4 Smart Ways To Stay In Shape As A Stay At Home Mom
As an adult, one of the most wonderful joys you can receive in life is the gift of becoming a mother. It’s what many look forward to, and it’s a natural part of life as a human being. But as truly fulfilling an experience it is to become a mother, the reality is that motherhood takes a real toll on so many aspects of your life: from your professional life, your romantic life, your finances, and of course, your body.
It’s no surprise, then, that a vast majority of women who have given birth become stay at home moms, for at least a short amount of time as their children grow up. In fact, in a study conducted in 2012, 5 million mothers in the U.S. were stay-at-home-moms. And, among all married-couple family groups with children under 15, for 24 percent of them, the mother stayed home to care for the child.
For stay-at-home-moms, their everyday life is like a full-time job with tons of overtime, with the added challenge of being unable to truly “leave” the workplace. So how can stay-at-home-moms expect to stay in shape? Here are 8 smart ways to stay in shape as a stay-at-home-mom.
Keep Junk Food Out Of It
This is one of the most obvious tips for staying in shape, but many stay at home moms don’t follow through, which causes them to not only stay out of shape but also gain lots of weight over time. In many ways it’s understandable: it’s hard to avoid unhealthy chips, cookies, and fast food, especially when there are teens or middle school aged children in the house. However, avoiding junk food is absolutely possible, and a great way to give your kids and yourself some satisfying snack foods is by stocking up on healthier alternatives like whole-wheat pita or bagel chips, salsa, fresh fruits, and yogurt.
Buy Fruit In Season, And Freeze It
One of the biggest culprits of weight gain among stay at home moms are sweets, like ice cream, cakes, and cupcakes. These treats contain tons of sugar and empty calories, and barely any health benefits, yet they are so easy to find and too often make their way to the table. A great way to get your fix of sweets in a healthy way is to replace it with fruit. Since fruit has a shorter shelf life than cakes and ice cream, a nice trick is to stock up on fruit when it’s in season, cut it up, and freeze them. Eating things like strawberries and bananas slightly frozen often tastes a lot like eating ice cream. Most fruits will still be good to eat after being frozen for 4-6 weeks, which saves you time and money.
Have A Dance Party With Your Kids
Many moms will say that there’s no time to make it to the gym, and for the most part, we agree. While there’s the saying that you can “always make time for something if you really want it”, this isn’t always true when you’re talking about leaving the house with young children. It just doesn’t work for some moms.
A perfect way to get some cardiovascular activity into your schedule right at home and without having to go to the gym is to have a dance party with your kids. You could do this right in the comfort of your living room, and you could dance to one of the kid’s music TV shows, or you could even make your own playlist of your favorite (kid-friendly) music and dance away to that. The added benefits are endless: you’ll be saving money, making a good example for your children, boosting their confidence, and giving them some good exercise as well.
Try A Workout DVD/Video
You can’t truly stay in shape without exercise, and if the dance party idea above doesn’t work for you, or perhaps doesn’t appeal to you, another extremely effective way to stay in shape at home is to follow a workout DVD. There are literally hundreds of different types of at-home DVD workouts that you could do, many of which are under 1 hour and cost a fraction of the average cost of a one-month gym membership (think $6-$30). Some examples of popular types of workouts you can find on workout DVDs are aerobics, hip hop/pop dance, salsa, zumba, kickboxing, yoga, toning, and more.
Karen Wentz is a health & fitness writer, and contributes tips and advice on sites like Happy Fit World, a health blog.
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