You Don't Have to Sacrifice Sleep for Fitness as a Mom - 3 Ways to Fit It All In
Updated: Aug 9, 2019
One of the benefits of exercise is increased energy. But is that always the best choice to boost energy levels? What if you recently had a baby and aren’t sleeping through the night? Are dealing with hormone shifts or adrenal or thyroid issues? What if you are truly fatigued instead of just tired?
Then your exercise routine might not be serving you right now.
What You Can Do Instead
I’m a firm advocate for movement, but when your body is already drenched in stress, adding more stress on top (even if it is “good” stress like exercise) could do more harm. In times like this, you can lean into more flow and mobility work, add in rest days, increase rest time between sets, or decrease the number of high demand movements within a single workout.
Another thing you should do is prioritize sleep!
I’m personally in a stage of my life with little downtime and still interrupted sleep. I have 3 kids (ages 2-8) that typically sleep through the night but are also known to wake up from a bad dream, the occasional middle of the night sickness, and sometimes just don’t understand that you don’t get out of bed before the sun. I am also a full time entrepreneur trying to build a business from scratch on top of the daily everyday things that have to get done to manage a household.
That’s a lot of stress on a recently postpartum body. So while I used to enjoy starting my day with a workout, this phase of my life demands more rest and stillness than hustle and sweat.
How You Can Fit in a Workout with Little Kids
My mantras for getting in an exercise routine while my kids are home and awake are
Progress over perfection
A small workout is better than no workout
Consistent blocks of 15 minutes of movement adds up! Don’t have time to get in a 30-60 min workout before your kids start losing their patience and start dumping cereal on the floor? Try a 10-15 min HIIT or AMRAP workout with body weight or bands in your living room. Do that 2-3 times a day, and you’ve completed a solid workout.
Find a gym that has free or low cost childcare or allows you to bring your children with you. I get it. Mom guilt is a thing (although we can talk later on why it really shouldn’t be), but you really do need to take time for you. Going to the gym or a class 2-3 times a week can be great for you, and your kids can have a fun time playing with other kids and new (to them) toys. Win-win!
Involve your kids in your workout as play. I have a sled that my kids love to sit on and have me pull them around the yard. If you’ve ever done this for any length of time you know what a full body workout it can be. Give them a mat and let them do mobility work with you. Use them as added weight for odd object carries. Or simply go on a walk or bike ride through your neighborhood with them riding along.
Getting in exercise doesn’t have to be complicated. Take an honest inventory of your body’s abilities and needs and match that up with your resources. Try out these simple ideas to help you incorporate fitness into your day with or without your kids.
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