New Year’s Resolutions. Who has the time? Between drop-offs and pickups—not to mention that 9-5 or all the stay-at-home-mom chores in between and after school sports, dinner, and occasionally catching up with the girls, it sometimes seems impossible to squeeze in a workout. The sad truth is, simply wanting to eat well and get fit is not enough (as those dying heads of kale and neglected running shoes can attest). You have to plan! The right tools and the right strategy can take you—yes, even you, busy mummy—from goals to results.
As they say, fail to plan, plan to fail. It’s not just an annoying credo of the 11% body fat crowd, it’s the truth. If something matters to you, you’ve got to get organized. Here are my top tips and some favourite tools for getting fit when life has other plans.
Stop looking for that mythical hour at the gym. The truth is, between making sure work and/or the kids are alright, driving to and from, changing, showering, and waiting for your favourite machines, the average gym visit is more hassle and time than it’s worth. Look at your weekly schedule each weekend and find the hidden opportunities. 25 minutes to go for a jog or power walk while the littles are in their weekly dance class, 10 minutes in the morning to do a quick high-intensity workout, or opting for a 20 minute bike ride to the market for a few items on the weekend over a 10 minute drive. Plan it, schedule it into your calendar, and stick to it like you would any other appointment. It all adds up, and it’s scientifically proven to be just as effective for general fitness and weight loss if you divide it up into short, manageable sessions.
A regular objection I hear from my clients is: I want to work out midday but I can’t return to work and other obligations looking like a hot mess. Nothing says “I don’t give a crap” like messy hair. To this I say: accept that you can’t maintain a perfect blowout five weekdays out of five and also prioritize your health. Embrace the bun, ponytail, topknot, or your natural curls. Use Goody Ouchless Elastics and Slide Proof headbands to keep it all dry and in place so you can let your hair back down after your workout, or even keep the stylish headbands in all day to keep it simple.
I’ve always been a once or twice-a-week hair washer, but I know some other gals need to wash after each sweat session. For quick styling before and after your workouts, the Goody QuickStyle brush has absorbent microfiber bristles that remove water to dry hair faster. It's like a towel and a brush in one! You worked out and you still look good? Rock Star status.
Exercise is essential to health and fitness, but when getting lean and/or staying lean is the goal, your eating habits are largely the focus. Designate a few hours on the weekend for meal planning with your favourite cookbooks and websites, shopping, and prepping a few make-ahead recipes for the week. It’s not extra work; it’s work done ahead, and it’s so important to sticking to your goals, since you never know what urgent email, last-minute invite or homework emergency might arise on a weeknight.
Mornings are a particular challenge for busy mummies. A bowl of cereal doesn’t quite cut it and a plate of eggs and spinach isn’t always doable. Where a fresh meal isn’t possible, a protein-rich shake or smoothie is a fabulous substitute. Choose a quality grass-fed whey protein or vegan protein powder and shop for a few simple add-ins, like unsweetened almond milk, frozen berries, and nut butters. The Rubbermaid Shaker Bottle provides a unique bottle solution with a mixing mechanism for mixing protein shakes that don’t need blending and re-mixing juices or smoothies. You can quickly blend during your morning routine, then shake once you arrive at your desk to enjoy a freshly blended meal on the go!
If you’re on the go, keep a pair of running shoes and some essentials in the car or at your desk so you can embrace the opportunity to work out. Finding time to sweat becomes a habit; awkward at first, like any new practice, but gradually, you find yourself early to coffee with friends and lacing up your sneakers for a quick 10 minute jaunt around the block. Or you’ll book a 60-minute lunch hour at work and designate 20 minutes to run the office tower stairs and do some stretches.
Consider keeping an extra blouse or sweater in your desk or car for the odd occasion that you absolutely must change post-workout (also helpful if you’re as klutzy with your coffee as I am…). If your days are more casual, I recommend investing in some confidence-building, body-flattering workout wear that can transition you from emails at home to grocery store to school pickup to quick push-ups and step-ups on the playground bench.
Plan, pack, and be ready for healthy meals and workouts. Make it your new normal. Just like that, fit will be your new normal and those New Year’s Resolutions will go from dreams to proud progress.
Now that Dara has shared the tips you need to create and stick to your 2015 fitness goals, be sure you have all the essentials to get started!
Goody hair accessories, Rubbermaid LunchBlox and Shaker Bottles are available at local Loblaws, Zehrs, or Superstores. You’ll now be able to pack your food, stay organized, and eat well on-the-go.
Visit our "No Sweat Guide to #GetFitIn2015" page for more tips on how to get fit, get organized, and stay healthy this year and beyond!