Well, I've been not so silently stalking Nadine and her Instagram feed for a while now. As far as the old #mummycrush goes, this ones a biggin! This gorgeous mumma to baby Madden takes the term 'No Excuses' to another level. She's so incredibly motivated, and it seems that nothing stands in her way when it comes to her health and fitness, so I just had to get a little something from her. She's kindly shared her top tips to stay motivated and to get that fitness back as a busy mum... It's definitely something that I needed to read!
Guest blog by Nadine Muller @_nadinemuller
Yeah so we have heard it all before - the health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are simply second to none. But for most mums (new ones especially), exercise often comes far down the list as oppose to the more ‘pressing’ matters – like catching up on SLEEP! And sometimes after all of the to-do’s are done (or not done) mustering the drive to even think about squeezing in any form of physical activity (that involves more than lying horizontal) is a feat in itself. To me, exercise is an essential part of my day. I’ve found it to be crucial for my physical (and mental) health and overall wellbeing. My passion for keeping active and staying fit is something I do for ‘me’ but ultimately for my family too. I know I am a far better person, mum and wife when I have invested time in making my health and wellbeing a priority too. Additionally it provides an outlet from the ongoing pressures of motherhood and any general life stressors that we all encounter along the way. The great thing about physical activity is it’s never too late to get started with the benefits so powerful, that it is always worth it! Here are my top-tips that keep me a happy and healthy mummy in this sometimes overwhelming, but incredible journey of motherhood!
1. The All Clear - On top of my list of course is ensuring you have the double thumbs up from your OB/GP and multidisciplinary team if necessary e.g. Physiotherapist. I personally remember this day well; getting the all clear for me was like all my Christmas’ had come at once. That being said, I learnt very quickly that I couldn’t rush into anything, our bodies have been through a lot so as hard as it can be, we need to remember to gently ease ourselves back into it!
2. The P Words – Change your perspective and make exercise a priority! We all have the same amount of time in a day, how you choose to spend your time is dependent on you! Don’t view exercise as a chore, change your perspective and see it as an investment in you and your family’s health.
3. Schedule it in – If you’re like me, if it’s in the diary it’s going to happen! Plan your workouts for the week ahead and jot them down on your calendar too! Just like you wouldn’t skip a doctors appointment, treat your exercise time with that same importance! To stay accountable, I also keep track of my exercise and nutrition with my food and exercise journal (I got mine from Kikki K). For me, writing it all down allows for that pinpoint accountability, allows me to track my journey and aids to highlight trends – the good and the bad! I also like to look back in my diary and look at my efforts as it reinforces that sense of accomplishment!
4. Drop it – I don’t just mean low squats I’m talking about that GUILT factor… we all go through it… Don’t feel guilty for taking time out for YOU…Give yourself the same deserving attention that you so freely give to the ones you love and don’t ever feel guilty for taking time for YOURSELF. It’s not selfish to make you and your mental and physical wellbeing a priority! As mothers, we so often put our all into our loved ones that it is easy to put our health and wellbeing aside. But how can we best look after the ones who need us the most, if we aren’t ourselves in the best physical and mental state? Plus what better example to set than to show our little ones that regular exercise is important. Our influences as mothers is so very powerful, let’s not waste that, we have absorbing eyes watching us everyday! Set the example.
5. The Forks to Pressure – I think we all need to tell society and media to back the F up! There are crazy amounts of overwhelming and unnecessary amounts of pressure placed on us women to ‘bounce back’ (Seriously?!) Instead more emphasis should be put on the importance of taking the appropriate amount of time to heal properly from the inside-out, embracing and celebrating the beauty of the post-partum body and honouring the female body for its accomplishments of pregnancy and childbirth! Women, our bodies (and its capabilities) are masterpieces and deserve all the praise!!!
6. Tick Tock – Try not to adopt the ‘ALL OR NOTHING’ approach, whilst it would be great to get 45-60 minutes of continuous exercise in everyday, sometimes it just wont happen and don’t feel discouraged if it doesn’t. Plus you don’t have to spend endless hours exercising, if you can just commit 15 minutes of exercise each day, you will feel all the more better for it. If you can’t get 15 minutes together, then break up your exercise over the entire day. Incidental exercise can happen just about anywhere (think squats at the kitchen sink, calf raises in the shower, lunges in front of the TV during ad breaks - virtually anywhere, anytime!) the little bursts of activities do add up over the course of the day! Think about the unallocated moments of time, those 30-minute blocks we spend on Facebook, Instagram, checking emails, reading blogs (haha) etc. Pay attention to the true quality and quantity of your time and highlight which activities you potentially could subtract from e.g. calling your best friend from the lounge verse hitting the pavement with bub and pram in tow whilst talking on the phone. We all know that motherhood comes with its fair share of challenges so on those days where nothing is going your way, just accept any spare time that you do have and make the most of it.
7. Enjoyment factor – Plain and simple: if you don’t enjoy your regime than you’re less likely to stick to it. The key is finding an activity that you genuinely enjoy and that fits within your schedule and indeed your lifestyle. If you like what you do during exercise, you’ll view it as a necessity rather than an option and will less likely skip out on it!
8. Skip the Excuse - To get a solid session in you don’t need much (if anything at all) as far as equipment is concerned. Try to drop the excuse ‘I couldn’t get to the gym so I couldn’t exercise today’…because guess what? the lounge room can be the perfect alternative. Don’t have weights? Everyday items in the pantry serve as great little hand weights! Better yet, provided that your bub is old enough and has good head and neck control use them as your added weight! Rather than seeing children as barriers to our fitness journeys, try to find ways to incorporate them into your workouts instead, I use my baby carrier all the time for this purpose and my little one loves it! Just the same as the advice we all got in the newborn days of ‘sleep when the babies sleeping’ attempt to live by ‘play when they play’ too.
9. Dare to NOT compare – Let’s face it; the comparison game is one we all play! We have to remember that every one of us is on our own individual journey towards different health and fitness goals. It’s a continual journey that should focus on not being better than anybody else, but rather being better than who we were yesterday. The quote we’ve all heard rings true - we are our own worse critics. People, and perhaps women are always hardest on themselves. The biggest opponent standing in the way of health/fitness goals are indeed US. Be your own motivation and compete with YOU everyday. Whilst it’s good to look to others for some inspiration and motivation let them simply be your guide, but NOT your ultimate goal. You are too unique to wish otherwise!
10. L.O.V.E – The idea of loving ourselves more is a foreign concept but there is a lot to say about self-love. No matter who we are, I think we all have room to develop a more loving relationship with ourselves over a continuum, Promote it, along with self-acceptance and self-positivity and cultivate it at all costs. I know it’s one concept that all mothers would hope their children would learn as they grow - to respect themselves and to be proud of the unique individual they are. We should be no different. Motherhood isn’t all rainbows and fairy floss, but what an incomparably wonderful experience it is nonetheless. We truly have the most significant role in the world and should be so proud of the remarkable job we each are doing.
Thank you for reading, as always all thoughts and comments are welcome…Oh and if you haven’t yet done so for the day, get up and MOVE!
‘The greatest wealth is HEALTH!’
Much Love, Nadine x
If you want to check out Nadine's Instagram feed click, here.
Behind the blog...
‘The Mummysomniac’ is a lifestyle, motherhood and most recently, pregnancy blog, founded in 2015 by Kirsty McKenzie. She’s a mum of three, blogging about the highs and lows of motherhood, with a straight forward and honest approach, as well as a little bit of humour. Kirsty is passionate about sharing the realities of #MumLife, not the cookie cutter, high gloss version