6 Lessons from Motherhood That Will Spark Your Fitness

By , Tina Reale, blogger and mom
Hi! I’m Tina, the face behind the healthy living blog Faith Fitness Fun, where I discuss a variety of topics related to health and fitness. Join me as I share some ways I used motherhood to actually help me get fitter than I ever have before!
When it comes to being a fit mommy, popular media like to focus on celebrities who drop all their baby weight and have six pack abs within six weeks of delivery. The messages that weight loss and fitness progress should happen in the blink of an eye can discourage those of us without access to personal chefs and hours to spend with trainers. I want to tell you not to get discouraged!

I know from personal experience that, with a little consistency, persistence, and balance, changes can happen and you can have a fit, healthy, and strong body. After my son’s arrival in January of this year (in an ice storm, no less), I had 30 plus pounds I needed to lose to reach my happy weight.

I achieved my Body After Baby goals with the help of some lessons from motherhood. And that’s what I want to share today because I know you can do it. Whether or not you’re a parent, these six lessons I learned from motherhood can help your goals too!

1. View your workouts as “me time.” Getting time to yourself is of utmost importance, whether or not you have children. Tap into that need to do something for yourself by getting active.

When you choose activities you thoroughly enjoy, the workout will feel like an escape. Then, the extra energy, stress relief, and health benefits that working out provides will keep you coming back for more. Soon enough, you won’t want to miss a workout!

2. Use multi-tasking in your workouts. Moms multi-task like crazy. Why not do the same with workouts that hit the entire body at once? Things like interval training, compound weight movements, circuit training, and plyometric drills can challenge the body quickly and effectively.

You can also multi-task by keeping variety in your fitness. Use different exercises in strength training. Add slightly more intensity to running. Take a new class or try a new workout plan. The variety never fails to help hold off plateaus.

3. Reward Systems. Kids respond well to positive feedback and rewards. Apply that same mindset to your own goals. Pick one or two fitness and health-related goals, then determine the steps it takes to achieve the particular goal – whether aiming to eat five servings of vegetables a day or completing three training runs a week.
Keep track of each small action to help your goals and reward yourself adequately when you reach a certain level of achievement. I know a massage would be first on my list!

4. Make Healthy Eating Fun. Mothers want their children to gain healthy eating habits. A plethora of cooking tips and tricks exist to help make healthy eating more desirable for children. Those same approaches that appeal to kids, work on adults too!

Find cooking methods that bring out the best flavors of foods – like roasting vegetables as “fries” or “chips”. Dip fruits and vegetables in flavorful sauces (yogurt and hummus!). Whip up bite-sized foods like BBQ Tofu Bites. Create healthy snacks that seem like a treat – Tropical “Ice-Cream,” for example. Or even sneak veggies into things like hearty casseroles or green smoothies. A healthy diet is easier to stick with if it tastes good too.
5. Practice Portion Control. Ever notice the way kids have those handy plates divided into sections? As adults, we commonly fill our plates with huge portion sizes and then eat the entire thing. Cut back on calories and eat smarter by viewing your plate like a child’s.

Section the meal out and fill half the plate with fruits and vegetables, then a few small portions of the remaining meal components. Kid bowls and plates also work well with snacks and treats. Using smaller dishes and utensils acts as automatic portion control.

6. Daily Activity. Life with kids is constantly on the move. Up and down the stairs to get forgotten teddy bears and jackets. Squatting up and down to pick up a child. Lugging 50 pounds of diaper bag and toddler through the parking lot. Having dance parties in the living room to Sesame Street songs. Chasing the kids around the park.
Everyday movement adds up fast. Make life more active by standing instead of sitting, going outdoors for an afternoon walk, getting in a long cleaning session, playing an active game with some friends or family, or fitting in some planks or stretching while watching TV. Regular movement can lead to an active lifestyle which can lead to overall improved health and fitness.

Applying these tips helped me reach my goals. You just may surprise yourself that the lessons from having kids can do a lot more for your health than you thought.

As a blogging mother of two, Tina shares her life in order to show a healthy lifestyle is not only achievable, but also fulfilling and fun. She loves making new connections with fellow fitness enthusiasts, so please stop by and say hello.  
Moms, what helped you lose your post-baby weight? What was the most challenging part of losing the weight?