Quick & Easy Tips for Busy Mums to Get in Shape
Life is busy. And, for many mums, it can feel like the busyness that comes with having kids impacts your ability to prioritise your health. Between interrupted sleep, breastfeeding, taking care of your little one 24/7, preparing meals and keeping on top of the housework, there’s not much time left to get in shape.
Sadly, many mums find themselves overwhelmed by the notion of getting in shape. And they end up putting it off. That’s why we’ve put together these quick and easy tips for how to get in shape, specifically to help busy mums.
The good news is you don't need to go on an extreme diet or do gruelling boot camp style work outs to get results. Instead, the best way to get in shape is to focus on making healthy choices each day.
1. Plan ahead.
Planning your meals for the week is one of the best ways to keep you on track with your health goals. If you already have the ingredients, you're much more likely to commit to cooking a healthy dinner rather than opting for takeaway on those nights when it all gets a bit hectic. Dedicating a small amount of time planning can save a large amount of time throughout the week.
Pick a set day of the week to plan your meals for the week. Don’t spend time every day thinking through what you’re going to cook. Planning the whole week in advance will take far less time overall and will leave you with less stress during the week. It will also help you to make healthy choices (as opposed to scrambling to find something to eat at the last minute).
2. Shop online
Doing your grocery shopping online is a nifty trick for anyone who has trouble controlling themselves around treats, out of sight, out of mind. It’s much easier to avoid your favourite sugary treats when shopping online because they’re not right in your face.
The other great thing about online shopping is it saves so much time. If we stop and think about how much time we spend with our trips to the shops, we’re surprised by how much time it accumulates to over a week. It really starts to add up if we include the time required to get ready, pack snacks and drinks, get everyone into the car, load the pram, drive to the shop, find a car park, unload, walk to the shops, wander the isles, stand in the checkout queue, check out, etc. Shopping online may seem time consuming the first time you do it, but it is nothing like a real trip to the shop. Plus, we get quicker at shopping online the more we do it.
3. Left overs
Who doesn't love the convenience leftovers? Making enough of your dinner leftovers to provide lunch the next day always pays off. It might take a few minutes to chop everything, but lunch the next day is sorted. Here are a few ideas that make a great leftover:
- Stir fry
4. Freeze Meals
Occasionally cooking up a batch of your favourite freezer-friendly recipe is a great way to squirrel away some healthy and quick meal options for days when cooking is all too much. Look for recipes that require little or no extra effort to double the quantity and you’ll save yourself time when you really need it. Making a big healthy soup and freezing it in individual containers to whip out whenever you need it is a great time saver.
5. Keep healthy snacks on stand-by.
It’s a easier to eat healthy snacks if you already have them in your cupboard (rather than having the temptation of junk food in your cupboard). Stock up on healthy snacks like mixed nuts, fruit, veggie sticks & hummus, boiled eggs, Chocolate and Caramel Snack Bars from In Shape Mummy, In Shape Mummy Health Shakes. The next time you’re feeling peckish, it will be easier to go for a guilt-free healthy option if it's on stand-by.
7. Pack a lunch for on the go
If you’re going out, take a lunch box with you so you won’t be caught out being hungry.
You’ll be less tempted by unhealthy food if you feel satisfied. Being caught out by hunger when unprepared and away from home is a recipe for disaster. When we need food fast, we often end up eating fast food, which is one of the least healthy foods around. Easy snacks to take with you on the go include bananas, nuts, In Shape Mummy Chocolate or Caramel Snack Bars.
7. Eat Sitting Down
As a busy mum, it easy to eat on the go. However, research has shown that eating on the go can affect your ability to process hunger signals. Sitting down can help you eat mindfully and keep track of what you eat.
8. Wear Activewear
This is your permission to live in your active wear. If you dress in your workout gear, you can get your exercise done as soon as an opportunity presents itself. For example, your little one might be happy having lunch, having a nap, or playing independently, allowing you to spring into action.
You might find that getting a whole workout done in one go is impossible. But if you don’t take your activewear off, you can jump back into it anytime. Wearing garments that you like and that make you feel good is also great for motivation.
And the good news is, you don’t have to spend a fortune. Budget-friendly activewear brands include Cotton On Body, Kmart and Target.
9. Think small when you think of exercise.
Studies have shown that doing several short bursts of exercise can be just as effective as doing the same amount of exercise in one session. You can break your exercise up into manageable chunks, like taking a 10-minute walk 3 times per day.
10. Incidental Exercise Counts
We know a mum's to-do list is never-ending. So, if you set aside an hour to exercise, chances are, it will get pushed further and further down your to do list.
Incidental exercise is a great way to increase your calorie burn throughout the day. ‘Incidental’ refers to short unplanned exercise like taking the stairs, walking to the shops instead of driving, doing a few laps around the supermarket or cleaning the house.
You’d be surprised how many calories you burn when vacuuming the house or cleaning the windows.
Every step you take throughout the day adds up and gives you benefits!
11. If you’re meeting up with a friend, meet for a walk instead of sitting for a coffee
Walking and chatting produces “feel good” hormones that you don’t get when you sit and chat. Make yours a “take away coffee” and go for a walk with your friend. That way you’re getting your exercise in and catching up at the same time. Mix your social life with your health efforts to make your workouts fun! Chances are you’ll both be glad you did
12. Find a Friend
Finding someone to help keep you accountable is one of the best ways to ensure you stay committed to your goals. We recommend looking for a friend with similar health and fitness aspirations to join you on your health journey.
You don’t have to work out together or see each other every day, but instead, provide support for each other. For example, if you’ve fallen off the wagon and indulged in unhealthy food, your buddy can motivate you to put it in the past and commit to getting your workout done.
Everyone needs to hydrate, but adequate water intake is particularly vital for busy mums. Dehydration impacts our energy levels and mood. So, if you lack the motivation to get your workout done and feel like napping instead, you might be slightly dehydrated. Ensure you always have a large glass of water before and after your workout and enough over the day.
14. In Shape Mummy Health Shakes
The In Shape Mummy Health Shake contains all the nutrients of a slimming and healthy meal but takes less than 60 seconds to prepare. It's the perfect time saver for mums on the go!
To find out more about how In Shape Mummy can help you to get in shape, head to our website: www. inshapemummy.com.au
Shevi is a qualified nutritionist with a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and food sciences. As a new mum herself, she is passionate about postnatal-related nutrition. Shevi has worked alongside some of the most famous leaders and celebrities in the fitness industry throughout Australia and the UK.
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