Check out free tips on exercise, nutrition and lifestyle to help you start getting back on the fitness track!
As a mom, you are probably used to putting everyone's needs before your own. You might even get around to looking after your health, only to find yourself without enough energy to take the initiative when it comes to exercise.
This is extremely common as most moms are so busy caring for the people around them. But you can't look after other people if you are sick, tired, or out of shape, so finding a way to make your workouts fun again is essential. Here are the top fitness workouts for moms at every stage of motherhood.
#1. Moms To Be
If you're a mom-to-be, provided you're not a high-risk pregnancy, you can continue with your regular exercise regime in the first trimester. These first three months can be an emotional rollercoaster for some women, and maintaining a regular workout schedule can help create and reinforce your routine.
It's considered ideal to have a minimum of 150 minutes of cardio each week, including walking, swimming, or other activities you enjoy. You may also strength train for 2 or 3 days of the week, especially if you were doing this before getting pregnant. Focusing your training on exercises that make giving birth easier can be a constructive way to manage your workouts, such as a pelvic curl or pelvic brace, as well as more typical squats and push-ups.
As your body starts to change in the second trimester, you would be well advised to avoid any exercises that involve being on your back for extended periods. You may also want to avoid higher impact exercises, like jumping, balance exercises where you might slip or fall, running, or anything highly intensive that might exhaust you. Continue to work on stability and strength - especially in the core, thighs, and glutes.
During the third trimester, it's expected that moms to be may start to feel significantly lower on energy than they have so far. You may want to do something to keep moving, and some great choices here could be walking, bodyweight movements where there are no issues with balance, pelvic floor work, and swimming.
During pregnancy, most moms try to avoid being prone and avoid anything where balance could be an issue because of the increased risk of falling as your center of gravity changes so rapidly. Great fitness workouts during pregnancy could include prenatal yoga and a focus on core strength.
#2. New Moms
As a mom to a newborn, it won't surprise you that your routines have been well and truly disrupted. You may be running on far less sleep than you'd like, and the rest you are having is likely broken. This low energy may make it difficult to work out, but finding time for yourself is essential, even if it's a short session.
One of our favorite fitness workouts for moms of new babies is anything that involves the stroller. Getting out into the fresh air for a long walk, either you and the baby or with other moms of newborns, is such a great way to recharge. You may not have the energy for short bursts of high intensity like HIIT, and your body might not yet feel ready for that.
We also have plenty of good to say about mom and baby fitness classes, where babies are included in the mom's workouts. These sessions are super relaxed, and if mom or baby needs a time out to feed or change, there are no issues. These friendly classes often include yoga balls, gentle stretching, and plenty of cuddles with your baby. They can also be a great place to meet mom friends.
#3. Moms With Toddlers
Moms of toddlers will know how busy they are, and you're probably getting a workout just by trying to keep up with them all day and tidying up after they raid their toy boxes! Toddlers can be demanding, and often this challenging behavior can feel like you can't take time out for yourself.
If you can include your toddler in your workout, they can help you feel like play. This fitness workout can set a playful tone with you and your child, and we recommend taking a relaxed attitude towards this playtime. It should be fun for you both, so if you get less "done" in these sessions than you wanted to, it's no big deal. Keep perspective in mind - something is always better than nothing.
Secondly, if you can get a childminder and you'd like some time alone, we find spin classes to be a huge rush. With great music, inspirational instructors, and bags of energy - you get a lot of bang for your buck. These classes are available live and virtually, so there's usually something available at a time that works for you. We particularly enjoy how the music makes it feel like a party. Even a 30-minute spin class can leave you with that incredible endorphin rush!
#4. Moms With Older Children
Sometimes being a mom to older kids can seem like spending all your time rushing around with their events. Running from sports matches to team tryouts, and that's an incredible thing. You've shown your children the value of extracurricular activities and precisely the importance of movement. That's worth some recognition and congratulations. However, it's at this point that many moms feel like they don't have time for their fitness workouts.
Honestly? That could be a valid problem. You probably are short on time. That's why we like a group fitness option like a HIIT class or a Bootcamp. You want to feel like you've done some work, but you really can't commit hours of your week when there are so many other things going on. We also like the class because you don't have to spend any time planning it yourself.
Although not a fitness workout for moms, exactly, you may also get a lot out of going out for a jog. This can be something that fits around your kids' commitments because you don't need access to any fancy equipment. You could throw your running shoes in the car and work for as long as you've got. There are a bunch of free apps that you could use to get started, like Nike Run Club.
We like this option because there aren't too many reasons you couldn't find that little bit of time for yourself; you aren't restricted to a gym fitness class timetable or waiting for perfect circumstances. Besides, it's a great excuse to listen to some music or that cool new podcast you've meant to get to.
#5. Moms With Adult Children
Adult children who may have left home or living at home but do not need the same kind of round-the-clock care as little ones can sometimes leave moms feeling like they need to reconnect with themselves as women again. Fitness workouts for moms of older children can be an opportunity to explore new exercise styles and try things that you haven't done before. You might even involve your children in your fitness workouts and have them become supportive training partners.
When it comes to trying new fitness workouts for moms with adult children, the only limit is imagination. If your local gym is putting on a taster session for some new dance craze that could be fun - try it. If you love the idea of open water swimming and have your heart set on a triathlon - incredible, go for it, mom! This is a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with old fitness workouts that you haven't done for a while or do something completely brand new.
Taking time away from your children isn't selfish. It's essential that you prioritize taking time for yourself. Looking after your health with fitness workouts for moms suitable for your stage of pre and postpartum motherhood is a way to recharge your batteries and set the example for your children that normalizes regular healthy movement.
For moms that are choosing to exercise with their little ones - like a mother and baby fitness workout for moms at the gym or strapping the baby into the stroller for a fast-paced walk around the park, you're a brilliant example.
For moms that are using exercise as a break for themselves - keep at it! You'll be a more alert and attentive mom for taking that time you need. Download some feel-good playlists, and use the time just to be you for a while.
Fitness workouts for moms can be highly intense sweat fests or gentle and intuitive explorations into self-care. Whichever you choose, listening to your body and responding with the wisdom that only moms have is the best thing for you and your family. Fitness workouts for moms should be fun, enjoyable, and a part of your day that you look forward to.