“Whose body is this?” is how so many of us feel after being inducted into the mommy club. Of course, we love our children. And, yes we are more than the shells that carry us around. However, we can value ourselves as who we are at the core and still care about how we look and feel. We are not our bodies, but we live in them every day. So feeling and looking good isn’t vain. It is a tool, a strategy to show up as our best selves.
With the responsibilities of parenting, staying in shape can feel like just another thing on our long to do list. We often don’t have time for the gym. When we do, we sometimes don’t have the will to go. Let’s just be honest. When most of us get a moment alone, we crave peace and quiet – not necessarily breathlessness and muscle burn. We want to turn off our brains rather than count reps or listen out for the beep of the interval timer.
The good news is that the most overlooked fitness hack for busy moms comes with peace and quiet. Walking – that’s right. A slow and steady walk is the most overlooked fitness hack ever.
Get the best results from your walking routine by adding these simple meal hacks.
Does walking really count?
Outside of chasing the kids, many of us become less active as the years go by. Establishing a daily habit of going for a walk helps make up the decline in activity that comes with desk jobs and carpool lines. You may not break a sweat but you will burn calories.
How does it help?
You know that the calorie burn from your walk isn’t the same as the one from your intense workout. However, the cortisol lowering effects of a leisure walk make you less likely to dive headfirst into the bag of goldfish at the end of the day. Less hunger and fewer cravings are just a few benefits of routine walks.
How much walking are we talking about?
Start with whatever you can and keep doing more. This is one thing that you really can’t overdo when it comes to fitness. Find ways to sneak a few steps into your day at different points. You will be surprised how quickly it adds up.
What do I do with the kids?
Remember you don’t have to do a formal walk all at once. You can start by taking the parking space farther from the building or walking to places you normally drive. I even pace or walk outside when I take conference calls and do social media checks. However, on those days when the kids get really rowdy, don’t be afraid to take them out for a walk. You can put them in the stroller with plenty of snacks and toys and head out the door. If they are too old for that, drive them to the nearest park and let them play while you walk laps around their play area. Everybody wins when you do this.
What else do I need to know?
We are not talking about going for an old school power walk complete with sauna suit and hand weights here. That actually defeats the purpose. Go at a pace that is enjoyable. As a matter of fact, if you can’t hold a full conversation while you are walking, you are pushing too hard.
So that’s it. Your key to staying active after being inducted to #momlife is right outside of your door. Lace-up and go.