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The Mojo Coach, Debi Silber, is back at WMAG for another heapin’ helpin’ of her mojo for moms. This time, she’s got some tips to help you with that “work out regularly” New Year’s resolution (which you may have already ditched).We all know we need to exercise, but how and when? Here’s some great advice from our favorite trainer-to-the-moms. — Susan
You can always start with walking. You know how to do it, you don’t need to be exceptionally coordinated and all you need is a properly fitting pair of walking shoes. Just getting outside, looking at the changing leaves or noticing the beauty that surrounds you may be enough to keep you motivated to walk. If that’s not enough, you can bring an iPod or MP3 player to listen to your favorite music. There are also some great services which enable you to download walking workouts according to your workout level and needs. You can even download podcasts of programs you enjoy, recordings of audio books, or just use the quiet time as an opportunity to clear your head.
Another convenient option is to use exercise DVDs. There are so many options available that you are sure to find something that you enjoy. You can try starting out with easy workouts and then as you progress, move up to longer or more challenging choices. A great resource for exercise DVDs is Collage Video. This website includes video clips of each DVD and lots of detailed information about the different videos. You could also check out SwapADVD.com for a great source of (practically free) DVDs. (Netflix subscribers can also get workout videos on-demand and by mail. — Susan.)
For moms of babies and toddlers, you might want to check out Stroller Strides. This is like an exercise club for moms where the stroller and your child are used as exercise equipment. This can be a great way to incorporate time with your kids, socializing with other moms, and exercise!
Once you have an idea of what kind of exercise makes sense for you, the next challenge is finding time to do it. You may work outside the home, have a newborn, or whatever. You can justify or make excuses for anything you don’t want to do. The idea is to find a way to get it done so you can feel good again.
If you work outside the home, you can have a gym bag packed and ready, and head to the gym before work or before you come home. If you feel guilty about taking extra time away from your kids, maybe realizing that the happier mom is, the better she is for everyone else is enough to change your mind. You can also try exercising during your lunch break, taking a short walking break every hour or find an exercise buddy you can walk with and be accountable to.
If you are at home with young children, there are some other strategies you may want to try. Get on that treadmill in your home, pop in that DVD or just tune into your local exercise channel. Just put your baby in an safe area nearby. Your baby may even get a real kick out of watching his or her mommy working out. If not, he or she can use the time to sleep, snack or play. If your children are a little older, give them a special activity that they only get to do while mommy works out. They’ll look forward to the activity while you get your workout in.
If you want to workout outside, there are great exercise joggers that allow you to walk, jog or run with your child safely strapped in. You can also wear your baby in a Baby Bjorn or baby backpack. This adds weighted resistance to your workout while taking away any excuse you may have! Your baby will also love the special time feeling close to you while getting some fresh air. Another option is to join a class for moms and their kids. If that doesn’t work for you, many health clubs offer babysitting for a small fee. Lastly, you can hire a babysitter or find a friend that is willing to take turns babysitting each others children so you can both make the time for much needed self care.
It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you do something. The key is to find a way to incorporate exercise back into your life. If you do nothing now and exercise for fifteen minutes tomorrow, you’re moving in the right direction. What’s most important is that you give your body, mind and soul what they so rightfully deserve.
And as you begin to feel better about your body and your commitment to take better care of yourself, your body will gratefully respond by slowly getting back to being the finely tuned machine it is meant to be.
So take some time to think about how exercise can fit into your life, and take the first steps toward a new, healthy habit and a fit and happy you!
Debi Silber, MS, RD, WHC The Mojo Coach® is a Registered Dietitian with a Master’s degree in Nutrition Science. She’s a Certified Personal Trainer, Whole Health Coach, Lifestyle Expert – just for moms, speaker and the author of The Lifestyle Fitness Program: A Six Part Plan So Every Mom Can Look, Feel and Live Her Best and From Mom To Wow: Your Ultimate Body, Mind and Life Makeover Guide. Debi’s been branded The Mojo Coach® because for nearly 20 years she’s motivated overweight, overwhelmed and unfit moms to “get their mojo back” through gradual, lifestyle change. Sign up for a free report, 52 weeks of weekly tips and a subscription to Debi’s newsletter Mojo Moments at www.TheMojoCoach.com.