By Rosemary Marchese
(Physiotherapist and Mum of 3)
Keeping fit while raising children
I’m a mum of three pretty animated and vivacious kids (that’s slang for loud and active). Even as a massive fitness advocate, I can find it tough to keep fit while looking after these kids, who these days seem to have a social life better than mine! So, to try to keep prioritising fitness, I follow some basic habits to keep things on track…and realistic.
This is HOW I do it:
- I schedule in 30 minutes for exercise on most days. If there is time for more that’s great but if I aim for 30 minutes I know it’s achievable.
- I exercise first thing in the morning. Yep, you may not have wanted to hear that. When the kids were babies/toddlers/pre-schoolers I used to train and be finished before they woke up. Now, I can be a little less rigid and they sometimes see me coming home from a run or a trip to the gym. You won’t ‘find’ more motivation as the day goes on. Get it done in the morning if you’re struggling getting past the ‘I can’t be stuffed’ mindset (we’ve all been there!).
- I get out and move with the kids! We walk the dog together, swim together and kick a ball together. It’s not unusual to see us out for a family bike ride on the weekend (hint: teach your kids to ride a bike without training wheels as soon as they are able. This makes family bike rides much easier down the track!).
- When the kids were younger I took them to the park to play while I trained. Yep, who cares who’s watching!
- I know how to get a good workout at home. Yep, if you can do a home workout then there’s no excuses.
- I started with really short efforts after having each baby. Small steps and short sessions of 5-10 minutes.
- Do lots of walking! Walk with the kids and walk without them but take every opportunity you can to walk. During the ‘pram’ days when my kids were younger I would opt for a ‘walk and chat’ catch up with friends rather than ‘coffee and chat’ whenever possible.