We often get asked questions like: “How do you find time to exercise as a working mom?” or “You probably run like 10 miles a day, right?” or simply “What do you do to stay fit?” We haven’t talked much about fitness on How We Do yet, so we wanted to give you a bit of background about our history with working out, our current fitness routines, and our top ten fitness tips to help you get excited to start working out or to help motivate you to stick with it! You can also watch a live video over on our How We Do Facebook page for more detail on some of this.
So first off, a bit of history. Karli grew up playing sports from a young age and continued in college. So it was very natural and part of her life to be active. But even since playing on a college basketball team, she has remained active through a variety of activities including recreational sports leagues, gym memberships, at-home workouts, running, lifting weights, crossfit, and being active with her family in activities like boating, swimming, jumping on the trampoline, going for walks, etc. Karli likes to stay up-to-date on the latest health and nutrition information and tries to eat healthy most of the time.
Angie also grew up playing sports, but she didn’t play on any college teams. However she was involved in various intramural sports and regularly worked out at the fitness facility in college. She got certified as a personal trainer in college and has been a professor teaching about health and human performance for the past 13 years. Since college she, like Karli, has remained active through lots of avenues including running, weight lifting, working out at her college work facility, working out at-home, and being active with her family. Because she also teaches about it, Angie tries to walk the walk and not just talk the talk.
With that being said, neither of us are really extreme. We don’t follow meal plans. We try to eat healthy most of the time with our families, but we also like dessert or indulging in treats at the movies or a yummy dinner on date night. We try to exercise most days, but we rest on Sundays and we miss other days throughout the week depending on our schedules. With that being said, our first and probably most important fitness tip is this:
1. Be consistent and make it part of your lifestyle. There are days where it seems like we have a million things to do and exercise is our last priority, and that’s okay. When we miss a day, we try to make working out a top priority the next day. Even on those busy days or days when you’re lacking motivation, do a 10 minute workout. It’s better than nothing, and in many cases, once you’re ten minutes into it you’ll keep going. This will also help you establish a habit. And if you can get in the habit of exercising three days a week, week after week and month after month, it then turns into year after year. It simply becomes part of what you do. Because we have both consistently been exercising for years, it would now be a hard habit to break. And even if we go through a period of two weeks without exercising due to having a baby, going on vacation, being sick, whatever the reason, we always get right back on track. 🥊🥊🥊
2. Be active with your family. We don’t involve our families most of the time when we workout, but it can be important for lots of reasons. It’s often nice to get in a good workout on your own without your kids interrupting, but you can also teach your kids the importance of being active and healthy and strong. Our kids will often do what we’re doing. So when they see us doing air squats or pushups or planks, they join right in. They are learning through example that exercise is worthy of our time. Or when you go on bike rides or jump on the trampoline with your kids, you’re getting some great quality time with them as well as burning some calories. You could even plan to schedule some sort of active date with your husbands once a month, whether it be going to the gym together, or going hiking or rollerblading. 🚴♀️🤽♀️⛹️♀️🏄🏼🏌️♀️
3. Find something you enjoy. If you don’t enjoy it, you likely won’t stick with it. You do not have to run to stay fit. They are so many ways to be active. Find something you enjoy doing and schedule it into your routine. And don’t be afraid to try something new. Maybe you don’t think you would enjoy yoga, but how do you know if you’ve never tried? 🤷🏽♀️
4. Incorporate weight lifting. Regardless of what you choose to do to stay active, we highly recommend incorporating some form of weights at least a couple times a week. This does not have to involve getting a gym membership. You can purchase some dumbbells (new or used) in a few sizes to keep at home, and you can actually do quite a variety of movements with just a few weights. Youtube has lots of videos you can follow or you can purchase some workout DVDs. Building muscle will help burn fat and burn more calories. And it will make you stronger. 💪🏽💪🏽💪🏽 We know weights can be intimidating for lots of people, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing, but don’t be afraid to ask questions. There are so many resources out there with people who are wanting to help!
5. Buy/wear some new workout clothes. We don’t have scientific research to prove it, but anyone you talk to will tell you that if you purchase/wear some cute workout clothes you will be more motivated to exercise compared to exercising in old sweats and a t-shirt. The old sweats will definitely work, but if you’re needing some extra motivation try a new pair of leggings and a cute workout top and see what happens. 😍😍
6. Make yourself a priority. You are important, and your health is important. When we get our workouts done, we feel like we are more prepared to take care of our families and get things done. We have more energy, positivity, and motivation to go about our day with purpose. We feel like better moms and wives because we are taking care of ourselves, and in turn, our families.
7. Eat healthier. Don’t waste all the time and effort you’re putting into exercising by eating poorly. You don’t have to eat perfectly, but try to make healthier choices. That might mean limiting dessert to a couple times a week. It might mean cutting out or reducing your soda intake. It might mean choosing oatmeal and eggs for breakfast instead of syrup-drenched pancakes and sugar cereal. Eat more veggies, and don’t eat late at night. With long-term consistency, these seemingly small but healthier choices will make a difference.
8. Be prepared. If you are trying to make healthier life choices, stock up on healthy options at your next grocery visit and avoid buying too many treats. And maybe throw out some of the junk food in your pantry. If it’s not around to eat, you won’t be so tempted by it. Do some research, ask questions, and never feel afraid to make a change. Change=growth. Set some personal realistic goals in advance. Watching yourself make progress toward an end goal is so motivating. Get your friends on board! It’s always easier to make healthy lifestyle choices when you surround yourself with people who are on the same page as you. Have some easy snacks to pack while you’re on the go so you won’t be tempted when your blood sugar drops and any food in sight sounds amazing! Here’s some protein bars we love.
9. Try something new. We love to change it up, anything that will keep you excited and on your toes. If you’re getting bored, it’s time for a change! This can be related to anything in your lifestyle choices (working out, food options, you name it!). If you’re intimidated or afraid to try something new, push yourself. We ask our kids all the time to learn new things at school or to try new extracurricular activities. We know they can do it, and so can we as adults! Sometimes we have to be willing to step out of our comfort zone.
10. Attitude is everything, give your best effort! You will get the most out of whatever you’re trying to accomplish if you always do your best (we realize that this can vary daily 😂😉) Trust us, there are days when the last thing we want to do is go workout, but if that’s where our time is spent, we want to make the most of it. When’s the last time you regretted getting a workout in/eating healthy?? 🤷🏽♀️🤷🏽♀️
***BONUS: positive mental talk. Be proud of yourself!!🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻 Tell yourself how amazing you are!! Don’t compare yourself to anyone but yourself. That’s like comparing oranges to apples. DON’T DO IT. Compare yourself with the you that was 3 months ago. Do you see improvements? Even small ones…Celebrate!🎉🎉🎉Of course you can admire qualities in other and aspire to be like them, but don’t compare. There is something so empowering about doing things you didn’t expect yourself to be able to. Try it, you will love it! Keep in mind, the goal shouldn’t be a certain number on the scale or a certain size of pants. Judge yourself on how you feel. Do you have more energy? Do you feel stronger??
We hope these tips were helpful for you! They’re probably all things you’ve heard before, but maybe this time they will resonate differently. We are not perfect, but we try to do our best. Let us know if you have other helpful tips that work for you, we are always open to suggestions!
All the love,
Karli and Angie
How We Do