Motherhood is, without a doubt, one of the biggest parts of a parent’s life. Although they may be superheroes in our eyes, moms are far more than just parents. However, mothers aren’t just parents, but so many other things, including athletes, runners, and people who just want to stay active. We chatted with a few moms on our own Shokz Team for advice and insight into how they stay active while attending to their mommy duties. Discover some workout tips for parents who are looking to stay active.
Running Tips For Moms with Infants
SHOKZ: What kind of baby equipment do you use to help make your workouts easier to complete?
MEGAN JOHNS: I have a jogging stroller that has been great for walks around the neighbourhood but I haven’t been brave enough to try running with it yet. The best thing I did for myself when I was ready to start working out was treat myself to a little shopping spree.
Pregnancy and early motherhood change your body in so many ways and I knew trying to work out in clothes that no longer fit properly was just going to make me feel bad in every way. So, I went to my local running store and got fitted for a new pair of shoes and a new sports bra along with some clothes that would be comfortable for walking, jogging, and general mom-ing. That really helped me start my journey on a positive note and having new gear gave me a little extra motivation to get out the door.
SHOKZ: How do you stay motivated to work out while keeping up with mom duties and everyday life?
MJ: Honestly, this is really hard and most days I don’t! Adjusting to life as a working parent is tough. When I’m not working, I want to soak up as much time with my baby as I can. I’m not ready to sacrifice baby time for workout time. But I’m lucky to have the option to work from home so I try to use my lunch break to get outside and go for a walk or short run when I’m feeling up to it.
While they’re definitely few and far between, I’m grateful for the days that I can get out the door for a workout and proud of myself when I make it happen. When I don’t have the energy, I don’t beat myself up about it and try to focus on all the other things that I accomplished that day instead.
Running Tips For Moms with Small Children
SHOKZ: How do you keep your children engaged during your workouts and runs?
KIM FASSETTA: My son Rocco is nine years old now, so he joins me during my workouts about half of the time these days! For weekend runs, he’ll tether one of our dogs to a strap around his waist and stick with me for about two miles - then my husband will come scoop them up so I can keep going. He watches and asks questions whenever he catches me lifting free weights in the garage, focusing and commenting on my form.
We recently invested in an Ergatta rowing machine and it’s everyone’s new favourite activity. We’ve actually had to limit Roc’s time on it - otherwise, he’ll overdo it!
Running Tips & Workout Advice For Moms
SHOKZ: As a mother especially, why is staying active so important to you?
KF: If I’m being totally honest, being strong and agile makes me feel like a cool mom. My heart swells in the best way when I overhear my son or his cousins boasting that I’m a marathon runner.
But more practically, I've found that being active is better for my mind and spirit than just about anything else. I am at my best on days I start with at least a 3-4 mile run before the family wakes up. It’s my sacred “me” time. I spend these solo runs in prayer, listening to an audiobook or podcast, and writing (yes, I have figured out how to jot notes in my own shorthand - my most creative ideas and deep thoughts are discovered on the run!).
I also think prioritizing health through activity is a really important example to set, for our whole family. When my son sees me choose a 20-min Crossrope session over scrolling on my phone while dad makes dinner, it prompts him to put his iPad away and grab his basketball to shoot hoops in the driveway next to me. Over time we’ve seen him make healthier choices totally on his own, which is creating healthier habits he’ll carry on when we’re not there to force those things on him.
SHOKZ: What’s a myth about working out with kids that you want more moms to ignore?
MJ: I hear a lot of talk about “getting your body back” after having a baby. I feel like there’s a lot of pressure to have your body look the way that it did before you had a child as quickly as possible. After carrying a child for months and months, I think it’s important to remember that it will probably take just as long for your body to recover.
This body created and grew a whole human. My body has sustained and kept that tiny little human alive for ten months now. I don’t want to erase those changes or the battle scars that pregnancy left behind, I want to celebrate my body because it did something incredible.
I think working out is a great way to practice self-care, find confidence, feel strong, take time for yourself, and feel like your body is yours again, and I think those should be our goals when we talk about working out.
KF: Working out with your kids is not as narrow as it might sound. You can make anything into a workout, as Instagram influencer Melissa Wood illustrates on the regular. She goes all out - lunges while grocery shopping, or leg lifts, calf raises, and stretches while waiting in line - turning everyday errands with her children in tow into opportunities to move her body more.
While I’m not quite that good of a multitasker, I use lots of routine things to get a sweat session in with my boy. We’ll race to the mailbox, time ourselves doing yard work, and assign jumping jacks or push-ups to one another as payment for lost bets. I count walking the dogs together and coaching his baseball team as workouts on days where I can’t get a focused run or row in, and those things feed my mind and body just as much.