Tonight I am excited to feature another guest poster on the blog! Please help me welcome Emma Banks from Smile As It Happens. Emma wanted to share with you today about how to maintain a healthy lifestyle as a busy mom. I am not quite at the Mom phase yet, but I know many of you can relate!
With winter coming to a close, I’m very excited to be able to get outdoors and incorporate some exercise into my routine. My body has been in hibernation mode this winter, consistently wanting nothing more than to fill up on comfort food, and curl up with a good book. Hibernation mode, combined with work, kids and making dinners, makes it extremely difficult to fit exercise and healthy meal preparation into my day. This spring, however, I’m sick of making excuses, and I’m ready to get back in shape – even if it’s with some small steps.
Now, I’m not saying that you need to go on a clean, high protein, high fiber, and low fat diet right away, but rather start out by making small changes to your lifestyle. Pay attention to what you’re eating each day and find ways to cut down on calories here and there. Do little things like drinking at least two glasses of water with every meal, not skipping out on breakfast, and having at least one fruit or veggie with every meal. I find that I need to plan ahead in order to make this happen, if not, I tend to reach for the unhealthy stuff first.
Exercise is important to keep your body healthy and strong and, while I understand that it might be hard to find time, you can always start with little steps. Even something as simple as stretching for 10 minutes after you wake up and before you go to bed can make a huge difference. Try incorporating a few things like, taking a walk after dinner, or parking your car a little farther away from the office. When was the last time you actually walked (or biked) the kids to school? Have you ever tried doing squats or lunges while brushing your teeth? These may be little things, but they can add up to make a huge difference, and help get you in a healthy mindset.
Get Your Family Involved
It’s always easier to stick to your goals when you have a partner in crime. Whether it’s cutting out on everyone’s sugary snack intake, talking about monthly goals and plans, or exercising together, you can make it a family thing. Going on a family walk with the dog gives you some quality time to spend together. Again, goals can be small, and the focus should be fun. Whether it’s going to the park, swimming some laps at the beach, or having a dessert of watermelon slices, having a healthy family can be fun and easy. Both of my kids are enrolled in recreational sports and we try to encourage them to stick with them. They were both given backpacks from Personal Creations last Christmas that were customized to their individual sports, and served as another simple way to hold their interest.
Getting Mentally Healthy
Unfortunately, I think mental health gets ignored a lot of the time when we talk about being healthy – but it’s just as important as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or cutting down on desserts. No matter how much you have on your plate, always try to find 30 minutes to relax. There are plenty of ways to reduce stress naturally. Whether that means playing with a pet, getting coffee with a friend, drawing (or other awesome artistic outlets), remember that “me” time is important, and some positive affirmations can never hurt.
It’s important to take care of yourself, and to do that you have to get your mind and body into gear. Start with small changes, and the big morning workouts and clean eating can come later – if that is what your goal is. You do not need to be at a gym for three hours a day or completely cut carbs from your diet to get healthy, you just need to take it one step at a time and be you.