Well, well, well. Here we are in June. My kids have been out of school since the last week of May so I am definitely in the swing of summer break! There is no doubt that summer comes with mixed emotions–relief from the intense mornings, lunch packing, and homework, yet a bit of frustration trying to juggle everything you did in those hours they were gone! (Tack on fighting, boredom and an always messy house and it’s just GRRREAT!!)
(I understand that some of you have ZERO or minimal change from school year to summer because you home school, your kids are not school-age, or you work outside the home and continue to do so in the summer. So this series of posts may not be as helpful for you as other mamas who find themselves in my position: a stay at home mom or work at home (full or part), non-home schooling mama! But stay tuned because I think here will be some helpful tips all throughout for anyone!)
There are 3 areas in particular that are troublesome for a healthy mama to keep fit–and these areas are NO DIFFERENT than during the school year!
Space (mental and physical)
Isn’t it funny how life manifests itself a little differently depending on the season (literally!) of life?! I have found that there really is no “perfect” time or conditions to get and stay healthy. I’ve found this to be even more challenging when I became a parent and even as they’ve gotten older!
However, God hasn’t asked us to only take care of our bodies when it’s easy. He asks us to take care of the temples we have PERIOD. We must work THROUGH our challenges., work WITH our resources and EMBRACE the life God has given us!
With that said, I want to give you some of my best tips to keep you on track this summer and today’s post will focus on EXERCISE!
1) Do it early (or late!)
This is my first suggestion for women–no matter if it’s the summer or not! Early morning workouts (while can be brutal the first week or so) are the best way to make sure it gets done. I’ve found that once the kids are up, my day is very unpredictable. Take advantage of the early sunrise and cooler temps. Go for a run. Do some sprints. Take your DVD outside and enjoy doing it with the sun shining on you! If you need a little coffee before-hand, that’s fine! Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier and enjoy a small cup, then get to it!
Some of you non-morning folks may be happy to see that I added the “late” part! The beauty of longer days is that we have more daylight to get outside. I generally am a morning person, but since our summer routine has adjusted a bit, I am staying up at night later. Just the other night, after a crazy day, at 8:40pm, I ran/sprinted for 30 minutes on the streets near my house just to get something in! (If you can’t see my picture below, try viewing here!)
And sometimes your workout happens by the streetlights. After you’ve done laundry. After the grocery. After you’ve made dinner. After the time slot “scheduled” for it After you’ve put in a day of work. After the baseball game. And WAY after you put on your workout clothes It’s easy to call it a night–and many times I do- but my workouts are a time just for me to reconnect with who I am and why I spent the day living out those exact priorities that caused a shift in my regular workout routine. I am thankful for a body that can move even if it’s up and down my street 32 times, sprinting and sweating. It’s not a punishment. It’s a gift that keeps giving not just to me but those around me!
2) Split it up
You don’t have to do your whole workout at once! Yes, it’s true! In fact, short, intense exercises are some of the most effective ways to workout! Last week I had to get creative. My “gym” is a college. They don’t open early enough for me to go while hubby is still home getting ready for work and they don’t have childcare so I ALWAYS have a struggle getting my workout done there. (And I don’t love home workouts that much) So I woke up and did some stretching and a core workout for about 10 minutes and then later that morning, took the kids to a local track. I ran, did sprints, did hills–all with the kids in tow. Was it ideal? Not really. But THIS IS MY LIFE! #realitycheck I want my children to be with me in the summer and I know I won’t regret this in the future, so I embrace my life and resources and make the best of it. 30 minutes at the track and we were done. I find that it’s easier to find smaller chunks of time rather than one larger one during the summer. (If you can’t see the picture below, check out this picture on instagram here!)
Here is a quick TABATA workout–4 minutes is all it takes! Repeat a few times during the day and feel free to substitute other exercises!
Ok mamas. I’m not sure about you, but the summer presents a new set of challenges to stay healthy! I’m going to write about this more soon, but I wanted to share with you 2 ways I get my exercise in when the kids are home! 1⃣ Split it up. I did 10 min core workout this morning before they were awake. Splitting up your workouts may not be do-able for some of you, but for others, it totally works! 2⃣ Bring them with you! Today is a cardio/core focused day. It’s beautiful here so I brought them to the track with me along w bubbles, hula hoops And balls. They even joined in on the fun— sort of. Did it come without complaining? No. Did I get my ideal workout in? No. But I did do something and got their bodies moving too. Done is better than perfect! Now it’s off to the strawberry patch! I may end up doing a few more core moves later. Own your situation! Get creative! Remember- a balanced health program is FLEXIBLE!!
A photo posted by Clare Smith (@claresmithofficial) on
3) Do it together
As I mentioned above, the kids went with me to the track. I tried to get them to run a bit and do some drills–and they did–but they dropped off after a while–and that’s ok! Depending on the age and personality of your children, it can be difficult to incorporate them. What a great way to role model health and be an encourager in this way! I also don’t want to forget dads. There have been times when the whole family has gone to the track and we’ve taken turns running while one watches the kids. Or we will go to the basement together and the kids will “join us” in some bodyweight exercises. Great way to spend time with the family!
4) Swap with another mama
Have you and your hubby ever swapped dating services with another couple? It’s a win-win. One couple watches all the kids while the other goes on a date and then another night, they swap! Well, think about doing this with another mama friend! I did this with a friend a few years ago and it worked out great! Sometimes we did it the same day–she would come here and would go run while I watched the kids and then I would go once she got back. Or we just picked different days. Don’t be afraid to ask. Maybe the other mama doesn’t want to workout, but could use an hour to herself.
As I said in an instagram post above, a healthy exercise routine is BALANCED and CREATIVE! Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box!
What other exercise tips do you have for the summer? I’d love to hear them so leave a comment below! Be sure to sign up to be on my newsletter list so you can grab the next post in the series as we talk about HEALTHY EATING during the summer!! (perhaps my biggest struggle!)