Working out as a parent isn’t easy. Finding the time, energy, and motivation seems to be impossible when juggling all the responsibilities and obligations that come with raising little humans.
The bottom line is, you won’t find time to exercise. You have to make time to exercise. While this may seem daunting, there are a few workout essentials that can make your tireless journey to health and wellbeing a little easier and manageable.
#1: A Good Sports Bra
Whether you are simply “well-endowed” or you are a new mom trying to get accustomed to your newly acquired mega-boobs (don’t get me started on those first couple of months of breastfeeding, when engorgement and random “leaks” happen at the worst times), you must–I repeat–must have a good sports bra.
What makes a good sports bra? For one, functionality is key. It has to do its job, which is to support the sisters! That means no excessive movement when you run or jump. If you are experiencing pain during these exercises, chances are you don’t have the proper sports bra.
Second, it has to be comfortable. It’s not enough to simply have ample support. If that were the case, you could simply duck tape those things down! You can’t exactly beat your mile time on the treadmill when you’re constantly tugging and pulling at your uncomfortable bra. It’s worth it to shell out a bit of dough for a sports bra that will do its job and keep you comfy.
#2: Reliable Running/Exercise Shoes
It doesn’t matter if your ideal workout is an hour-long run outside, a 10-mile walk on the treadmill, or maxing out on the free weights. Your feet are your foundation. Keeping them secure, supported, and comfortable is essential to your long-term fitness goals.
Poor exercise shoes can affect your entire body. Did you know that instability in your shoes could lead to serious health issues, like osteoarthritis? If this doesn’t sound like something you wish to experience, then make sure to strap on a decent pair of shoes before hitting the gym or the track.
#3: Quick At-Home Workouts
Let’s face it, no matter how determined and motivated you are to hit the gym every morning, there are inevitable snafus in your busy schedules. A sick toddler (or husband), an unusually heavy workload, and a colicky baby are just a few of the things that can interrupt your weekly workout schedule.
For those mornings when traveling to the gym is simply not going to happen, it’s good to have a backup plan in place. Invest in a few reputable at-home workout DVDs. Some provide a high-intensity workout in less than half an hour. That way, you can stick to your workout regimen without sacrificing your obligations for the day.
#4: A Set of Ear Buds
I don’t know about you, reader, but the music blasting in my ears as I hit the pavement is sometimes the only quality “me time” I get to unwind during the day. Once I made the mistake of visiting the gym, getting on the treadmill, and realizing that I had left my ear buds at home. It was the most grueling run I could remember!
Music can be therapeutic alone. Add to it the endorphin release of a good workout, and you can set yourself up for a rejuvenating start to the day. Make sure to pack a comfortable set of ear buds (ones that fit your ears well without falling out or hurting your cartilage) in your gym bag before heading out.
#5: The Proper Workout Clothing