The end of summer brings many reliefs- no more wet clothes on the bathroom floor (unless you are potty training like me), no more 100 degree days, and no more striving for the perfect bikini body.
Does this mean you can drop the carrot stick and pick the long desired chocolate éclair up?
Not really (although it’s good to treat yourself every now and again). But now you can focus on healthy pick-me-ups and clean eating habits without worrying if you look like a beached whale or a mermaid when hitting the sand with your family.
The term beach body connotes a woman in peak fitness, usually with a six-pack of abs and tan skin to boot.
While I applaud the women who have worked hard to achieve this state, it is not a reality for the average mom.
Our cardio often consists of chasing two-year-olds rather than the treadmill, and walking the laundry up and down the stairs rather than the stair climber.
Let’s look at seven ways you can make being at peak health a part of your lifestyle, so you can dive into some of the fall activities without a huff or a puff.
1. Eat real food
Yes, one can argue that all food is real food, but what we mean is items that don’t come out of a wrapper with twenty-five ingredients (most of which you can’t pronounce).
Whole Foods like fruits, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and grains should be the staples in your menu.
Cutting out the processed foods and swapping them for nutritional alternatives will not only slim your waistline but make you feel amazing.
2. Keep moving
Staying active in the summer is easy with the pool visits, beaches, parks, and play dates.
When school starts back up our fitness tends to die down, but it doesn’t have to.
Join a boot camp in the park, schedule lunch-break walks with co-workers, or take the whole family on a bike ride after dinner.
Once these activities become habit you will notice it is easier to stay in shape. That way when next summer arrives you won’t go on the water and celery diet right before the family reunion.
3. Get a plan
A plan can make or break a healthy routine. Whether you are trying to squeeze into those pre-pregnancy jeans (I’m so close!) or just have enough energy to not fall asleep every time you sit down on the couch, having a solid nutritional and fitness plan is a must.
Don’t be afraid to contact a professional. It is not a sign that you can’t get your life together, but just a realization that moms are busy people.
And a plan is nothing if you don’t stick with it so make it manageable and realistic. You can create your goals according to weight, distance you can jog without stopping, or how many days you can consistently eat 7-9 servings of fruits and vegetables.
4. Don’t neglect your mental health
People notice your physical appearance before they notice if you are feeling down that day, and so we tend to focus on our fitness over our mental state.
This isn’t doing you any favors. The better we feel on the inside, the more motivated we are to fuel our bodies with the good stuff making us better on the outside.
Don’t be afraid to face a mental illness head on, as Mommy Underground has previously reported, and if you are struggling get the help you need to be completely healthy- mind and body.
5. Drink up
Water that is. When you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated, and that is tough to catch up on as a mom on the go.
Most experts will recommend eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, according to Healthline, and the amount increases drastically if you are nursing.
Keep a favorite water bottle nearby at all times so you can conveniently sip on it throughout the day. If that still doesn’t work, set an alarm.
You can suffer from headaches, fatigue, dizzy spells, and dry skin if you are lacking; and nobody has time for that.
6. Pump some iron
Gaining strength gives you a lot of practical use, but it it also gives you a lot of health benefits.
Mayo Clinic reports:
“By stressing your bones, strength training can increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Manage your weight. Strength training can help you manage or lose weight, and it can increase your metabolism to help you burn more calories.”
It feels incredibly empowering to be able to open jars by yourself, unload all your groceries in one run, and lift your 8-year-old over your head.
7. Lift yourself up
Nobody looks like a Kardashian after one week of working out (or ever- hello genetics!), so don’t beat yourself up if progress is slow moving.
Getting on a healthy eating and fitness plan takes practice, patience, and some serious time management.
Give yourself daily affirmations because you deserve it! Stop negative self-talk when it arises and point out all the things you are accomplishing with flying colors.
Are your children loved, fed, and alive? Check! Did you eat the bran cereal for breakfast when your neighbor brought you muffins? Check!
Every little bit counts toward a happy and healthier you. Choose where you want to get started today and make this your year of proving that you are worth the effort to get healthy.
(h/t Mommy Underground)