away food even if it’s only two bites. So now that my son is eating big people food, I found myself eating whatever he has left on his plate. Embarrassed about this action, I asked other mommies if they did the same thing. Surprisingly, I wasn’t alone. But eating my son’s leftovers three to four times a day can lead to some serious calorie intake and overeating (especially when I am eating with him). I have taught myself to throw away the few bites he has left, or wrapping it up and saving it for his next meal. No more guilty feelings for wasting food and no more eating half a bowl of Mac and Cheese when I am not hungry.
#2: Don’t skip a run because of sleep deprivation.
For 3-4 months Michael stopped sleeping through the night. He was up 3 times, minimum. This, obviously, interrupted my REM cycle and caused me to feel tired and lethargic in the mornings. For the first few weeks I skipped my runs because I was too tired to even lace up my shoes. After a while, I noticed that my patience and sanity were slowly dwindling. I told my hubby that I needed to go for a quick run to hit the refresh button on my Mommy meter. When I was finished I felt refreshed, rejuvenated, and happy. Exercise increases oxygen intake to the brain, which helps you feel energized and awake. After realizing that I had been depriving myself of an energy boost, I stopped skipping runs because of sleep deprivation.
#3: I reward myself for accomplishing my running goals.
For a while I was the ONLY runner in my family. Yes that includes my hubby, siblings, cousins, etc. And during that time nobody really understood what I was doing. Many times hubby would ask, “What do you mean PR?” or “How did you hit a wall?” To make sure that my accomplishments were celebrated, I would reward myself. For small accomplishments (breaking through a mileage barrier) I would splurge on my favorite Starbucks drink. For bigger accomplishments I would invest in a coveted running item (hitting my one year mark of running I splurged on a pair of running sunglasses). There is nothing wrong with rewarding yourself for your hard work; it helps you realize that you have achieved something pretty awesome.
#4: Utilize my baby jogger
Sometimes it’s impossible to get out the door for a run. For example, my husband works at a job where he can get called in at any minute. Many times I have had to cancel my run because he’s walking out the door and I have no one to watch my son. What I have learned is that a baby jogger can be a runner’s best friend. Now when I don’t have the option for a solitary run, I throw my little man in the jogger and head out the door. I switch up my running schedule and do a 3 mile tempo and at the end I can throw in some hills. My son loves it. Not only does it make his Mommy happy because she got a run in, but it makes him happy because he’s going fast & getting some fresh air. Many times we find ourselves laughing uncontrollably. It allows us the opportunity to spend time together and bond doing the activity I love most.
#5: Don’t feel guilty for running
Mother’s guilt is a very strong emotion. But one of the biggest rules I live by is that I can’t let it stop me from getting out the door. A crying child can pull at the heart strings, but a happy and healthy mommy can wipe those tears away for years to come. It is important to keep up with your workout to be a good role model with your child. If you are lucky, your child might just want to start running with you someday. If that day does come for me, it will make up for all those days I felt so guilty leaving the house for 40 minutes to get in a good run.
#6: Sneak away from work
There are times when things don’t work out; you over sleep, you get caught in the mommy guilt, it’s too cold for a run with the baby, and the list can go on. That is why I keep a pair of running shoes, top, socks, and shorts in the bottom drawer of my work desk. If I really feel like I need a run I will sneak away during my lunch break. Even if it’s a one mile run, I always feel better afterwards. *If you don’t have access to a shower, keep some baby wipes in your drawer … your co-workers will thank you.
Being a running Mommy can be tough. But by setting guidelines for yourself, you can find the task of balancing everything a little easier.
Be inspired, stay motivated, & run strong,
QOTD: Any tips for the active mom?