Today I’m sharing my tips for starting and sustaining a fitness routine at home. As a busy mom and business owner, it’s so important and even necessary for me to set aside time for physical activity. It’s not only a way to stay fit and lean, but it has also become an outlet for me to relieve stress from my otherwise crazy schedule as a work-at-home mom. We all need that personal time when we can just look after ourselves and not have to think about the piling chores, endless work, checklists, and thousand to-dos. Amen to that, mommas?
1. DECIDE ON THE TIME AND FREQUENCY AND SCHEDULE IT IN YOUR CALENDAR.
Decide on a time that works best for you. Is it in the morning right before the kids wake up or maybe in the afternoon while they nap or when your partner is looking after them?
Decide also on how you often you want to do it, maybe 3 to 5 times a week for a start. And then schedule it in your calendar by writing it down in your planner or setting an alarm in your phone. You ask, why? Coz life happens my dear, and the next thing you know it’s already Saturday and you missed another week again of not being able to make time for yourself.
I usually love to get my workout done early in the morning right before mommy duties or before I start diving into some work. Exercising has tons of health benefits, and one of which is that it releases a happy hormone called serotonin which contributes to our well-being and happiness. And let’s just say that I prefer getting my dose of happy pill at the start of my day.
2. FIND A WORKOUT THAT YOU ENJOY DOING.
Just because your bestie is doing yoga that you have to or if your partner is lifting weights that you should be doing the same. There is no one best workout out there, but only the right one for you. When I was starting out, I did a combination of high-intensity workouts, and also yoga and pilates. While I love how I get all sweaty after doing some intense full body workouts, I find that I feel more energized and not too tired after a yoga flow. Right now I’m hooked to learning Vinyasa yoga which also incorporates rigorous poses and flows for toning and strengthening.
And speaking of enjoying, my little boy also loves to hop on the mat and mimic or help me out with the poses which makes it a bonding activity for us too.
So how to pick the right workout for you? Listen to your body and notice how you feel after every type of workout. Once you find what you love, then do more of that and I promise you that it won’t feel like a chore or a task to check off your list, but you’ll actually look forward to doing it because of how it makes you feel during and after.
Go slow and easy when you’re just starting. If you are only able to do 5 minutes today, that’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up. Do 10 minutes the next day, and then 15 minutes, until you get to 20-30 minutes. More is more, but less is better than nothing. And it’s better if you do 5 minutes each day, rather than an hour of working out once every two weeks. Consistency over intensity.
3. INVEST ON WORKOUT CLOTHES AND BASIC EQUIPMENT.
Dress up to show up! Yes, I know it’s convenient to just be in your sweatsuit or nightwear all day long especially during this time when we’re on home isolation. But apart from getting you more motivated to work out, wearing the right workout gear will also help you feel more comfortable while moving.
My active essentials are a sports bra or active top, high-waist tights or leggings, training shoes/ runners. Some workout clothes also provide additional support for your chest, abs, hamstring and even glutes and may prevent muscle strain or injuries. Pick those that’s made of breathable and light-wear material, and always think of comfort over style.
When it comes to equipment, I believe in minimalism. I only have a couple dumb bells for my arm workouts, and a couple of yoga mats. I love this yoga mat in particular that is made of eco-friendly and sustainable material. Going for high-quality ones also means it can withstand wear and tear and can last you for years.
4. TAKE AN ONLINE CLASS.
There are a lot of free or paid online fitness classes available these days and it’s a matter of just hopping into google or YouTube and searching for the class you want. I personally have enrolled in a couple classes (one is a yoga program, and another one is a HIIT program), which have on-demand videos that I can easily view from my online device. You can start with the free trials to test it out and be sure to do your due diligence as well about the program instructors and find one whose personality resonates well with you. Read reviews or better yet go for something that’s recommended by someone you know.
And since virtual meetings are so trending these days, why not invite your girl friends for a virtual workout session and you gals can sweat it out together. I did this with some of the girls from my tribe and it was so much fun rather than having to do downward dogs on my own. Having an accountability fitness buddy also makes a ton of difference and helps you to keep you motivated.
5. NOURISH YOUR BODY.
My philosophy when it comes to health is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. Healthy and fit bodies are made in the kitchen. There’s no point in slaving yourself on the mat when you’re starving your body. Making sure that you also get proper nourishment will help you get the most out of your workout. And trust me, it’s no fun doing burpees with a grumbling tummy!
WHAT DO I EAT BEFORE WORKING OUT? Since I usually work out in the morning, I prefer to just have a tall glass of water and sometimes a half serving of smoothie or a banana if I do wake up hungry. My fave is my chocolate cake batter smoothie, and I add a scoop of plant protein for a boost of energy.
WHAT DO I EAT AFTER A WORKOUT? Breakfast for me is usually something light but filling like a creamy bowl of banana oats, or homemade protein granola with greek yogurt and fruits. If I’m quite hungry, I also love having smashed avocado toast with soft-boiled eggs.
The key is to go for whole grains, high-fiber, high-protein food and less processed, refined and sugary food. Try to also avoid caffeine since it can be dehydrating which is contrary to what we want after a workout.
6. TRACK YOUR OWN PROGRESS.
There are lots of ways to measure your own progress, and for me it’s more than just about the numbers on the scale but it’s largely about how you’re feeling from the inside out. You can create a workout diary and track after every workout how you are feeling. Take into account your energy levels, your mood and even the way you sleep. I personally notice I get better sleep when I’m able to do my yoga flow every morning and I also am less cranky when I don’t miss out on my physical activity that day. On the contrary, I feel usually tired, irritable, and less productive if I didn’t get to workout or even do a simple stretch on my mat.
Try these 5 tips and start building a fitness routine at home to improve your overall health and well-being. Especially during this time, we all need that welcome distraction to keep our body and mind healthy.
Remember to also pair a fitness routine with a well-balanced diet and good amount of water and sleep. If you need help in terms of what to eat while staying at home, I also have a FREE resource with 10 easy recipes you can try, including some healthy snacks as a post-workout drink or bite!
If you have your own tips to staying fit while at home, I’d love to hear them so please do comment below and share it.
Stay safe and healthy always!