There’s no question that modern mothers face a multitude of challenges every day. For many, one of those challenges is finding a way to stay in shape. Amid the daily shuffle of keeping the kids fed, clothed, entertained, educated and sane, caring for your own health and well-being can easily fall by the wayside.
But if there’s one thing I’ve learned in seven years of parenting, it’s that you can’t draw from an empty well. Moms need care too, and there’s nothing selfish about making your health a priority.
However, that doesn’t mean we can all just drop all of our responsibilities and head to the gym for the afternoon. For most moms, that’s just not possible. Moms need to get creative about getting their workouts in. Here are a few ideas to help you busy mamas stay in shape:
Join A Local Fitness Center With Childcare
Coastal Virginia is home to a plethora of fitness centers, but choosing the right one as a mom can be tricky. If you go with a gym that doesn’t offer childcare, you’ll be limited to working out only when you have someone to watch the kids. Fortunately, there are several wonderful fitness centers in the area that provide childcare while you work out. Check out these options:
–YMCA of South Hampton Roads. With locations across Coastal Virginia, including one on the peninsula, the YMCA is a great family-friendly option. Bring the kids to Stay & Play while you work out (and maybe take a shower or sit in the lobby with some hot coffee for a few uninterrupted moments), then make an afternoon of it and bring the kids to the pool. Each location has its own schedule of group fitness classes, including aquatic classes.
–Women’s Workout and Fitness Center. This women’s only gym is located in Norfolk and offers a full fitness center, along with a multitude of fitness classes, from bootcamp to bellydancing. Childcare is available at a daily or monthly rate.
–Onelife Fitness. Onelife has locations in Chesapeake, Newport News, Norfolk and Virginia Beach. Use the exercise equipment, take a group fitness class or sign up for personal training. Children can play in the Kids Club while you get your workout in.
–Hampton Roads Kroc Center. The Kroc Center is a family fitness center in Norfolk run by the Salvation Army. The kid-friendly center has a fitness center, gymnasium and pool, as well as group exercise classes. Childcare is included in your membership.
–iNLeT Fitness. Both Virginia Beach locations of this family-focused and tight-knit center offer childcare for an affordable fee. Go run in the women's only workout studio or sweat it out in spin intervals class while your kids play on equipment of their own. The only hard part is convincing them it's time to leave.
Sweat It Out At Home With Beachbody On Demand
For moms who have a tough time getting out of the house to work out, Virginia Beach resident Jessica Fischer has a solution. Fischer is a virtual health and wellness coach for Beachbody, a streaming workout program that gives members access to hundreds of workout programs they can do in the comfort of their own homes.
Fischer helps her clients tailor their workouts and nutrition to their needs, with a focus on women’s health, making her group a great option for pregnant and postpartum women. She also provides her clients with a virtual accountability group. Members check in with each other daily, share recipes and meal plans, and post the workout they did that day.
“This is a great way to find motivation and make sure you get in your workout even when you might not feel like it,” says Fischer. “It’s amazing to connect with other women who are going through the same season of life who are in it with you.”
Bring Your Kids And Get Fit With Your Mom Friends
No Excuse Mom is an international nonprofit group with a local chapter in Coastal Virginia. The group does a variety of workouts, from strength training and running, to yoga and bike riding. The workouts are totally kid-friendly, and moms are encouraged to bring them along.
“The whole philosophy of our group is to provide an outlet for moms and women to workout and enjoy a healthier lifestyle. The motto ‘no excuse’ gets us out of the habit of making excuses—like having crazy kiddos at home—to stop us from being healthy,” says Holland Angello, co-lead of No Excuse Mom in Virginia Beach/Norfolk.
Moms meet up at different locations throughout Coastal Virginia all week long. Most of the time they meet at parks, but they also utilize churches, libraries, malls and even members’ homes. Participating in the group is completely free, so there truly is “no excuse.”
“It’s always an adjustment once you add kids to the picture. This group allows moms to work out with other moms and women—making friends, getting advice and gaining knowledge from people going through the same things they are,” says Angello.
Join the group at Facebook.com/Groups/NoExcuseMomVirginiaBeach
Motherhood is filled with new challenges at every turn. That’s why it’s crucial for moms to find a fitness routine that works for their schedule. Whatever you do, don’t wait until life settles down to focus on your health—set the example for your kids today by modeling a healthy lifestyle. And in the process, give them the gift of a healthy, cared-for mom.